There can be little doubt that data (big data, algorithms etc etc) have the potential for assuming a still greater role in insurance. Its use raises lots of questions, including fundamental ones around societal purpose, ethics and more and it is a big part of the long-term big picture in insurance.
Clearly incumbent parties, insurers and reinsurers in particular, are involved in this. But what of others? Perhaps as long as the debate on data use has been ongoing, so has speculation on potential players entering from elsewhere. Adjacent sectors or leftfield brands.
The recent announcement from Verily Life Sciences LLC (a sister company to Google in the Alphabet group) in August this year, about its establishment of an insurance operation (Coefficient Insurance Company), therefore represents an interesting development and illustration within the debate.
In itself this development is not going to shift the global insurance paradigm, but it shows again the link between data capability (skills, experience and reach) with where future waves of evolution might come.