Growing Number of Consumers and Fleet Managers Comfortable with UBI

By Casey Houser September 02, 2014

A provider of risk management information released its annual study concerning telematics this past week and found that consumers comfort levels with sharing personal driving data are increasing while fleet managers see the potential to use telematics to generate price cuts.

LexisNexis recently completed its annual telematics study that analyzed two groups that can take advantage of usage based insurance (UBI) programs: consumers and fleet managers. Beginning with consumers, only 38 percent of consumers reported knowledge about UBI programs. Of those surveyed, however, the overall population indicated that they were willing to participate in services such as UBI that demand the sharing of certain personal information. Ash Hassib, senior vice president and general manager of auto and home insurance at LexisNexis, spoke about this point.

"Our study has found some of the traditional barriers are beginning to subside, such as the difficulty to use and the fear that insurance companies will have too much personal information," Hassib said. "This shift shows us that consumers are becoming more trusting of telematics, and therefore more likely to adopt."

Telematics is an umbrella term for the use of any number of telecommunications products within, in this case, motorized vehicles. It may involve the sharing of GPS or safety information, and it may be expected that customers would be unwilling to share such data. However, the LexisNexis study shows that 35 percent of respondents were comfortable sharing individual UBI data. This is comparable to sharing online banking data, search data, and social media personal information to which 36 percent, 29 percent, and 27 percent said they were comfortable sharing, respectively.

Consumers also indicated that they would be interested in knowing how other members of their families operate their vehicles. Since 2013, the number of people willing to use telematics to know how their kids drive increased 12 percent, and 45 percent of people surveyed said they would be more likely to adopt UBI information services to find out how other members of their family were driving.

Many small fleet managers showed that they would be willing to adopt UBI programs to achieve savings in their insurance costs. The study showed that about two-thirds small fleet managers typically search for new insurance every couple of years and that more than a quarter of them would be willing to use UBI to save money. Ernie Feirer, vice president and general manager of commercial insurance at LexisNexis, provided a quote about this important point.

"Two-thirds of small fleet managers shop for insurance every two years or more," Feirer said. "These fleet managers are looking for ways to save money and our study shows 27 percent of them would sign up for a UBI program. This leaves a lot of room for growth and a huge opportunity for carriers offering UBI."

One of the most pervasive others numbers associated with this finding is that fleet managers were overwhelmingly willing to use UBI on a trial basis. Over three-fourths of fleet managers indicated that saving money was extremely important to them, and 72 percent of overall survey respondents said they would be willing to adopt a three-month UBI trial. Overall, it appears that managers are most interested in saving money, having the ability to track stolen vehicles, retaining information about vehicle fuel consumption, and providing automatic emergency responses to vehicular accidents through ABI.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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