In UBI, unity is the best way to foster competition

Date: Thursday May 26, 2016

It is no secret that insurers in Europe are not looking forward to 2018 when the first wave of new eCall-equipped vehicles comes to market. The eCall data process squeezes them out of the equation and so far the data on who or what is driving is also not going their way.

We recently completed a global forecast of the eCall market alongside UBI and 12 other connected vehicle applications. For the results, have a look at our Connected Mobility Forecast abstract.

It is no surprise to see many insurers working hard at new ways to stay in touch with the customer while also collecting driver and accident data. More surprising is the recent burst of activity in Germany around the 12V Cigarette Lighter Adapter (CLA).

The association of insurers in Germany (GDV) has for the last 18 months secretly organised the development with IBM of a solution for all of their members and recently announced that they had completed a combined 400K dongle purchase from Bosch and Siemens. (The unit pictured is however made by Telic GmbH)

The market proposition is exemplified today by AdmiralDirekt and by Allianz 2 recent offers:Allianz drive cla

  • Allianz Drive, which centres on automatic emergency call and breakdown assistance. It also includes mobile centric services such as trip log, where-is-my-car and tow detect. It is offered in Austria with the Telic device.
  • Allianz BonusDrive, developed on the IMS platform uses the 12V for vehicle identification, real-time driver behaviour information and accurate driver coaching and feedback. Customers are engaged through a mobile gamification dashboard that includes feedback on incidents of sudden braking, rapid acceleration, speeding and harsh cornering, as well as distances driven and time of day. The information collected is used to reward drivers with up to a maximum 30% discount on premiums (plus 10% at sign-up). It is offered in Germany with the GDV (Bosch) device.

In both cases, the usage of the personal data is carefully managed and openly disclosed. Personal data is “protected” in Germany more that anywhere we know; we even found examples where safety cameras aimed at protected people’s lives were disconnected for the benefit of respecting privacy.

Privacy protection in Germany is the responsibility of the 17 rather zealous data protection commissioners (one per region, plus one federal). A data protection commissioner (or Datenschutzbeauftragter) has the right to observe and to request adjustments towards public institutions and private companies if he sees the data protection endangered. He has no right to enforce his requests alone. However, he can take the institution or the company to court to reach a legally binding decision

These commissioners have a history of suing companies for privacy breaches. In the case of the 12V CLA, it appears that the insurance sector opted to work together on telematics to ensure that none of them could be attacked individually.

Ultimately, it is the driver who will decide whether the telematics proposition works or not in Germany, but in terms of industry organisation the GDV (and the Association of British Insurers before it) have shown unity is the best way to foster competition.

Download the abstract of the Connected Mobility Forecasts for more trends on the 14 mobility sectors.