Insuranceciooutlook

Why are CIOs Heading Towards Telematics?

By Insurance CIO Outlook | Thursday, October 03, 2019

Auto insurance companies can usher the trend of personalized premiums and make the best use of customer data with the power of telematics.

FREMONT, CA: The evolution of technology is empowering businesses to embrace data like never before, and Telematics can unlock superior data collection capabilities for auto insurance companies. It is essential to promote the efficient collection of customer-data on a daily basis to mitigate risks and minimize losses. By putting together a suitable telematics strategy, auto insurance CIOs can empower their companies to develop tailor-made policies with flexible rates that are determined by the driving behavior of customers.   

By using telematics to introduce user-based pricing, insurance service providers can grant customers with incentives for safer driving, thus creating a business model that is innovative and dynamic. There are two ways by which CIOs can create a roadmap for telematics data collection- through company-provided wearable devices or through apps that can run on a customer’s smartphone. Currently, telematics in auto insurance is still at an early stage, and insurance companies can avail the benefits of investing in it ahead of market adversaries. CIOs must look to harbor telematics in suitable forms to enter the sphere of the digitally advanced business. 

Data Collection through Wearables and Dongles

Wearable technology is now being used widely. Devices such as smartwatches, with exclusively developed features, are being used to monitor and track parameters related to the health and physical activities of users. The same technology is now applied to create wearables that can collect and relay driver-related data to auto insurance providers. Companies can manufacture and distribute wearables to customers while selling auto insurance policies.

Another alternative way to achieve the telematics capabilities is through the use of dongles that can be attached to cars. Many vehicles come with ports that support these dongles. Through these, insurance companies can monitor the driving characteristics of users. As the trend of telematics in auto insurance grows, car-makers are also designing models that have inbuilt support for telematics and onboard diagnostics tools. The only drawback this form of data collection presents to insurance companies is that of cost. The use of advanced sensors and the transfer of data through cellular network together make the deployment of these technologies cost-intensive.

However, CIOs must look to overcome the cost challenge through devices that are modeled to function with wifi, and are thus, cost-efficient and accurate at the same time. The devices can also be recycled in order to make them economically feasible. The lifespan of such devices varies between 3 and 5 years while it takes only 3 to 4 months for a company to determine a customer's driving habits. Thus, the use of alternative options of connectivity and data transfer, and a strategy of reuse of telematics devices can reduce the impact of high prices.  

Smartphone-Enabled Telematics

The reach of smartphones has increased enormously with the device becoming almost ubiquitous. With vendors providing turnkey solutions and app development services, it is easy for insurance companies to deploy smart devices used by customers for telematics. With smartphone apps, customers can be provided with greater convenience and seamless experience. A comprehensive solution enables insurance companies to get all the essential metrics through the use of advanced sensors within the phone. Smartphones are equipped with gyroscopes, proximity sensors, light sensors, and GPS sensors that provide accurate information. All of these features, though not developed specifically for telematics, can be used efficiently to achieve reliable driving behavior data.  

Just like any other technology, mobile telematics also has some drawbacks about which CIOs must know. Maintaining consistency in data collection becomes a challenge with this approach since smartphone features are not always the same. Different models have different traits, and this might create discrepancies. The issue of compatibility is also a concern. However, insurance companies can work out ways to overcome these challenges as well. Sophisticated algorithms and advancing smartphone technology are paving the way for greater opportunities from the perspective of telematics. Besides, mobile telematics also gives insurance companies a chance to develop a unique channel of communication that has business benefits. The versatility and cost-effectiveness of smartphones as telematics devices are very advantageous and can be incorporated efficiently by auto insurance companies.

In the digital age where personalization is central to the success of any business, telematics is the for auto insurance firms to enhance their services and profitability. By providing personalized premiums with reduced costs for better drivers, insurance companies can attract the best drivers, paving the way for minimum risk. Telematics can also help auto insurance providers consider relevant factors like braking, lane changing, acceleration, overtaking, and travel durations in determining pricing models rather than depending on unrelated information like age, gender, and educational qualifications.

It is high time for auto insurance company CIOs to adopt data-centric capabilities to enhance offerings, pricing, and customer services simultaneously. Telematics does not just help firms thrive but also propels them towards modernization and attractive figures of growth.

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