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A New Frontier: Wearables

Octo is ready to provide the advantages of wearable devices to Insurance Telematics

Since its appearance at the turn of the century, insurance telematics has deeply transformed the auto vehicle insurance market, providing benefits and advantages both to drivers and the insurance industry.

One category of drivers that has often been mentioned in relation to the advantages and allures of insurance telematics is that composed by younger tech-savvy drivers, millennials born in a digital world and other early adopters, who are eager to take their new technological environment out onto the road.

According to a PwC Report entitled The Wearable Future, 50% of millennials are expected to purchase wearable fitness bands next year and 23-40% are expected to experiment with other wearable devices.

These are the drivers spearheading the brave new world of wearable devices, including not only increasingly popular devices such as smart watches or the long-promised Google Glasses, but also a myriad other forms of miniaturised devices that can be worn, sewn into clothing or even implanted under skin.

Wearables, as they are commonly called, record a vast trove of information (including audio and video) on drivers and their surrounding environments that can be extremely useful for insurance purposes.

And the insurance industry is ready.

A survey conducted in 2014 by Strategy Meets Action, a Boston-based insurance industry consulting firm, found that ca. 3 % of insurers already employ wearable devices, a further 3% are testing wearables and 22% are developing insurance schemes integrating information provided by wearable devices.

In another survey, conducted by Accenture in nine countries, responses show that 63% of insurance executives believe that this new form of technology will be embraced by the industry over the next two years, while 31% are already using it.

Moreover, the use of wearables is not only restricted to the mere collection of data on the driver, the driving environment and related issues (such as information for claims and UBI), but this new form of technology also opens up interesting new prospects in terms of marketing, customer engagement and added value services.

Octo Telematics is, as always, on the breaking edge of new technology. It recently presented a new smartphone app – Octo U – that allows drivers to track, score and improve their driving style and provides participating insurance partners with an accurate and detailed risk profile of the driver. Furthermore, Octo U is already compatible with popular wearable devices such as Fitbit and Jawbone.

Thus, it seems likely that wearable devices will allow drivers to grow even more connected, creating a true connected-driver ecosystem, ahead of the coming connected car revolution.

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