Much of the talk surrounding the growth of UBI in Canada is about its potential for helping to improve driver behaviour and overall road safety. This paper suggests that proponents of UBI should be cautious in their embrace of that idea. Maintaining interest and awareness might be challenging, particularly in the face of limited incentive to change. Truly understanding driver behaviour and what change is both desirable and realistic probably requires a more representative sample of the driving population than might be accessed with current programs. Safer driving is a laudable goal but may not be the low-hanging fruit that it’s portrayed to be.
Click to access a PDF copy of the white paper, Changing Driver Behaviour.
Back in 2008, I made some proposals to my then-employer around using data analytics to support profitable growth. As I worked for a company committed to the broker channel, a major impediment to doing so was the traditional insurer/broker/client relationship and the belief that the broker ‘owned’ the client. I advocated changing the paradigm and moving toward a model of ‘shared ownership’ that would work to the mutual benefit of all parties.
A couple of years later, while reflecting on this same thorny problem I tried to break it down by considering the underlying assumptions in the traditional model. I identified three roles in the relationship: supplier, customer, and agent. I concluded that a policyholder is only ever a customer regardless of whether they are dealing with the broker or the insurer. I further concluded that an insurer can be both a supplier and a customer, but a broker can only ever be a supplier or an agent – never a customer. I also examined where in the relationship money changed hands, i.e., who paid who.
Based on this analysis, the broker can’t really lay claim to ‘owning’ the customer (policyholder) and nor can the broker claim to be a customer of the insurer. The insurer and broker do, however, share a responsibility to deliver value to the policyholder – that’s what counts, not worrying about esoteric notions of ownership.
Download a PDF file of the analysis here: Who’s the customer
Privacy is a very real concern for technology users and there is an assumption that deploying UBI will be necessarily invasive.
In fact, UBI offers the chance to enhance privacy. With telematics-delivered driving data, insurers will potentially become less concerned with who is driving the car and more concerned with how it is being driven. The need to collect personal information currently used as proxies for rating purposes will diminish.
Rules need to be established around what data may be collected, how it may be used and who may use it. Enhanced privacy could be among the many benefits UBI makes available to the driving public.
Download a PDF copy of the white paper here: Ms. X in Freedom Plaza – UBI & Privacy
See Andrew Clark’s article in Globe Drive August 28, 2013, Big Brother is behind the wheel (link below). Not the sort of coverage that will foster adoption of telematics/UBI.