Direct Line Group says it has saved young drivers more than £50million in car premiums in the last five years thanks to its partnership with a telematics company.
The insurer – which doesn’t feature on comparison websites – is celebrating reaching two billion driver miles with The Floow, a technology business that delivers data analytics and insights for telematics devices.
Direct Line took the total premium for all telematics (also known as blackbox) policies that have been in force and multiplied this by the average discounts applied to those policies, between June 2013 and November 2018.
Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products including well-known brands such as Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege.
Young drivers have saved over £50million in five years, according to the Direct Line Group
The Floow, a telematics company, uses data science and social science expertise to develop solutions that aim to create smarter and safer mobility for drivers.
The Sheffield-based firm collects data for every second of a car journey including where and when a journey takes place as well as how the driver behaves behind the wheel.
This information allows Direct Line Group to have a better understanding of the risk each driver represents on the road – it says this enables it to provide ‘fairer and more accurate’ premiums to customers.
Annette Fox, head of telematics at Direct Line Group, said: ‘Working with The Floow has proved to be fantastic and we are delighted to have reached such a monumental milestone of scoring two billion miles.
‘At Direct Line Group, we embrace partnerships like these as it gives us an opportunity to work with new, innovative and forward-thinking businesses.
The Direct Line Group is responsible for a number of insurers, including Direct Line
‘We know that through data we will have a much better understanding of risk which will not only enable us to offer better premiums to young drivers, but we can help educate, inform and improve road safety overall.
‘It is Direct Line Group’s ambition to be a leading telematics insurance provider and we are confident that working with The Floow, we can help drive change that will see telematics fully integrated within the UK motor market’.
Drivers also benefit from using telematics as it gives them an overview of their individual driving style as they receive a score for each journey they make.
This is based on a number of factors including their speed and how smoothly they were driving at the time.
Thousands of young drivers now have a blackbox fitted to their car to help drive down premiums.
Some, however, believe the devices to be a little ‘Big Brother,’ as they constantly monitor driver behaviour and the whereabouts of the car.
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Motorists who can show they received consistently good scores over time can benefit from lower premiums while drivers who have the worst scores can take part in a coaching programme to help improve their driving skills.
The Dynamic Driver Improvement programme aims to help drivers focus on specific ways to improve their overall score and to drive more safely through a series of phone conversations.
The optional programme was developed by a psychologist with young driver safety as a priority.
It gives motorists access to talk to a coach about the areas where they have generated the lowest score and brainstorm the ways they think they could improve.
A follow up call then goes through the scores and the impact the customers actions have had on them.
Churchill is another one of the insurance companies that the Direct Line Group looks after
For every 100 graduates from the lowest-scoring decline, driver coaching helps scores to increase by around 30 per cent, according to The Floow’s latest research in January to September 2018.
The Floow also looks to give its insights into driving behaviour to inform transport policy and regulation, road planning to counter congestion and projects that will dictate the future of driver safety and mobility.
Dr Sam Chapman, chief innovation officer and co-founder of The Floow, said: ‘We collect data every second of every day and have made huge strides in understanding and improving driver behaviour through the power of telematics.
‘These insights are making a tangible impact on driver safety, encouraging safer driving which is preventing accidents.
‘I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved by working with Direct Line Group; their reach has enabled us to bring telematics benefits to a wide audience across the UK.
‘The partnership means there are more people using telematics who want to be better drivers and who could benefit from lower premiums and a safer environment on the roads’.
Separate research from Admiral, revealed the problems that motorists under the age of 25 face, has also reiterated how telematics can help young drivers obtain cheaper insurance.
Even though it is common knowledge that the younger you are, the more costly insurance is likely to be, the study found the average premium a 17-year-old is likely to face will be around a whopping 67 per cent more expensive than a 24-year-old.
The insurer suggested that young drivers get a black box fitted to encourage them to show they are responsible.
If they don’t speed or brake harshly and avoid driving late at night, their car insurance could be significantly reduced the following year.
Admiral also suggested that additional changes, such as graduated licencing, whereby drivers need six months experience before driving at night or having peers in the car, could help reduce premiums even further.
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