Telematics Programs Prompt Changes in Driving Behavior, But Not All Changes are Permanent

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A new study from the Insurance Research Council finds that most drivers change behavior while participating in telematics programs, but most changes are not permanent.

“Telematics programs play a beneficial role in promoting safe driving and reducing the frequency of auto accidents and associated costs. There are opportunities for insurers to do even better by offering suggestions and strategies drivers can use to make the positive changes permanent.”

According to a new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 80 percent of drivers change their driving behavior while participating in auto insurer-sponsored telematics programs, but not all of the changes are permanent. After participating in a program, 42 percent of those who made changes say that they now drive “pretty much” the same way as before. Just 15 percent say the changes made are permanent, while 19 percent say they only rarely engage in their old driving habits, and 24 percent admit to occasionally reverting to old driving habits.

Insurer-sponsored telematics programs typically involve auto insurers providing participating policyholders with individualized advice and tips on how they can reduce the risk of accidents by changing how they drive. The feedback provided is based on information about actual driving behavior collected during program participation.

“These findings suggest that telematics programs play a beneficial role in promoting safe driving and reducing the frequency of auto accidents and their associated costs,” said David Corum, vice president of the IRC. “The findings also highlight an opportunity for insurers to do even better by offering suggestions and strategies drivers can use to make the positive changes permanent.”
Other issues examined in the study include:

  • Reasons for not participating in a telematics program when offered
  • Concerns about how information about driving behavior is used
  • Factors that encourage participation in telematics programs
  • The impact of participation on insurance costs
  • How drivers use their smartphones while driving

The IRC report, Auto Insurance Telematics and Smartphone Use: Consumer Survey Report, is based on an online survey of 2,099 drivers age 18 and older conducted in March 2020 by Dynata on behalf of IRC. For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact David Corum at 484-831-9046 or by email at IRC@TheInstitutes.org. Visit IRC’s website, http://www.insurance-research.org, for information about purchasing a copy of the report.

ABOUT THE IRC

The Insurance Research Council (IRC) is a division of The Institutes, the leading provider of risk management and insurance knowledge solutions. The Institutes offer professional and associate designations, including the CPCU® program, along with introductory, foundation, and leadership programs; online and continuing education courses; custom solutions; assessment tools and industry consortia.

The IRC provides timely and reliable research to all parties involved in public policy issues affecting insurance companies and their customers. The IRC does not lobby or advocate legislative positions. It is supported by leading property-casualty insurance organizations.

CPCU is a registered trademark of The Institutes. All rights reserved

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Constance Hofmann
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