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IoT Blog | August, 2017

Marco Canesi

Marco Canesi
Head of Telematics Product Development, Vodafone Automotive


The quick way to start your usage-based insurance journey

In his recent blog post, Vodafone’s Head of Telematics Sales Services, Roberto Polli, explained how the Internet of Things (IoT) can help automotive insurers build customer loyalty and increase operational efficiency. Insurers can start to realise some of these benefits without even needing to install telematics in customers’ vehicles. Customers already have a device capable of collecting much of the data needed — their smartphone.

A quick start to your journey

We recently launched a new app-based solution that makes it quicker and easier for insurers to add usage-based insurance (UBI) to their portfolio1. And, in July 2017, Württembergische Versicherung became the first German insurance company to introduce our new telematics app — initially for drivers under 30.

“Our new telematics app proves that we take customer requests for digital products and services very seriously and that we’re developing specific solutions for them,” says Franz Bergmüller, a board member at the company. “Starting out with a limited group of participants, we first want to gain experience in the telematics field. Vodafone, the telematics specialist, is our first-choice technical implementation partner.”

Using the sensors built into a customer’s smartphone, the app collects much of the data provided by a conventional telematics box: speed, acceleration, braking and cornering behaviour. It also captures whether a mobile phone has been used while driving and adds this to the customer’s risk score. And by using innovative machine learning algorithms, the app is quickly able to determine whether the user is at the wheel, in the passenger seat or using alternative transport like a bike or train, enabling accurate scoring.

Lower insurance premiums

Württembergische Versicherung receives an aggregate risk score report for each customer based on their driving behaviour. That means it can match risks to costs more accurately and offer discounts on the insurance premiums of customers who drive more carefully.

Safer driving

Drivers have access to their risk score for every journey and can compare these with average performance of other drivers. Depending on their behaviour on a particular journey, they might receive tips on how they can improve their driving style. And they’re encouraged to do so as they receive rewards for consistent “good” driving behaviour. They’re also less likely to use their phones while driving, as they don’t want to spoil a good risk score. This promotes safer driving and safer roads. Industry statistics show there is a 40% drop in crash risk when a new driver has a telematics policy.2

The road ahead

Of course, using a smartphone isn’t a substitute for vehicle-installed telematics systems — drivers could choose to turn their phone off or leave it at home when they head out on a journey. But it does encourage better driving behaviour and can be used effectively as a temporary assessment tool at the start of a policy — for example, an insurer could require new drivers to be monitored for 10 hours to validate that they meet the required standards.

And solutions, like the Vodafone app being used by Württembergische Versicherung, are helping to give insurers a fast lane into the world of IoT and the benefits of UBI. If you’re about to set out on that journey, start by taking a look at our new white paper — it will show you how IoT can help you manage risk, create customer intimacy and build a sustainable business.


1. Vodafone’s technology partner for the smartphone telematics processing engine is Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT)

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