UK car insurers failing to realise telematics benefits, research suggests

Written by: Abaranji Sivakumar, Last updated:9th February 2022

Photo: Narvikk/iStock

UK car insurers are behind their European counterparts when it comes to appreciating the benefits of telematics, according to new research.

A study, conducted by YouGov for The Floow, quizzed 280 board directors and department heads from insurance companies based in the UK, USA and from mainland Europe – France, Italy and Sweden.

It found that more than nine in ten (95 per cent) insurance chiefs could see clear benefits of using telematics and the data science that powers it.

However, it went on to suggest that UK insurers aren’t quite up to speed with those on the continent in fully appreciating the impact that telematics can have beyond risk modelling and potentially reducing car insurance premiums.

The survey – reported by Fleet News – asked insurers how they thought telematics could help the motor insurance industry in the years ahead, and in the UK, decision makers seemed to have a clear, if narrow, sense on how telematics could help.

UK vs Europe

Compared to European decision makers, UK respondents were more likely to focus on improving risk modelling for high-risk drivers (UK: 44 per cent, Europe: 38 per cent) and reducing insurance premiums for drivers (40 to 34 per cent).

The research continued by adding that decision makers in mainland Europe were far more likely to identify a broader range of benefits that telematics could bring to the industry.

This included providing the data science that makes car/ride sharing a scalable reality (43 per cent to 20 per cent in the UK), improving the insurance industry’s understanding of mobility (38 per cent to the UK’s 20 per cent) and managing traffic congestion (34 per cent to 18 per cent).

Consequently, this meant that European insurance decision makers were more likely than their UK counterparts to see the difference that the adoption of telematics could make on improving road safety in general (47 per cent compared to 20 per cent).

‘Europe leaving no stone unturned’

David James, chief operating officer at The Floow, said the findings revealed differences in how insurers around the world quantify the value of telematics.

“Whilst those in mainland Europe are leaving no stone unturned, it appears that decision makers in the UK insurance industry are yet to look beyond the impact on insurance premiums,” he commented.

Jenny Smith, product manager for Tele-Gence, added: “Telematics improve road safety, lower insurance premiums and, when used properly by insurers, help retain customers and build brand loyalty.”