Posted on 10 Nov 2011
With an increasing number of automobile insurers implementing usage-based insurance (UBI) products that analyze data from in-car devices (telematics), global professional services company Towers Watson has made several senior appointments to lead the wider rollout of its DriveAbilitySM program.
DriveAbility provides strategic, logistic and analytical support to enable insurers to create products that are priced according to monitored driver behaviors and help policyholders improve driving habits. To date, the company has mainly focused on the U.S., where it has created a hosted data service for a pool of participating U.S. insurers. This has resulted in the analysis of millions of individual journeys so far.
The international DriveAbility program will be led by Geoff Werner. Other Towers Watson UBI veterans leading the team are Robin Harbage, sales and marketing; Eric Shishko, operations and product; and Tony Lovick, analytics.
Rory O’Brien, global head of Towers Watson’s Risk Consulting and Software business, said the intention is to help companies adapt to a completely different business model for car insurance.
“Our experience, not only in the U.S. but also in Europe, means we can help insurers avoid the potholes on the way to developing attractive and profitable UBI products,” said O’Brien. “We add significant value in the sophistication of the analytics we help clients apply to the massive volumes of data that are typically generated. In addition, we help clients navigate unfamiliar regulatory and technological issues to tailor a complicated product to each company’s particular brand.”
The level of interest in UBI in the U.S. is reflected in the fact that every state except Hawaii now has at least one product available to vehicle owners. Several products have also been launched in the Canada, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Africa and the U.K.
“In our opinion, the products that already exist have only scratched the surface of the potential of this market,” said O’Brien. “With the pressures on profitability that car insurers in many parts of the world face, the ability to harness telematic capability could lead to a revolution in the way that automobile insurance is offered.”