Privacy concerns over the use of telematics by insurance companies were heightened last week as one of the North America’s leading auto carriers said it was considering selling consumer driving data.
According to statements made Thursday by Allstate Chairman and CEO Tom Wilson, the property/casualty insurer hopes to profit from the sale of telematics data and then pass on savings to consumers by lowering premiums.
Wilson likened the possibility of selling data to the way Google sells personal information on those who use its search engine.
“There are lots of people who are monetising data today,” Wilson said during a recent conference. “You get on Google, and it seems like it’s free. It’s not free. You’re giving them information – they sell your information.
“Could we, should we sell this information we get from people driving around to various people and capture some additional profit source and perhaps give a better value proposition to our customers? It’s a long-term game.”
The possibility of insurers selling driving information is one of the reasons roughly half of the driving population in the US views telematics negatively, according to a 2014 survey from Deloitte
Analyst John Lucker actually anticipates concerns over privacy will bifurcate the auto insurance market in the near-term – some carriers will adopt telematics, while others will stick to traditional underwriting factors for those concerned with privacy.
Wilson, however, does not anticipate significant resistance from policyholders. In fact, he believes potential savings will outweigh any other concerns.
“We’re not seeing any huge consumer pushback,” he said. “You’ll see a rapid uptake when the pricing technology is right.”