Telematics conference: hardware, data protection & benefits for insureds and insurers

Telematics Conference: Hardware, Data Protection & Benefits for Insureds and Insurers

"Telematics will not come, telematics is already here!"This was the theme of the fifth "Telematics in Motor Insurance" conference held by the Versicherungsforen Leipzig on 3. and 4. March 2015. The central topics of the event were the question of the best hardware solution for telematics as well as transparency and protection of customer data.

U nder the expert leadership of Christian Dierks, head of the "Application, Contract and Claims Management" competence team at Versicherungsforen Leipzig, more than 70 experts from the insurance industry discussed the current issues surrounding the topic of telematics at the two-day event.

It all depends on the hardware

Various hardware options are currently on the market for telematics systems in motor vehicles. Smartphones, which transmit data directly via an app, are considered to be the simplest solution in terms of handling. The vast majority of drivers always have a mobile device with them anyway, which has GPS and internet connections. However, data quality is not always optimal, as network availability fluctuates and battery power is not permanently reliable for many devices. Even retrofitted hardware options harbor pitfalls. Therefore, factory-installed hardware is currently considered the most reliable solution. In his presentation, Andreas Meyer (Pitney Bowes) emphasized that the smartphone is currently serving as an interim solution until factory-installed telematics hardware becomes standard. Here, however, remains the question of the sovereignty of the data. While insurance companies need telematics data for their rate calculations, vehicle manufacturers also have a great interest in the data, especially with regard to workshop management in the event of an accident. Insurers therefore still face the big question of how best to aggregate telematics data in the future, because if they use hardware from vehicle manufacturers, they will have to rely on open interfaces and cooperative arrangements.

Telematics Conference: Hardware, Data Protection & Benefits for Insureds and Insurers

The fine line between data protection and data collection

The issues of data protection and transparency among insurers also raise major questions. Particularly in Germany, customers are not very generous in handling their personal data. Especially location-based and, of course, personal data are reluctantly shared to prevent misuse. In the area of telematics, it is also important to take these concerns seriously and ensure that customer data is protected. As a prerequisite for using telematics systems at all, customers today also demand transparency in the handling of their data. It is not only a matter of knowing what data is collected for what purpose, but also who can view it. Dr. Rene Muller (Axa Winterthur) reported in his lecture about good experiences with the Drive Recorder, where customers can view all collected data in an online portal themselves and have the evaluations displayed.

Telematics Conference: Hardware, Data Protection & Benefits for Insureds and Insurers

Although customers are often restrictive in the way they handle their data, many are willing to loosen this hand for cost savings or other added value. For insurers and other telematics providers, this raises the question of what incentive models and services need to be offered to get customers to make their data available. This central question must be answered in the coming months and years in order to satisfy both the customer's need for data protection and the need for data collection.

Are insurers still with pulled handbrake on the way?

In the course of the two-day conference, it became apparent that there is a great deal of interest among insurers in the topic of telematics. Pilot projects in this area were presented in experience reports from R+V Versicherung, AXA Winterthur, Allianz and oSA Versicherungen. Good, functioning business models are still rare, however, and many insurers are still planning behind closed doors for the time being. The insurers agree, however, that telematics tariffs must offer customers added value and not just a reduction in premiums. Some experts even believe that the most important target group for telematics-based tariffs is the one willing to pay a bit more if appropriate services are offered by the insurer. 

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