Put TomTom on your boycott list.
– TomTom tech to set driver insurance premiums (PC Pro, Feb. 8, 2012):
TomTom has signed a deal with an insurance company to use its satnav technology to measure driving ability to set premiums.
The satnav specialist said it has teamed up with Motaquote on Fair Pay Insurance – a product that the companies claim rewards ‘good’ drivers with lower premiums, using technology to monitor driver behaviour.
“Our entry into the insurance market with our proven fleet management technology puts us at the forefront of a move that could help to revolutionise the motor insurance industry,” said Thomas Schmidt, managing director of TomTom Business Solutions.
“We offer a navigation, traffic information and telematics which opens up great opportunities for insurance companies to promote greener, safer driving and create a ground breaking portfolio of new insurance products.”
According to the companies, the service would provide users with cheaper quotes, but prices could be pushed up if driver logs show recklessness or dangerous driving.
“We’ve dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you’re a good driver, we’ll believe you and we’ll even give you the benefit up front,” said Nigel Lombard of Fair Pay Insurance.
“If you think of your insurance as your car’s MPG – the better you drive, the longer your fuel will last. Good drivers get more for their money and in that sense they will pay ultimately less.”
Drivers on the scheme will be given a TomTom PRO 3100 as part of the package, and the device will include Active Driver Feedback and LIVE Services to warn drivers when they were cornering too sharply or braking too hard.
The TomTom will also have a LINK tracking unit fitted in their vehicles, allowing driver behaviour and habits to be monitored.
Rise of driver data
Telemetry insurance goes back some seven years, but is expected to become more common due to new equality rules affecting the industry.
“This is not so dissimilar to other telemetry services and they will become more common following the European Court of Justice ruling on gender,” said a spokesperson for the AA, which also plans to launch its own telemetry based service shortly.
The ECJ ruling said it was unfair to charge men more for insurance than women – as is often the case, with women paying as much as 40% less – and has forced a rethink on pricing.
From December, insurance companies will be barred from basing premiums on gender and are looking for other ways to group drivers according to risk.
According to the AA, telemetric premiums will grow in popularity because people are less concerned about Big Brother-style monitoring than they used to be.