UBI is gaining momentum with wider acceptance of  telematics data
29 Aug / Author: SK Tirumala

UBI is gaining momentum with wider acceptance of
telematics data

Mobile devices are revolutionizing how telematics data is captured

The humble beginnings of UBI

About a decade ago, a handful of traditional insurance companies began to innovate and offer usage-based insurance (UBI) programs in the U.S. These programs offered mileage-linked discounts by utilizing a combination of GPS technology and cellular systems that tracked miles driven. The next evolution was to directly tap into the vehicle’s OBD port and get more reliable trip data along with vehicle diagnostics that provided a larger data set to redefine appetite and enhance products. Fast forward to now, UBI programs have started to rely heavily on telematics solutions that have expanded their data capture including reporting on real-time driving habits (behavioral telematics) of policyholders.

To comprehensively assess a risk, insurers can now count on cost-effective solutions that capture not just the mechanical metrics, but also the data related to exposures caused by individual driving habits like phone distractions, speeding, unsafe turns, etc. Telematics-enabled UBI allows underwriters and analysts to collect this ever-increasing amount of real-time driving information and come up with tailor-made insurance products and competitive pricing models for their target markets. This led to the growth of several UBI products such as Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD), Pay-How-You-Drive (PHYD), and so on.

Embrace Telematics-led revolution across the value chain

Telematics data was ignored from the underwriting standpoint at first due to the lack of conclusive evidence of a correlation between driving behavior and loss ratios (or profitability), based on which pricing decisions could be made. Data then was not dependable because user adoption was poor, technology was new, and the information gathered was insufficient. It is no longer the case. The rapid evolution of technology, advanced telematics solutions, and a greater appetite of the end user to share their data, has opened doors to an incredible amount of information being available that can be converted into actionable business strategies. Data scientists have uncovered new conclusive evidence that improvement in driving habits does impact the bottom line, and that it should be a part of the overall risk assessment.

Carriers today are under more pressure to reinvent insurance products that meet the changing needs of consumers while trying to remain profitable and competitive. Timing is perfect! Solutions based on telematics technology are now delivering deeper insights into risks, with behavioral trends, new scores, and predictive indicators that allow pricing of policies to suit and fit individual needs at competitive premiums. Mobile device-based telematics is gaining a huge momentum as this platform solves the chronic adoption issues, in addition to serving as a channel to advance a digital transformation agenda.

Even during the claims adjudication process, telematics data is playing a major role in claims settlement with greater efficiency, without risking customer satisfaction and loyalty. Innovation is at its peak with a variety of solutions and methods that can capture relevant data for loss event analysis.

The UBI predictions

America is the largest auto insurance market in the world with currently 5 million UBI policies in force. According to a report from IHS Automotive, close to 12 million consumers globally subscribed to UBI and this is expected to grow to 142 million globally by 2023. A Tower Watson survey shows that more than 88% of Millennials are interested in taking out a UBI policy, versus 74% among all other age groups, making it a more popular product among the growing younger generation.

Drive success from UBI through accurate Underwriting

Ride the UBI wave to stay relevant

The underwriting side was typically the entry point for telematics programs. Telematics offers a broad set of opportunities to insurers to identify specific opportunities or improve their existing processes. Telematics creates value for the insurance business in the following five areas: Risk selection, Risk-based pricing, Value-added services, Loss control, Loyalty and driving behavior improvement programs.

In the years to come, underwriters of personal and commercial auto lines will face an increasing pressure to come up with products that match the pace of technology advancements. As the telematics-based UBI revolution evolves, insurance carriers that still want to stick with non-UBI products may face problems arising from poor underwriting performance, inefficient administration and higher chances of fraudulent claims. This will subsequently lead to slow decision-making processes, which affect customer service and sustainability, resulting in poor customer retention.

Ride the Digital wave at the Connected Car Insurance USA 2017

Harness the power of data

Underwriters who are already utilizing real-time driving data, Big Data and IoT to design UBI products, have only seen the tip of the iceberg. There is immense potential in data to enable revolutionary auto insurance products of the future. However, it has been projected that only 36% of insurers may use UBI by 2020. To stay ahead of the game, it is crucial that underwriters leverage data to create products which are profitable to the insurer and their consumers.

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SK Tirumala

SriKrishna “SK” Tirumala

CEO & Co-Founder


Over the last 24+ years, SK has been at the forefront of delivering technology solutions in Property & Casualty. For the last few years, he has been spearheading the development of risk management solutions at Xemplar Insights, LLC. As the head of the business, SK passionately leads R&D and product engineering teams to advance the Xemplar product portfolio. He is continuously associated with customers, prospects and industry partners in solving their chronic business issues with cutting-edge technology.

Xemplar Solutions Suite

Xemplar Auto
Personal Auto insurers and Agents can harness the power of this configurable digital platform to advance their digital strategy, while simultaneously increasing customer engagement. Platform provides the capability to gather new risk data to develop new insurance products and services.

Xemplar Fleet
Commercial Auto insurers and MGAs can discover the true potential of data to explore new opportunities for risk management and enhanced service for their commercial accounts, who in turn can implement additional safety controls within their fleet to lower the risk exposures.

Xemplar Drive - Business
Commercial businesses operating a fleet of vehicles can now monitor the driving habits of their drivers - to reduce risks of drivers, vehicles and the goods within. This is a direct-to-business telematics solution can help organizations improve their bottom-line.

Xemplar Drive – Family
Parents can now leverage the same technology to help coach young drivers in the family, using this direct-to-consumer offering for a low-monthly fees, with no long-term commitments.

About Xemplar Insights

Our journey began in early 2015 while experimenting with smartphone technology to analyze motion patterns that led us to develop an innovative and economical solution for risk management and customer engagement. By the summer of 2016, we released the first generation product for a market test with beta customers. Based on the feedback, new ideas and more research, we launched the second generation solutions in April 2017.

Xemplar solutions are designed to provide simple yet powerful features - to curb unsafe driving habits and offer auto insurers with new data to analyze the health of the book and to predict losses with real evidence of risks taken by the insured. Our solutions are highly configurable and customizable to suit every Insurance carrier’s appetite and objectives. It is economically priced to deliver high-value at low cost. With teams located in the United States and India, Xemplar solutions can support insurers and commercial businesses of any size, to transform how they monitor manage driving related risks.