Cars have long represented personal freedom. By owning a vehicle, anyone can go wherever they want, whenever they want. But now cars are changing. They’re becoming safer and more convenient, and while these changes are clear improvements, they can nevertheless raise questions about the loss of privacy in a machine so closely tied to personal freedom. Faced with a tradeoff between privacy versus convenience, will consumers embrace new advances in cars?
One of the biggest technological developments in recent years has been the rise of the Internet of Things, making devices smart and connected. Cars are quickly becoming more connected too. Improved diagnostics, automated roadside assistance and usage based insurance are all good examples.
Numerous startups have emerged to take advantage of new technologies. A few examples:
Snapsheet uses technology to reduce the time needed to process claims and promises to help both insurance carriers and customers. Their website boasts an average speed of 2.7 hours from photo to estimate.
Honk, a new app-based roadside assistance provider, promises roadside assistance without the normal membership requirements.
Root uses predictive analytics technologies to insure only those drivers it determines to be safe enough.
Although technology has created abundant opportunities, many new developments hinge on the idea of usage based insurance. Consumers no longer have to pay a set amount. Instead, they can pay as they drive, so individuals don’t pay for miles they don’t use. Or they can pay how they drive, with good drivers receiving discounts.
The catch is that this requires data. Insurers can’t offer discounts for driving less or driving well if they don’t have a clear picture of an individual’s driving habits.
Although some may worry about privacy issues, most consumers are at least willing to consider connected models. The Pew Research Center found that 37 percent of people consider monitoring in exchange for discounts to be acceptable, and another 16 percent say the acceptability depends on the details.
Acceptance varies with age. Nielsen found that millennials are the most likely to accept usage based insurance. This may be tied to another a finding that Gallup made, that millennials are the most likely to trust companies with their private information.
Sometimes, privacy isn’t even desirable.
Several companies appeal directly to parents. Zubie, for example, offers a family plan. The fact that the device is “always on and always aware” and can be used by parents to track their teen children is presented as a benefit. Parents have peace of mind knowing where their children are. They are also reassured that they and their children have access to help should anything go wrong, and they can manage the family’s busy schedule with ease.
Consumers want convenient insurance that provides improved safety and excellent discounts. It seems that the greater the convenience, the less concern there is regarding privacy.
The rest of the technology trend story …
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Learn more about the 11 emerging trends making waves in the auto insurance industry now. Download the report here.
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.