By Yaron Assabi, CEO of Digital Solutions Group (DSG)
Enhancing customer value proposition
Everyone wants to make the roads safer. But let’s face it, drivers today are also just looking at ways to decrease their monthly vehicle premiums, while insurance companies are trying to examine ways in which to enhance their customer value proposition – by saving drivers money – but also limiting their own exposure.
As a result, many insurance companies are now examining data and analytics to not only enhance road safety – by offering personalised quotes to safe drivers based on their actual driving behaviour – but to allow them to access a more accurate underwriting segmentation for the business, in what is more commonly termed as behaviour-based modelling.
For too long the cost of automotive insurance was a conundrum, with a lack of understanding around which factors outweigh others when it comes to lowering costs or saving money. Traditional risk factors, like age or gender, are certainly not enough to allow for accurate underwriting and segmentation.
Using real-time data
However, today, we can replace this with concrete, real-time data. While many companies have used onboard diagnostics to deliver this data, there are far superior digital channels that require no hardware. For example, smartphone sensors, which can not only aid in the data collection needed for insurance companies, but, with the right partners, applications using an SDK (software development kit) can be downloaded onto a user’s phone to measure driver behaviour in useful ways, as well as allow for easy risk analysis.
The insight can be granular enough to calculate other driving behaviours like fast acceleration and/or hard braking, and it can identify whether the insured is a driver or passenger. It is then possible to apply additional contextual information to the risk analysis and see pre-incident behaviour and provide FNOL (First Notification of Loss).
Additionally, it allows assessments of whether the driver is texting or is on the phone while driving, which is a huge issue these days and a large cause of accidents. Furthermore, the data can provide insight into aspects like the weather, the time of day the car is being driven, and how long the driver has been on the road, which are essential for a driver’s overall risk profile.
New layers of sophistication
The reality that exists today is that smartphones can also measure the behaviour of the driver, and not just the behaviour of the car, resulting in much richer insights – which adds a new layer of sophistication to the analysis possible – turning smartphones into powerful tools for monitoring driving behaviour and improving road safety.
By using digital channels to enable insurers with data, they can not only acquire preferred risk appropriate clients, but it allows them to deliver increased fairness in pricing structures around premiums – all of which is personalised to the driver – based on their actual behaviour rather than the average premium for the suburb they live in or their age. Quotes can now be built on driving data or priced according to mileage and behavioural data as well as giving instant access to claims data in real-time – all with advanced risk predictiveness for underwriting. This is the future of automotive insurance.
We already know that, given the impact of the pandemic, idle cars have raised consumer demands for fairer motor insurance models that reflect their daily driving habits. Meanwhile, emptier streets have exacerbated habits like speeding and distracted driving, making roads more dangerous and introducing bigger questions about the role motor insurers can play in creating safer roads for all.
Advantageous technological models
However, if the insurance sector really wants to take advantage of this technology and model, they should also examine a more collaborative approach for customers and the market alike. Think about an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). This is essentially a company that sells mobile deals, packages, and services under its own brand using an existing mobile network wholesale deal and providing its own unique packages and customer value proposition and service. An insurer could then partner with an MVNE (Mobile Virtual Network Enabler) to build a sophisticated ecosystem without having to invest in the skills or the technology required. This approach not only serves as a defensive mechanism against MVNs that are offering mobile financial services, and specifically insurance, to limit the disruption of existing businesses, but accelerates time to market, with minimal integration, a reduction in the cost.
So yes, today insurers need to move into more behaviour-based insurance – that is a given. But an app with the right SDK is a better choice than hardware in the car, as it offers quick and relevant insight. If insurers truly want to innovate in this space, then they need to partner with the right enabler and create an ecosystem that can help them get to market quickly with a differentiated, contextual and relevant, non-comparative customer value proposition.
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