Telematics – Are they living up to the hype?

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Technology is playing a big role in everyone’s day-to-day lives. It has become an important part of the commercial motor industry with many fleet management trends for 2016 already showing how tracking and reporting advances will benefit fleet managers and drivers over the coming years. We have seen how Google are transforming the manufactured car and how companies like Tesla are increasing the pace of innovation with autonomous driving.

It’s no surprise then that telematics is seen as a great way of understanding driver performance. Not only does it help managers understand locational data, speed and time information, it can help businesses improve fuel efficiency and lower fleet costs. One of the most important features that nearly all telematics devices have, is the ability to notify insurers immediately after road accidents occur.

 

First Notification of Loss

The timely notification of loss used to dispel any difference in opinion about speed, breaking and positioning in the case of an accident is a key feature of modern telematics technologies. Messages sent immediately after an accident can pass conclusive data to insurers in the event of a disagreement, potentially preventing any costly claims companies would have have been reliant upon otherwise. It acts as a deterrent to potential scammers and reduces the amount of time needed to complete investigations.

Alongside instantaneous alerts, the added control fleet managers have when telematics is installed throughout vans, HGV’s and car fleets will help businesses better control insurance costs. By providing proof you are not in the wrong when an accident occurs, future policies will not be affected by unnecessary claims against them. You are also able to address inefficient or reckless practices quickly, before they have a negative impact on the condition of the vehicle, or the safety of road users.

With drivers understanding why telematics are installed in their vehicles, they become more aware of their driving behaviour. This should improve driving styles, which will help reduce potential wear, tear and fuel consumption costs caused by erratic driving. Showing people how they have been driving can also be useful when training drivers to be more efficient which has a positive impact on driving habits and company costs.

 

What does this mean?

Most insurers are now actively investigating how telematics can help reduce premiums, but also reduce business exposure to safety threats. According to a new research report by BIBA, the number of insurance telematics policies in force on the European market has increased by 9% since 2013. It is likely to increase more rapidly over the coming years as more evidence emerges proving the benefits the technology provides. We are seeing for instance, that driver behaviour profiling is becoming an attractive proposition for insurers because it offers them the ability to monitor drivers and quote more accurately. It also helps businesses reduce their exposure to fleet crime which can be a serious problem.

Here at Milestone we work with many insurers who will actively discount you if your single vehicle or fleet has been equipped with a telematics device. Adopting the use of tracking systems means you can act quickly in the event of an incident, ensuring the person responsible is held accountable and the innocent parties are not unfairly punished. As a forward thinking broker, we always promote safety mechanisms within the industry and the use of technology is a great way to ensure you stay ahead of the game.

 

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