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Telematics Should Play A Part In Fighting Whiplash Problem – Discussion On Behaviour-Based Motor Insurance Says Technology Helps Fight Fraud And Better Price Risk

Telematics is set to wade in to the fight against high motor premiums and fraudulent whiplash claims according to the panel at the Biba 2013 panel discussion on behaviour-based motor insurance.

Aviva’s Simon Allsop said telematics technology allowed underwriters to gather additional information that was not obtainable from a standard question set, allowing them better to price the specific risk of individual customers.

“I’ve always struggled with the standard question set we ask our customers,” Allsop said. “Two 17-year-olds could present themselves as identical in their rating factors but what I can’t tell from that information is does one of them want to use their car simply to drive to and from college and the other want to thrash their car around Glasgow city centre at three in the morning. Telematics is a start to distinguish between those two types of people.”

The panel said that telematics also had a part to play in tacking the whiplash problem.

Wunelli research and development director Paul Stacy argued that whiplash claims had been a problem for too long, and insurers need to take a stand. “We need to fight back, but we can’t with the tools we currently have. We need to fight back with science”, he said.

Telematics technology allows cover providers to access information about the incident, including acceleration and speed. This can then be used to determine if whiplash could be a likely injury given the seriousness of the crash.

However, the floor was concerned that the portable nature of the data may lead to police taking retrospective action for offences such as speeding.

In response, Stacy said that although there was a risk of customers being prosecuted as a result of the telematics data collected, it was unlikely to happen in practice.

“There’s a proper process for us to follow to give over this personal data [to police],” Stacy said. “It’s up to the customers to give their consent. If they don’t consent, the police have to subpoena the data. The GPS data cannot be relied on to write out tickets for six months ago.”

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