Drivers willing to try “trackers”: Towers Watson

Consumers open to telematics, but worry about privacy.

With a ban on gender-based insurance premiums looming in Europe, drivers appear willing to try “trackers” that would reward good driving with lower rates.

More than two-thirds of drivers in the U.K. say they’d consider using a telematics monitoring device on the road, and 77% expressed interest in being part of a pilot program, a recent Towers Watson survey found.

How willing are they? Drivers would be more likely to use telematics in exchange for lower rates if the insurance company held onto the data–on speed, braking and cornering along with road and weather conditions–if insurers discarded the data after a short period of time. If a company kept the information for a month, 23% said they’d buy a telematics-based policy.

Facing a longer retention period–of five years–only 11% said they’d buy one.

And many of the drivers showing interest are older–over 35, the findings reveal.

Most of the respondents are bracing for higher car insurance rates following a European Union ruling against gender-based pricing in insurance.

“The findings show that many people are prepared to adjust their driving behaviour in particular to potentially save money by adopting the new telematics device technology,” said Peter Lee, who’s leading a telematics intiative at Towers Watson.

“The challenge for insurers is to be creative as to how individual driving activity will translate into risk assessment measures and aligning these with the consumer proposition.”

Insurance consumers expressed interest in other ways of saving insurance dollars: 48% said they’d shop around to save on insurance rather than reduce coverage levels.

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