Car insurance set for a radical change

Customers will be able to choose their insurer via their connected car in the future, one expert says

Car insurance set for a radical change

Motor & Fleet

By Lucy Hook

Telematics has been a mainstay of the UK car insurance market for quite some time now.

A significant 65% of businesses now use telematics to monitor drivers and vehicles, according to the RAC Telematics Report 2016, and the number of telematics policies live in the UK exceeded three quarters of a million for the first time in 2016, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s annual study found.

But as the landscape continues to develop at pace, technologies such as crash detection and crash reconstruction, as well as the emergence of connected vehicles, means innovation and disruption to the insurance market looks set to continue.

“The way we see UBI [usage-based insurance] is not necessarily as an exotic product that you will launch alongside your other insurance products, but as an evolution of every single insurance product you have out there at the moment,” Cyrill Zeller, VP strategic accounts at Scope technologies, a telematics provider, told Insurance Business.

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Looking ahead, insurers will need to provide multiple ways for customers to use UBI models depending on their individual need – from smartphone apps, to dongles, to professionally installed devices.

“Really the idea is to have as many platforms and as many pieces of the puzzle available,” Zeller said.

The emergence of connected cars, too, is likely to have a huge impact on the industry.

“Here is a game-changer, because one of the entry barriers to UBI is the cost of the hardware, and this is something you won’t have to face anymore with connected vehicles,” he explained.

And in the future, the offering from connected vehicles may go even further.

“The connectivity side of connected vehicles will become smarter and smarter,” he noted. “I think tomorrow you will have the ability to download quite a few apps on your connected vehicle, and certainly choose the insurance carrier you will want to use.”

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