Vodafone and Towers Watson, the global professional services company, are moving forward with a strategic alliance to fast-track the development and introduction of telematics usage-based insurance offerings for motor insurance companies operating outside of North America.
At the launch of the service this week (5 March 2013), Vodafone and Towers Watson confirmed that UK insurance company AIG Europe, part of the international group AIG, has signed up to run a pilot.
The combination of Vodafone Vehicle Connect, the company’s telematics proposition, and Towers Watson’s ‘DriveAbility’ programme, will accelerate the pace at which insurers can get new services to market, and at a competitive cost.
With the customer’s prior consent, the solution enables insurers to gather detailed per-second interval data on driving performance, and to offer customers optional value-added services which could in future include automated emergency calls and the tracking of stolen vehicles.
Insurers will be able to choose from a range of data collection devices. The service will combine the granular driving data with external information, such as traffic patterns and weather data, to enhance the accuracy and value of the vehicle score.
The majority of solutions are expected to be made available to customers on a self-install basis, including options for insurers to offer ‘try before you buy’ applications on smartphones.
In countries where self-installation is not yet practical, assisted installation will also be available. User support, including recommendations for improving driving safety, is being offered through existing insurance call centres, smartphones and a dedicated website.
‘Launching and maintaining successful telematics motor insurance products involves more than simply sourcing a device and considering basic driving events,’ cautioned Duncan Anderson, global head of pricing and product management at Towers Watson.
‘From our experience of doing work for clients in the United States, we know that analysing granular data allows a much deeper understanding of the context of driving behaviours, which gives a much greater understanding of the likelihood of claims. Indeed we have found that our scores can differentiate loss ratio by over a factor of 10 from the best 10% of business to the worst 10%.’
Erik Brenneis, Director of M2M, Vodafone, said: ‘With the global reach of Vodafone and Towers Watson, customers can enjoy a consistent delivery and support model throughout many countries.’
In recent months, an increasing number of insurers have signalled their ambitions in the telematics market. Consumer interest across Europe has been boosted by the EU gender regulation and the potential for telematics to help improve driving habits and road safety. Ultimately this could lead to cheaper car insurance for a large number of people.