MAIF: “There is a lot of innovation in the insurance market through telematics”

MAIF: “There is a lot of innovation in the insurance market through telematics”

What does your company do?
MAIF is a mutual insurance company that insures non-denominational educational staff, personnel involved in research, culture and leisure activities, and non-profit-making associations and their employees working in the fields of sport, disability, social action, and humanitarian affairs. As a general insurance subsidiary, Filia-MAIF welcomes all those who, due to statutory provisions, cannot join the mutual insurance company but share its values. The MAIF Foundation is also in charge of prevention in regard to road safety topics.

What is your role in the insurance telematics market?
The MAIF group offers a full product range to protect the policyholder and his or her family: Raqvam for homes, Vam for automobiles, Pacs and Praxis for physical injury, and other financial products. Recently, MAIF launched Virgile, an innovation in road safety consisting of geolocalization services via GPS and GSM. In this project, MAIF is involved with user requirements, the analysis of legal issues and personal data management, the definition of services and business cases, and the assessment of commercial and rollout aspects.

How important is telematics currently throughout the insurance market?
Actually, there is a lot of innovation in the insurance market through telematics. Telematics offers new possibilities for tariffs (Pay As You Drive, Pay How You Drive, Pay Per Use), in insurance services (eCall, geolocalization, assistance, stolen vehicle tracking), and in related activities (car-sharing, navigation, entertainment). At this moment, there is not a real success story because all the actors have to find the right business model. Moreover, there is no doubt that in the next year, maybe in the next month, telematics will be widely deployed, supported by the deployment of electric vehicles, smartphones, and European legislation.

What is needed for the large-scale success of PAYD/usage-based insurance?
Insurers have to identify the advantages of telematics regarding their own businesses. Some insurers could deploy a real PAYD to reduce the cost of insurance, but others could deploy telematics to increase good driving behavior and so reduce the cost of vehicle use.

Which trends will impact the industry the most in the coming years and why?
The deployment of electric vehicles, the innovation of smartphones for mobility, and the deployment of new practices like car-sharing, leasing, and urban quadricyles. We estimate that the market for mobility will be profitable in 2016.
How do you view the role of auto OEMs in the insurance telematics arena?
Like telecommunication operators, auto OEMs are determinants of the success of telematics. The access to and cost of data will put pressure on business models. Furthermore, the legal issues concerning who owns the data will be problematic. As a driver, can I use my own data? (For more on data ownership, see ‘Should drivers have access to their diagnostics data?’.)

Where do you see the insurance telematics industry heading in the next five years?
Cooperation among all the actors in the mobility chain is the key factor for success. Insurers have to really understand the constraints and interests of developers and operators, and vice versa. This is not easy because it means bringing closer different businesses that move at different speeds in the development process, have different technical constraints and, in fact, different short-term interests.

For all the latest on insurance telematics, join the industry’s key players at Insurance Telematics Europe 2011 on May 4 and 5 in London.

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