Insurance-Canada.ca conducted an on-line poll on the subject of telematics in insurance. While not scientific, the results open a window onto the thinking of insurance practitioners and suppliers in Canada.
The results generally support trends we have reported on in this space. There is clear interest in telematics by a cross section of the industry and most believe that Telematics is being used in Canada for insurance now or will be used soon. And, respondents feel that there are several areas that Telematics will impact for insurance. One poll result, however, is an open question. We’ll get to that.
The composition of the respondents reflects the components of the industry. One third of respondents were from insurance companies , another third represented brokers or MGAs, the balance were suppliers, service providers, and others.
In regard to insurance use, the majority of respondents – 75% – believe that telematics is already being used or is very close on the horizon.
Few respondents think that technology is a barrier to implementation. The largest segment believe that customer acceptance is the major impediment followed by carrier appetite/initiative.
The majority felt that telematics driven usage-based insurance or pay-as-you-drive schemes (primarily implemented in personal lines insurance) offered the greatest value for insurance. Interestingly, almost one third of respondents said risk management and asset tracking (generally, elements in commercial lines insurance) as well as education offered the most value.
As we said at the beginning, one result is something of an enigma. Half of the respondents indicated that they were not clear what telematics is, and another 10% did not know the uses of telematics in insurance. However, when these two groups were filtered out, there were no changes in the ordering of the results for the other questions.
There are any number of explanations. We won’t speculate here, because there’s a better place to get answers to this and other questions relating to insurance and telematics. There is a panel of experts on telematics and insurance that will be presenting at the upcoming Insurance-Canada Technology Conference March 5th. We’re looking forward to their input on this and other questions. And we hope you’ll join us in getting answers.