Editorial: The personalisation of insurance: Data, behaviour and innovation

Liz McFall*, Gert Meyers, Ine Van Hoyweghen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


The adoption of Big Data analytics (BDA) in insurance has proved controversial but there has been little analysis specifying how insurance practices are changing. Is insurance passively subject to the forces of disruptive innovation, moving away from the pooling of risk towards its personalisation or individualisation, and what might that mean in practice? This special theme situates disruptive innovations, particularly the experimental practices of behaviour-based personalisation, in the context of the practice and regulation of contemporary insurance. Our contributors argue that behaviour-based personalisation in insurance has different and broader implications than have yet been appreciated. BDAs are changing how insurance governs risk; how it knows, classifies, manages, prices and sells it, in ways that are more opaque and more extensive than the black boxes of in-car telematics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBig Data and Society
Issue number2
Early online date26 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Nov 2020


  • behavioural data
  • Big Data analytics
  • insurance
  • personalisation
  • surveillance
  • telematics


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