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DT launches usage-based insurance offer

These systems, although they've been around in one form or another for several years, are pegged as a big M2M growth area for the next year or two. Essentially, they monitor driver behaviour and, if the driving is good, enable drivers to prove lower risk profiles. That can mean lower premiums.

A take-off in Europe is expected this year because of Europe-wide legislation forbidding sex discrimination on driver policy-setting. As sex is actually a very reliable risk factor (from an insurer's point of view) there is now a scramble to find other measures and techniques to compensate - UBI with driving quality measurement may prove to be one good way forward.

The DT/DriveFactor turnkey system will be provided to insurers at a fixed monthly rate and it involves, at the driver's end, a module which senses movement (acceleration, deceleration) has a GPS capability, cellular comms and links into the car's standard diagnostic port (at least most cars from about 2001 onwards).

Driving information is collected after each journey and sent back to the DriveFactor's servers. DriveFactor interprets it for the insurance company.

The companies are majoring on ease of deployment as their USP in an increasingly competitive market. Motorists fix the device to their car's 16-pin OBD-II diagnostic connector themselves and they can view their personal data and evaluation on web and mobile portals.

"That makes individually reduced insurance premiums transparent and comprehensible," says the press release. "Drivers also receive feedback on their driving that motivates them to drive safely."

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