App’s a telematics tutorial to promote UBI, says Octo

With the scream of 200mph MotoGP motorcycles ringing in our ears, TU heard how a simple smartphone app could be paving the way to greater adoption of UBI among UK consumers.

Octo Telematics was using the iconic annual event to publicise its attempt to raise public awareness of the benefits of behavioural insurance policies.

The Italian company chose the UK market to launch the product ahead of its headquarters relocation to London next year.

Its chief marketing officer, Jonathan Hewett, told us: “By putting telematics fairly and squarely to the consumers this will allow them to be aware of their data and generate a better driving score which can allow them to get a better and fairer deal when buying insurance.

“The customer becomes acquainted with the technology once they see the value through the app which can lead them to the installation of ‘full fat’ telematics service within the vehicle.”

And the app is impressive in its simplicity and diversity of mobility solutions covering telemetry for car, motorcycle and bus travel.

The smartphone’s motion sensors record acceleration, deceleration and distance covered to provide a user profile for all three transport types and itcontinues to update this profile as the app is used.

If a high enough score is achieved, motorists can opt for a personalised discounted motor insurance quote from UK insurance partners based on their driving behaviour.

The new app is available as a free download now from the Apple App Store for iPhone and from the Google Play and Amazon Kindle stores for Android devices, and will be available worldwide. In the future, Octo also plans to add non-insurance based products and services that are focused around reducing the cost of motoring, rewarding customers with incentives that are specific to the trips they take and providing for enhanced social sharing and engagement.

But Hewett admits there are challenges ahead facing mass UBI adoption. He said: “The problem is the industry has talked too much and majored up on the technology and how clever the tech is and failed to connect the benefits and value to the end consumer or even to the insurer.

“Octo is keen on promoting the very positive impact telematics can have on the Insurers profit and loss. We recognise that we need to help the industry by simplifying the value of telematics to the end consumer by obtaining cheaper insurance with a product that can provide them with accurate information in order to provide good driving habits that in turn promote safety on the roads – somewhere everybody wins, rather than focusing on the technology.”

Hewett said the Octo U app includes bus transport because the company sees mobility solutions as the major future role of telematics.

He explained: “Mobility is more than just the car. We work with local authorities in Milan persuading motorists to leave their vehicles at home, reduce congestion while the insurer pays for their public transportation ticket. Again this provides information which leads to choice and an informed consumer decision.

“Likewise with solutions such as car sharing or Uber cab – if the driver has a  good score the data allows them to make a decision on whether they want a trip with that driver or Uber driver.

“The trends suggest that people are thinking more about trips and mobility and less about owning a car and this data is becoming more relevant to our daily lives.”

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