ITS Seminar - The Benefits of Telematics

The CII recently played host to a seminar in partnership with Insure Telematics Solutions, discussing the benefits of telematics within the insurance industry.

The event saw an esteemed panel of speakers, who were gathered to talk about Insurtech, fraud prevention and innovation, in addition to sharing their predictions for the future of insurance in the age of the connected car and AI.

The panellists included Andrew Bennett, CEO of Insure Telematics Solutions; Neil Mercier, Head of Motor Insurance at AXA Insurance; Caroline Currie, Sales Director at Autoline Insurance; Danielle Head, CEO at WNS Assistance; and Paul Wainwright, partner at Browne Jacobson LLP.

The seminar was expertly hosted by Stephen Cole, former BBC journalist and Chairman of the Institute of Diplomacy and Business.

The panel began with a discussion on the use of telematics in the ongoing fight against fraud, with a particular focus on “crash for cash” scams and loss mitigation. The panel emphasised that telematics is not only helping to streamline the claims process, but the level of data that is instantly available at the point of the crash is also being used as an important validation tool as well. Claims handlers have the ability to build an accurate, real-time picture of an incident free from human bias, with the available data being used to resolve complex liability disputes and detect fraud at the earliest possible opportunity. These facets are especially important should the claim go to court, as information gathered from a telematics box at the point of crash provides near pinpoint accuracy. Paul Wainwright noted that there are also very few legal challenges to black box evidence, with the technology now accepted as a “digital witness”.

Telematics works by ensuring an insurer can provide the “right rate for the right risk”, as Andrew Bennett succinctly phrased it, with comprehensive data being gathered to enable an insurer to offer a policy and price tailored to the individual’s genuine lifestyle and driving ability, as opposed to a self-reported questionnaire.

With telematics policies most prevalent amongst millennials and the under 25’s, safety formed the basis of much of the panel’s discussion. Autoline’s Caroline Currie provided an insight into telematics from a broker perspective, observing that 90% of telematics policies are in fact sold to the parents of young drivers who are concerned about road safety and inexperience. Telematics can offer young drivers an insight into areas for improvement, and help establish good driving habits for life.

For the final part of the seminar, talk turned to AI, connected cars, and the recent introduction of the new GDPR guidelines. Insure Telematics Solutions have been at the forefront of AI innovation in telematics, partnering early on with Microsoft Azure to develop a comprehensive crash algorithm. With machine learning, each incident recorded adds to the algorithm’s ability to detect genuine accidents, and filters out variables such as door slams and potholes to build a detailed picture of driver behaviour.

Rounding off the discussion, the panel turned their attention to driverless cars and the future of the motor insurance industry. The advent of driverless cars poses an interesting question for insurers in determining fault, as fully autonomous vehicle accidents could be considered a product issue, as opposed to personal liability. Neil Mercier at AXA observed that the switch to connected cars will also be a gradual process, with a “mixed car park” of traditional and driverless cars bringing new challenges for insurers.

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