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United States, Jun 23, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

USA: Car drivers receptive to usage-based insurance and connected cars

A survey of American drivers has revealed that many of them are considering making their next car a connected one and that most of them are interested in taking out usage-based insurance (UBI). Always on the lookout for savings, drivers also want information and advice on their driving.

Many of the American drivers surveyed said they are willing to have their car insurance premiums calculated according to the actual usage of their vehicles, and that they are also receptive to driving a connected car. Some 55% of them said they were "likely to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle equipped with new technology features" in the next two years.

Meanwhile, 84% said they were interested in or open to the possibility of having a short trial to determine the discount they would receive by taking out insurance that would take the way they use their cars into account.

Conducted by the advisory company Willis Towers Watson (WTW), the survey of 1,005 people was published on 31 May. Around 13% of American drivers already benefit from the UBI calculation method, with 81% of the respondents saying that they viewed this type of cover "positively". Meanwhile, 63% of the drivers felt that the usage-based calculation method was "fairer" than the system founded on risk assessment.

Lower insurance premiums an advantage

Lower insurance premiums was cited as an advantage by 88% of people who have taken out this type of insurance, while 82% also highlighted the advice they received on improving their driving and 88% said they liked receiving information on their driving.

"Drivers of all ages are embracing new driving technology, and many are willing to share their driving data in exchange for personalized insurance", added Geoff Werner, global telematics product lead with WTW. "The key aspect of connected cars in relation to UBI is enabling policyholders to determine at the quote stage if a telematics policy will benefit them before they buy one, but this works only if consumers are willing to share recent driving data to receive a personalized quote".

Connected cars offer owners a host of other services 

"The more consumers buy connected cars and related in-car technologies, the greater the UBI adoption will be," said Katie DeGraaf, global telematics sales and delivery lead with WTW. It should also be remembered that connected cars offer owners a host of other services aside from the sharing of data with insurance companies.

Some 58% of the Americans open to buying such cars said that receiving maintenance alerts would be a major reason for them to do so, while 55% said they were interested in driver-assistance systems and 37% pointed to WiFi connectivity as a motivating factor in buying a connected car. 


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