Distracted driving is a major cause of auto collisions – something the National Safety Council has been talking about for quite a while. Despite the publicity, the problem isn't going away. It's getting worse.
Recently, Zendrive published a study – titled simply "The Largest Distracted Driving Study" – which analyzed distracted driving over three months, three million anonymous drivers, 570 million trips, and 5.6 billion miles. It found, among other things, that drivers use their phones on 88 percent of their trips. In almost nine trips out of ten, drivers are pulling out their phones while operating their vehicle on the road.
Suffice it to say the smartphone temptation costs lives. But there's a twist. Smartphones may be able to save lives, too.
Safer driving behaviors
Smartphone telematics allow insurers to collect data to get a granular view on individual driver behavior. "So, what if we could use this same technology to save lives?" said Jonathan Matus at Carrier Management. "What if smartphone usage could be harnessed to generate the kind of insights that can reduce collisions, predict risks before they occur and ultimately prevent loss of life?"
We know that smartphone telematics is effective at incentivizing good behavior behind the wheel, offering driver scoring and other incentives to make safe driving fun. For fleet managers, the data can offer not only gamification, but transparency, giving them the vantage point to provide coaching and follow-up to drivers with bad habits.
"Partnerships with a variety of consumer apps as well as commercial fleets mean that data collection isn’t limited to one carrier or company," Matus said. "More data means better analysis and insights." When smartphone telematics connect with third-party apps to combine relevant data into actionable insight, everyone wins.
Safer driving environments
For example, in P&C, some insurers have succeeded in reducing weather-related claims via seasonal weather insights. Weather contributes to auto collisions as well; last January, Solaris Labs announced that its new AI portal is aggregating data to “help users find potentially safer routes,” according to TechCrunch.
According to the Zebra, "the API would also aggregate a wide variety of public data for auto theft, parking citations, and crashes to help drivers find safer routes and parking places without the normal hassle."
Transforming a claims enemy into an advocate
On one hand, smartphones are a perennial temptation, and for the sake of public safety, we must dissuade drivers from using them. On the other hand, smartphones have the potential to reduce collisions and fatalities, if harnessed effectively. It’s an idea worth exploring.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
With Policy Scan we have increased efficiency in our workflow and reduced our exposure on the risk.
Silvervine’s core administration solutions easily handles multiple carriers within multiple states, including accounting, payment processing, immediate policy issuance and endorsements.
What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.