Toyota offers opt-in, usage-based auto insurance

The offer could have troubling implications for insurers

Toyota offers opt-in, usage-based auto insurance


By Lyle Adriano

Toyota Insurance Management Solutions (TIMS) – an independent P&C insurance agency under Toyota’s Financial Services umbrella – has launched a usage-based insurance (UBI) program for owners of their cars.

The automaker recently emailed drivers who own Toyota cars equipped with the company’s “Connected Services” telematics system, inviting motorists to participate in TIMS’ new insurance program.

Drivers who sign up for the insurance program allow Toyota to utilize the Connected Services system to collect their driving data. The data is then sent to TIMS, which will determine, based on the data, if the driver is eligible for a discounted auto quote. The information is then “anonymously” shared with auto insurance providers partnered with TIMS.

Domiciled in Delaware, TIMS is licensed in all states and the District of Columbia. In a disclaimer, the agency said that the insurance policies offered through the program are underwritten by non-affiliated insurance companies.

Although the concept of UBI is not exactly new, there is concern that Toyota’s program will allow partner insurance companies to essentially cherry-pick the safest drivers to cover, which leaves other non-partner insurers to pick up the slack and cover the rest of the drivers. If more automakers adopt this UBI program model, non-partner auto insurers might have to ultimately raise their rates in response.


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