Telematics tech makes its Australian debut

Telematics

A major insurer has become the first to offer in-car telematics for the Domestic Motor sector, as the industry moves to catch up to overseas markets.

QBE has launched Insurance Box, a small device that plugs into a vehicle to monitor driving habits and establish more accurate pricing for risks.

The technology is already well-established in the US and Europe, where it has improved underwriting results, reduced claims costs and improved loss ratios for insurers.

Insurance Box Founder Frank Peppard says he expects young drivers to be enthusiastic adopters of the product.

“If you’re a good driver, whether you’re 18 or 80, you should be rewarded for that. Why should you subsidise those who aren’t?” he says.

“These drivers stand to save significant dollars through this new ‘skills-tested’ approach to car insurance.”

According to technology providers SSP, the QBE device measures risk factors such as driving at night, erratic driving, reckless behaviour and other peripheral factors such as journey lengths, congestion, black spots and route familiarity.

QBE Australia General Executive Manager Tim Plant says the product has the potential to not only lower premiums but also encourage safer driving among its users.

“We are excited to be playing a leading role in bringing this Australian-first capability to the market and offering our customers a product that delivers both potential cost and safety benefits and also encourages safer driving practices, which benefit all on the road,” he says.

The telematics technology is being provided by UK firm Wunelli. Founder Paul Stacy says telematics are the norm in the UK and have reduced the severity and frequency of claims by up to 30%, as well as helping recover most stolen vehicles.

For more on what telematics means for the Commercial Motor sector and brokers, check out our upcoming feature in the December-January edition of Insurance & Risk Professional.