Usage-based insurance has been kick-started this year thanks to advances in technology, and Liberty Mutual has taken notice. The company announced upgrades and additions to its UBI portfolio in January, including gamification and driver-feedback components.
Nick Grant. senior director, product technology solutions for the auto insurer, recently spoke with Information Management's sister publication Digital Insurance in on why the company is making big moves now.
Digital Insurance: Why is Liberty Mutual investing more in telematics and UBI now?
Nick Grant: Liberty Mutual is always looking to provide new value to existing and new customers through innovative uses of data and technology. Our new products use innovative technology to help you become a better, safer driver and ultimately worry less on the road.
DI: What have you learned about the UBI customer – is the profile of a potential UBI policyholder widening?
Grant: We’ve found that more and more consumers are looking for personalized offers, messages, pricing and recommendations from their auto, home or life insurance providers. Using the data compiled from telematics-based apps and products such as ByMile, HighwayHero and RightTrack allow Liberty Mutual Insurance to cater to this desire for personally tailored advice, information and even policies. It also helps foster a positive relationship between Liberty Mutual and their customers, and will hopefully lead to safer roads as well.
DI: How are advances in connected-car technology making UBI more accessible as an option for insurers?
Grant: Traditionally, usage-based insurance programs relied on customers plugging in a device to collect driving data. But with our new mobile offerings, we are able to streamline the evaluation process making it easier for customers to save on their insurance while learning safer driving habits. Our customers will be able to take advantage of these new mobile offerings not just with a plug-in device but with the ease of either downloading an app on their smartphone or using our new tag device that sticks on the windshield giving them multiple options for savings.
The RightTrack app uses both a tag device and a mobile phone. The advantage is that you get the data accuracy from the device with the convenience of the mobile app to provide portal for customers to keep track of how their driving is saving them money on their auto insurance. In addition, Liberty Mutual’s HighwayHero app is available to everyone- not just customers- and includes a gamification element allowing drivers to compete for badges of honor and safety ratings. Additionally, Subaru drivers in select states can now access RightTrack through their Subaru Starlink [connected car] systems.
DI: How else is the Internet of Things having an impact on your business? And what does it mean for data protection and privacy?
Grant: Liberty Mutual values and respects our customers’ privacy. We will not share personally identifiable usage data we collect with any third party except to service our customers’ auto policies, for research, or as required by law. Inovation is a top priority and we have dedicated, nimble teams constantly evaluating and working on key trends and technologies such as next-generation vehicles and sharing economy that could have future impact on the insurance industry and its customers.
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