UK +44 (0) 1799 588588 / US Tollfree +1-866-711-4880

Right data vs any and all data in telematics

Two opposing views:

right data vs any data - big insurer vs TSP

In our recent ‘Tipping Point’ Newsletter, I stated that one route to mass versus niche market for UBI/Telematics is right data vs any data.  I would like to explore what that means in more detail.  So, in the words of Oscar Hammerstein II ‘Let’s start at the very beginning’.

Firstly, the quality of data is rooted in the quality of signal from source.

The source is typically (in a device) three sensors: GPS, accelerometer and gyro.  If the procurement of those sensors is solely driven by price, the quality of signal will be compromised.  Some app-only providers argue that sensor information from a smartphone is as good, but we see issues if the phone is not in a fixed position, increased battery drain and even whether the phone is in the car at all as reasons for concern.

Sampling rate is another feature of signal quality – its frequency.  REDTAIL leads the market in its provision of 10Hz – that’s ten cycles per second, in other words ten times the industry standard.  This enables us to offer more granular and advanced driver scrutiny and scoring, increasing the normal four parameters fourfold, to include proven high risk signatures such as tail-gating, corner braking, swerving, turning at junctions, roundabouts, queuing traffic.  In other words, we are able to detect those high risk driving events, way beyond the regular braking and acceleration metrics.

The second aspect of the right data is its accessibility in the most helpful form and format.

APIs providing raw data for more technically savvy customers; bespoke web portals breaking data into pre-analysed buckets for some less so.  For our customer’s end consumers, we have white label apps offering both fleet and vehicle performance tracking and data, and also driver insight combining scoring and gamification to coach and improve safety and eco driving behaviors.

Redtail driver scoring app - show over time

Redtail driver scoring app - events description

Redtail driver scoring app - fast cornering explained

And the final aspect of right data is its value to you, the customer, in making critical business decisions.

A number of TSPs include ‘Actuary’ in their skill sets.  Two thoughts:

i) in our experience, each insurer approaches risk differently, and therefore

ii) we prefer our data to inform customer data.

Our data scientists work very closely with your teams (whether in risk or claims or commercial) to maximise the impact of your data relevant to your business, to your book and to your valuable policy holder.

Redtail Portal

Redtail Fleet management

So, in summary, the recommended approach requires a combination of component quality, of information access and of genuinely collaborative data insight. Then, and only then, will the right data deliver the right results.

What are the potential impacts of Brexit to UK drivers?

You may have read our recent blog posts about new legislation proposals for a new driver night driving ban and the provisionally approved legislation that requires car sold from 2022 onwards to be fitted with a range of new safety systems as standard.   Here we’re going to be considering something more controversial; talking about the potential impact Brexit could have on UK drivers, especially if we end up leaving with no deal.

Brexit is  something that has been widely debated since the results of the referendum and there are  plenty of strongly opinionated people on both sides of the table.  However, we’re not going to talk about whether the result to leave was right or wrong – we’ll leave that up to you – we are instead going to focus on trying to be helping during this time of uncertainty and turmoil.

Here’s a list of useful and important things to know/consider if you’re a UK driver who might be thinking about driving in the EU after the Brexit deadline (some of these points also apply for other means of travel to/in the EU):

  1. You’ll need an international driving permit (if we leave without a deal)
    • These can be purchased from the Post Office or driving agencies such as RAC and AA
  2. You’ll need a motor insurance green card in case you have an accident
    • If you’re taking a vehicle, caravan or trailer
    • These can be obtained by contacting your insurance provider – do it at least one month before travel!
  3. If you’re planning on driving in Ireland after Brexit then you’ll need to display a GB sticker
  4. If you live in an EU country and drive then you’ll need to exchange your UK driving licence for a local driving licence of the country you reside in (UK driving licences will no longer be recognised by EU countries after Brexit)
  5. The UK government advises that all travellers have at least 6 months left on their passport to avoid potentially being turned away at the border
  6. The EHIC card won’t be valid if the UK leaves without a deal so be sure to get health insurance if travelling to the EU
  7. Motorway and ports could see heavier traffic than usual, so you’ll need to plan accordingly
  8. If you travel with a pet then beware, pets won’t be eligible for the pet passport scheme anymore – you’ll need to go through the four month process of getting them microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and blood-tested before travel
  9. Although you won’t need a visa, from 2021, you will need to get authorisation from the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to enter the EU. The travel authorisation will:
    • Allow travellers to stay in the EU for up to 90 days in a 180-day period (as long as you’re not working or studying)
    • Cost €7 – though it’ll be free for travellers under 18 or over 70
    • Be valid for 3 years or until the travel document expires

Believe it or not, Brexit could also impact you in the UK if you’re planning to buy or need to service/repair a vehicle after Brexit;

  1. If you purchase a new vehicle after Brexit, it might be more expensive because of the fluctuating exchange rate
  2. If you purchase a vehicle that needs to be imported then there could be delays in delivering new vehicles due to extra checks at the borders
  3. The same could apply for service, repairs or tyre replacements due to parts taking longer to arrive from the EU

Should telematics car insurance really be IPT exempt?

You may have read in our recent Press Release that young drivers can often find much cheaper car insurance by opting for telematics (black box) based policies.  For example, a Wise Driving Black Box policy would cost an eighteen-year-old driver only £1506, compared to the cheapest non-telematics policy which would set them back £2490.

While this is a significant saving, nearly half (43%) of drivers asked during a recent Redtail/YouGov survey stated that they were unaware of any potential savings that telematics-based car insurance could offer.  Perhaps more concerning was the discovery that 10% of drivers believed switching to a telematics policy would stand to save nothing.

With such potential for savings, why isn’t more being done to publicise telematics and the potential savings that come with it?

Furthermore, would the exemption of IPT for telematics-based policies not be a significant asset in promoting the use of telematics?  With a potential additional saving of £180 a year, on average, by removing IPT from telematics car insurance, surely this exemption would help not just the insured but also the insurer make a saving for each telematics-based policy sold.

It’s not just young or new drivers who would stand to save from the IPT exemption on telematics car insurance, older drivers could make savings too.  Many car insurance providers are now starting to broaden their telematics offerings to the older driver in more creative ways that was has been traditionally seen.  For example, Redtail Telematics’ customer By Miles offers pay-as-you-drive policies where customers pay per mile and only use distance driven – that means no driver scoring or curfews as has been the case with the young/new driver offerings of old.

If you then consider the other potential benefits of using telematics, such as stolen vehicle recovery, battery health monitoring, efficient driving analysis and many others, surely the IPT exemption just makes sense if we want to promote and encourage the importance and use of telematics in car insurance.

What’s your view on this?  Do you agree that it’s a good idea?  Maybe you have some major concerns that you feel should be considered before the suggestion is taken seriously?  Let us know!


Munich, DE (29-30th Oct 2019)

The most innovative minds in connected cars, mobility & autonomous vehicles joined together for two days of in-depth insights, disruptive tech and unmissable networking. Trusted by industry leaders for the past 16 years.