In 2012 Octo Telematics celebrated its first five years of activity in Spain. Although still far from England’s position, Spain represents a case study in the application of automotive telematics technology. Davide De Sanctis, country manager of Octo Telematics Iberica, speaks to us about his Spanish experience.
What were the most important stages of this period? What role did the Spanish subsidiary play in the Group’s international development?
Probably the most important stages were: the introduction of telematics technology in Spain, which is now among the most developed countries in this field in Europe, together with Italy and England; and the creation of a Spanish and Portuguese subsidiary, which is fully capable of supporting all web projects that are being developed together with the most important industrial groups.
At the moment, what is the Company’s most important data in this country?
Since 2007 Octo has been operating in Spain with MAPFRE Group, which has led the way and continues to be our largest customer. We also work for BMW and Caixa Geral in Portugal.
Do you differentiate the services you offer, such as Pay per Use, eCall, accident reconstruction and vehicle recovery?
The goal is to try to offer a package that combines all of these services into a single solution, enabling our customers to take advantage of all the benefits that telematics can provide, in terms of both consumption policies (pay per use) as in case of accident (eCall and reconstruction), as well as for the localization, and recovery of stolen vehicles. We offer this integrated service package to 2 million members in 50 insurance companies.
What should we expect from Octo Telematics Iberia in the coming years? What are the objectives in the medium term?
Our main objective is to advise insurance companies during the assessment, planning and implementation of telematics policies by taking into consideration our group’s international experience, our valuable services platform and the experience gained in the Spain, where our team, even in times of crisis, continues to grow.
What is the real value of the use of telematics in the automotive industry?
I think we are going through a time of great changes in the world of car insurance. Sooner or later, telematics will change the game. Time depends on the willingness of companies, on the crisis, and, of course, on what we can offer to other operators like Octo Telematics. Current applications have demonstrated tangible benefits for the industry, both to the insurer and to the insured.
Where do we stand in Spain?
MAPFRE has taken on a clear and distinct commitment, by trying to protect more and more young drivers, and promoting correct driving habits. In other countries, these solutions apply to different segments of the insured, leering new and good customers. I think that the most advanced experience by whom we should be inspired is the English one.
What innovations can we expect in the future telematics industry with respect to its impact on insurance packages?
Although it is still at an early stage, telematics insurance is now a reality with over 2 million cars insured in Europe. It’s clear that there is still much to do in order to consider it as a mass market product, but the premises for future expansion are realistic.
Due to new developments, we have greatly progressed in estimating driving risks. Today we can also add to the use of traditional risk parameters the ones of risk exposure. When considering driving behaviours, our system measures both the quantitative aspects of the driving such as the mileage in regards to time, the type of road, traffic, etc. and the qualitative aspects.