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How is mobile going to drive the future of motor insurance?

Jan 07, 2016

Driving a vehicle without motor insurance is illegal anywhere in the world. You must have at least 3rd party insurance as a minimum legal requirement. This means you’re covered if you have an accident causing damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property. However, it doesn’t cover any other costs like repair to your own vehicle.

 

A parked Ferrari vehicle

Source: Flickr

 

The consequences of driving without motor insurance may range from a simple fixed penalty of about £300 and 6 penalty points, to unlimited fines, disqualification from driving, seizure or destruction of the vehicle, and finally prosecution of the driver. 

Motor insurance is a mandatory expense if you want access to a car. However, insurance is treated as a burden by most car owners most of the time. The reason sometimes is just the amount of time and effort it takes to choose and decide on an insurers offerings as well as the confusion and delays in the process of claims. Mobile app developers can work with insurers to help build solutions which can then make the lives of both the insurer and the insured easier. Let’s take a look at this challenging task.

 

Mobile Solutions for Motor Insurance

With countless insurers on the market, and so many factors to consider when comparing quotations, finding a motor insurance policy that’s right for your needs and budget can be difficult as a consumer. However, in recent years, mobile apps have been designed to automate the entire process of buying a Motor Insurance Policy. 

These apps enable users to receive quotations for vehicles in less than a minute, and purchase their chosen policy through a secure online payment gateway that is directly integrated with the insurers portals. Apps also make it easy for users to renew existing policies, with alerts that ensure drivers avoid penalties.

Making a claim can be a long and cumbersome process. Usually, you must fill in a form for your insurer, or write to the other driver and their insurer, giving details of the accident and the other driver's policy number. Many claims also require reports from independent witnesses, which can sometimes extend the claim settlement time well beyond the 3 months stipulated by the regulator.

Mobile technology can play a pivotal role in resolving these delays, with real time technology in connected cars, as well as devices that fit into cars to track and record driver behaviour such as speed and braking patterns. All this data can be provided to the insurer for a more personalised quote as well as a more detailed information for the claim process after an accident. Making it easy for the underwriters to understand the risk best and either provide a qoute or pay the claim appropriately. 

Claim servicing time is a key factor in the buying decision and can have a big impact on the insurer-customer relationship. This is where claim management apps come into the picture. They can be used to report the first notification of accident to the insurer. 

Users can submit claims and other details from the accident by taking pictures of the damaged car, and track the status of their claim from any device. They can also access information on breakdown services, nearby hospitals, towing and car rental services by using the phone’s GPS, and contact them through the app. 

 

The Future of Car Insurance

A BMW vehicle in a showroom

Source: Flickr

 

As cars evolve, the industry faces a new set of challenges and opportunities. Cars with features such as front crash prevention, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, adaptive headlights, park assist and back over prevention have already hit the roads. These can all reduce the risk of accidents, whilst contributing to a positive user experience.

However, in-car technology, connected cars, semi-autonomous and fully autonomous cars such as the Google Self-Driving Car Project could also cause problems for insurers.  

 

An autonomous vehicle driver writing.

Source: Flickr

 

Autonomouse cars will bring up questions like who is going to take the liability for a crash involving autonomous cars, where technically a human driver is not responsible for the driving activity? The question of who should get motor insurance coverage is going to be a major issue for insurers, as well as insurance regulators, in the future. 

To address this, regulators need to decide who should shoulder the burden of insurance: the passive driver sitting behind the wheel, the owner of the car, software providers, mobile apps or the cars themselves as independent entities with AI. There is the possibility that insurers will back out from insuring autonomous cars altogether, which would jeopardise their very existence. We need to wait and see how motor insurance products are built around this new reality.

 

Improving the User Experience 

An electric vehicle parked by a Panasonic sign

Source: Flickr

 

In any case, it’s clear that integrating auto tech and mobile tech will significantly improve user experience going forward. Insurers can cut time and costs in securing new customers and settling claims, by adopting mobile apps that enable users to buy and renew car insurance, and self service claims.

Technology in action and less human intervention will inevitably lead to monitoring a huge database of customers in real time. To analyse massive amounts of data and provide necessary information to the connected car’s ecosystem in real time will prove a challenging – but not impossible – task.  

Data, processes and systems can be integrated by insurers to enhance customer experience. Autonomous cars fitted with in-car tech, sensors, cameras and GPS systems will communicate with other cars, insurers, regulators and owners with real time information, pictures and videos, as well as generating reports on accidents and other events on the go.

This technology would also enable insurers to alert owners about vehicle condition and servicing requirements, to complete renewals, and reward better drivers and well-maintained vehicles with lower premiums, discounts and value added services. Meanwhile, it would make it easy for insurers to penalise for infringements.

As we move towards in-car technology, connected cars and autonomous cars, insurers need to adopt new mobile technologies and offer innovative insurance products and processes to improve customer experience. Mobile app developers will play a major role in making this innovation a reality. 

 

 
Looking to learn more about the development of motors? Check out our automotive research piece to learn how technology is transforming our interactions with vehicles.
 
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