Telematics Update interviews Michael Slattery, MBA Consumer Innovation, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets

Telematics Update interviews Michael Slattery, MBA Consumer Innovation, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets
"Mike

In a nutshell, tell us what your department/company does?

Our business unit, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets, is committed to developing innovative new products and changing how consumers interact with insurance agents and services. Teensurance and Onboard Advisor are great examples of products which solve primary consumer needs first and integrate the insurance policy/savings second.

How do you differentiate your offerings from your competitors? What according to you is your USP?

Our consumer centric approach to innovation is fairly rare in the insurance marketplace. When talking to consumers, we focus more on the life event or business challenge than on the insurance policy. For example, in our interviews with business owners and fleet managers, we heard concerns about managing fuel costs, employee efficiencies and safety. So our fleet solution delivers savings on labor and fuel as well as the ability to modify risky driving behavior to help businesses manage safety and their insurance rates. So Liberty Mutual Agency Markets’ value is not about offering another insurance discount or tweaking coverages, it’s more about building relationships based on solving customers’ needs.

What partnerships are you currently forging? Also, what industry milestone did you recently achieve or are working towards achieving?

One of our primary goals is developing strategic partnerships with firms throughout the value chain. We look for companies who have identified the insurance industry as a focus and want to customize their offering to meet the unique needs of the segment.One of our biggest achievements this year was the launch of Onboard Advisor with performance based rating. This program uses a safety score to quantify exactly how safe drivers are and gives fleet managers tools to identify and modify risky behavior so they can improve.

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

I see a couple of trends coming that should have an exciting impact on the insurance industry. One is the mainstream ability to do performance based rating. With hardware and network costs dropping and devices getting more sophisticated, we now have wide scale access to driving data. The second trend is the growing desire for a ‘connected’ vehicle. When the telematics platform becomes standard equipment on fleet vehicles, customers will have the ability to opt-in to a variety of different programs with very low start up costs. When this happens, I would expect performance based programs to be popular among safe fleet owners and companies who are looking to improve. In either case, as the platform becomes ubiquitous, fleet owners will win because insurance companies will leverage performance based rating to compete for companies who consistently demonstrate they are a safe risk.

You are an integral part of our upcoming Fleet & Asset Management USA Conference. Could you tell us what key topics or issues you are looking at discussing with the industry at the show?

Partnerships between insurance companies and telematics service providers haven’t really taken off even though I believe both sides see the potential for extraordinary value. I think we are finally at the crossroads where meaningful exchange will take place and leading companies will build integrated insurance-telematics fleet solutions. Onboard Advisor is an integrated program put together by Liberty Mutual and GE that demonstrates the value strategic partnerships can bring. So we’ll talk about the business model, market drivers, the integrated product & services, and why this particular program and relationship makes sense.

Lastly, could you tell us which gadgets/gizmos/cars are on your current Christmas wish-list?

Almost everything on my wish list is a gadget or gizmo! Pioneer just released a new in-dash navigation unit with Bluetooth which looks very cool. There are also some very interesting developments in the convergence between eReaders and Tablet PCs. I would love to see someone put out a sleek powerful unit with multi-touch in time for Christmas.

Interested to find out more on this topic?Then visit http://www.telematicsupdate.com/fleet/to find out more about our annual and must-attend Fleet & Asset Management USA '09 Conference & Exhibition which is taking place next week (November 18 &19)in Atlanta. We have limited passes left, so if you want to update your industry knowledge and contacts book then buy your pass now by visiting https://secure.firstconf.com/auto/fleet/register.htm


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