Cross Country/ATX: Insurance telematics can “change the landscape of underwriting risk”

Cross Country/ATX: Insurance telematics can “change the landscape of underwriting risk”

Executive Viewpoint

Dave Ferrick is vice president of Cross Country/ATX, the world’s largest independent provider of personalized telematics services. The firm designs telematics services that enhance safety, security and the overall driving experience, and its clients include Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz (in Canada), PSA Peugeot Citroën, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

What does your company do?

Cross Country provides a range of technology-enabled, customized services
and solutions that promote customer loyalty and/or reduce costs through increased efficiencies for auto insurers and auto manufacturers. We do this through the following products/services:

Connected vehicle (telematics) solutions for automobile manufacturers, delivered through ATX Group for both the North American and European markets, that enable personalized, multi-modal connected experiences that enhance safety or convenience to drivers and customized, brand enhancing solutions to clients;

Vehicle incident management (VIMS®) solutions that enhance claim management, reduce costs, shorten cycle times, optimize customer satisfaction, and build loyalty;

Roadside assistance (RSA) customer service programs, which have the number one market share in wholesale customer assistance services offered by automobile manufacturers and insurance carriers;

Information products that leverage our knowledge and market position to benefit our clients.

Cross Country/ATX is the only provider uniquely positioned to deliver services to multiple insurance carriers as well as services and vehicle interfaces required in a telematics offering, including call/data centers designed to specifically handle emergency and roadside assistance.

We foresee the day when we will be able to provide real-time information about any kind of vehicle emergency to every stakeholder in the post-accident response chain, from the 911 center to doctors in the trauma center, from the tow truck to traffic flow managers, from emergency contacts to vehicle insurers.

What is your role and experience in the insurance telematics market?

Cross Country is the leading provider of emergency services to the North American insurance market, maintaining relationships with over 30 auto insurers for over a decade, who represent almost 50% of the gross written auto premiums in the US.

We play two critical roles whenever there is a vehicle accident. First, we help our insurance clients stand behind their promise that they will take care of their policyholders in their time of need, making them feel safe and secure and increasing customer satisfaction with their insurance provider. An equally important role is to help insurers find ways to manage costs resulting from vehicle collisions and provide them with data to make smart, profitable decisions across their portfolios of business.

Telematics helps us accelerate the delivery of these services under both roles. Early notification of a collision is critical because it helps insurers avoid the often long, costly and challenging process of negotiating access and release of a vehicle that has been moved from an accident scene. And it helps policyholders get their vehicle back sooner and hold down premium costs for all policyholders.

How important is the role of telematics throughout the insurance market space?

Telematics is an often-discussed topic throughout the insurance market. While the current impact is low, telematics offers the potential in the future to change the landscape of underwriting risk and shortening the claims cycle while reducing expenses. While the well-known, pioneering work of Progressive most often associates telematics with pay-as-you-drive underwriting, probably a more important role for telematics in the immediate future is its ability to provide insurers with first notice of loss and, perhaps, early notification of a total vehicle loss.

Which trends will impact the industry the most in the coming years and why?

Probably the most critical trend will be the continued expansion of embedded telematics technology across mass-market vehicle models. Insurance carriers must have a critical mass of telematics-enabled vehicles and a commitment from automakers that the in-vehicle technology will continue to be enabled in the years to come.

Another key trend will be the continuing extension of telematics services from being voice-centric to data-centric. Granting insurers access to real-time crash data offers the largest potential benefits by potentially lowering costs for claims processing for the insurance carriers, which, in turn, will translate into quicker repair times and more competitive rates for vehicle owners.

The deployment this year of pilot projects by BMW/ATX and General Motors OnStar testing crash severity algorithms using real-time crash data from automatic collision notification sensors also will provide valuable insight for insurers as to the potential viability of predicting total vehicle loss from an accident scene.

To learn more about our Insurance Telematics 2010conference and exhibition 13-14 Setpember, Hilton Doubletree Hotel, Chicago, IL USA. Click here


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