UBI Trend Expands
We know the insurance world is all about tables and statistics, but it’s increasingly becoming more about an individual’s actual behavior. At least, this is true in the realm of UBI (usage-based insurance). Auto insurance with a UBI model provides a customized insurance plan based on a driver’s behaviors behind the wheel.
Auto insurers continue to announce developments in this area. Recently, Progressive, www.progressive.com, released information from its study of drivers using the company’s Snapshot UBI device. Over the years, Progressive has gathered a large amount of data about how people drive. The study found that looking at the actual data collected on how someone drives is the best predictor of that person’s risk. Overall, driving behavior carried more than twice the predictive power of any other factor.
Also recently, Allstate, www.allstate.com, announced its UBI product, Drive Wise, will undergo a test by interested employees and Allstate agency owners. The company says it will use crowdsourcing to “identify opportunities to continue enhancing the device as the company looks to expand its telematics footprint.”
Currently, Drive Wise is available in Illinois, Ohio, and Arizona, and Allstate says additional states will come online in 2012. So far, Allstate has more than 11 million miles and 350,000 hours of driving data provided by internal testing. The data has provided insights into how people use UBI programs. For instance, while only 25% of drivers in the initial group of testers scored in the ideal “safe zone,” the figure rose to 75% during the course of the test.
Drive Wise uses a small connected device that plugs into a vehicle’s OBD-II (onboard diagnostics) port. Participants can go to a Web portal to view data related to their driving habits, and perhaps also receive a discount on insurance. Drivers can earn a savings of up to 30%, says Allstate.
As UBI programs become more common, we may all want to take a look at our driving behavior, as driving safely could someday help us save some money.