837,615,001 miles and counting

December 13, 2013 Paul Stacy — Wunelli

While usage-based insurance has been around for many years, it has only really taken off recently.

That’s one of the reasons why we formed Wunelli in 2007 – to develop a vehicle telematics solution that would be financially viable and desirable to both insurers and customers.

Since then, Wunelli has invested significant time and resources into telematics research and has tracked over 837 million miles!

Over the years, our analysis and experience has enabled us to develop an understanding of what safe driving looks like and to identify seven key driving behaviours.

  1. Time of driving: As 40% of all serious and fatal accidents occur between the hours of 11pm and 6am, the use of vehicles at night is a crucial parameter, particularly for young drivers. What constitutes a late driving period can be defined by the individual insurer, but in terms of influencing driver behaviour, late driving starts at 11pm and finishes at 6am.Some insurers have implemented a shorter range, starting at 12am and finishing at 4am, as well as alerts and fines for late driving in line with the customer portfolio targeted.
  2. Road familiarity: We are all creatures of habit and bad habits tend to be difficult to break. Understanding a driver’s familiarity with a road and the types of roads they use is important to appreciate their comfort with repetitive driving.
  3. Speeding and reckless driving: Our data shows that everyone speeds! The key questions are how often and by how much. We analyse if and how often the driver speeds to determine the risk. We can also proactively tell the driver if they have not sped at all during a specific journey through SoteriaDrive.
  4. Pace and confidence: As we all know, drivers who are too slow are also a safety concern on the road, particularly on faster roads. We have also learnt that drivers who jump from lane to lane are more likely to have an accident.
  5. Driving smoothness: Our data shows that hard brakers are more likely to be involved in an accident than those who drive smoothly and more responsively. Just recently, an acquaintance admitted that his hard breaking during a traffic jam had been the cause of a minor accident.
  6. Journey length: As noted above, we are all creatures of habit. We also tend to have poor attention spans. Therefore, regular small journeys, such as those to the local supermarket, are more likely to result in an accident due to lack of attention.
  7. City drivers or road types used: In most big cities, drivers are more likely to drive during peak hours and in congestion. Driving in congestion, on roads that we know and are familiar with, is more likely to result in an accident.

Combining these criteria in various forms and aligning them to an insurer’s culture, vision and strategy will help define new growth opportunities and identify new market segments.

They also enable us to design telematics-based insurance products that focus on improving road safety and increasing the level of interaction with specific customer segments – especially as policyholders using such products review their data on a weekly basis, creating greater scope for engagement.

We also realise that, while we have now tracked over 837,615,001 miles, we are still very much at the beginning of the usage-based insurance journey. We need to continue to identify and design new driving factors, and are working on these as we speak. We hope to share them with you in the near future.

About the Author

Paul Stacy — Wunelli

Founder, IT and Innovations Director - Paul founded Wunelli in 2008 with the aim of understanding the data and technology and making usage-based insurance work for both individuals and insurance companies. Wunelli is a solutions provider offering software and data analysis services, and has become a trusted provider of driving data to a number of insurers, brokers and software providers in the UK and Australia.

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