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How Telematics Technology is Shaking up the Auto Insurance Industry

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How Telematics Technology is Shaking up the Auto Insurance Industry


July 20, 2012

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

The Insurance Telematics USA Conference, scheduled for September 5-6 in Chicago at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, will bring together industry leaders to discuss the effects of telematics technology on auto insurance underwriting.

“Insurers entering the market seem prepared to take the advice and expertise of telematics professions,” said conference officials in a news release. “Now is the perfect time in the evolution of this industry for knowledge to be shared, partnerships to be created and ROI to be achieved.”

Specifically, industry leaders have identified five major areas for discussion during the conference:

1) Intellectual Property and Data Privacy Issues

Progressive Casualty Insurance Company claims that it has three patents protecting its intellectual property rights for motor vehicle monitoring systems. Progressive has already sued Allstate, Safeco and Liberty Mutual for offering pay-as-you-drive monitoring that allegedly violate those patents.

Additionally, the industry is worried about “Do Not Track” legislation that may allow customers to opt out of online tracking, including auto-based telematics.

2) Managing Customers as Solutions Scale Up

Collecting, analyzing and using telematics data will present significant challenges for insurance companies as they develop a new data management infrastructure. First, either customers or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have to pay to put tracking equipment in vehicles. Second, insurance companies will have a tsunami of incoming data that they must store and manage.

3) Enhancing UBI Offerings through Nomadic Platforms

Nomadic platforms like smartphones may reduce startup costs if consumers are willing to allow their smartphones to collect and transmit telematics data to insurers. If these platforms are not an option, then companies can take advantage of federal incentives to overcome perceived barriers to service distribution.

4) Insurance Telematics Sales Models

Device acquisition, installation and operating costs as well as low consumer awareness has made adoption of UBI slower than desired. If OEMs begin to install telematics devices at the factory, insurance companies can then present the advantages of segmented pricing to their customers without worrying about the upfront cost of investing in tracking equipment.

5) Creating Synergy (News - Alert) Between Insurance Providers and the Fleet Industry

In addition to fleet management telematics, insurance companies can develop markets for telematics in other industries like the cargo industry and the security industry. Insurance providers will have to assess the potential for predation as they become more involved with commercial entities.

The Insurance Telematics USA conference will include attendees from the insurance industry, the automotive industry and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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