Distracted driving is becoming a bigger problem than ever before. It’s a menace that has grown steadily as the public have become more reliant on their smartphones. Smartphone addiction is a leading cause of distracted driving, and it’s costing more than just higher premiums.
Some people simply struggle to remain focused through no fault of their own. The problem is that becoming distracted behind the wheel can have fatal consequences – and not just for the person who’s distracted.
Motor insurance companies have a responsibility to their customers. Not only do they need to be there in the wake of an accident, to offer financial and legal support – but they need to play an increasingly active role in the prevention of accidents.
This will allow insurers to keep their prices as low as can be, maintain their profitability, but above all; keep their customers safe. Insurers need to be there when accidents happen. But they also have a duty in making sure they are kept to a minimum.
Tackling Distracted Driving
Insurers can do this by engaging more with their customers, and not just when it comes to renewal time. They need to take steps to help their customers stay safe on the roads, through advice and practical support.
When a danger like distracted driving grows in prominence, they can help raise awareness and put strategies in place to reduce the risk. Ultimately this benefits everyone.
Technology can help them in this endeavour too, especially telematics. The software that enables insurers and policyholders to work together to gain a greater understanding of danger and how to combat it.
There’s lots of telematics technology on the market today, but when it comes to tackling distracted driving Bluesona are in the lead. Their LoopMatic product is an ideal solution for insurers aiming to help their customers overcome distraction when behind the wheel.
How Does LoopMatics Tackle Distracted Driving?
LoopMatics offers all of the benefits associated with telematics technology, but what makes it really shine is its distracted driving prevention measures. As LoopMatics works through an in-car device and a mobile application, the software knows when the user is driving and engaging with their smartphone at the same time.
Fighting the urge to reach for a smartphone is difficult for those suffering from smartphone addiction. But many accept they need to overcome this problem, as not doing so could lead to an accident.
Naturally, LoopMatics requires user cooperation and consent, like all telematics technology does. But those who willingly offer this will reap the rewards in time. Not just through their increased safety, but through savings in their insurance premium too.
How It Works
LoopMatics utilises an infraction system, if a user glances at their smartphone to read a text message while driving, they will earn a minor infraction for taking their eyes off the road. The user will have needed to pick up their phone or reach across to tap the screen in order to do this. Either way, the software will record this engagement and mark the user down for it.
If however, the user picks up their phone and replies to a text message while driving, then they will earn a major infraction. Not only have they taken a dangerous risk, they’ve also broken the law. While the software will not report them to the authorities for such an act, it will record it in its log files.
The software will later provide a report for the user, advising them what they did well and what they did wrong. Including the infractions. It will then offer some practical tips on what the user can do to avoid making the mistake again. For example, the software will offer to mute and not display notifications while the user is driving in future journeys.
The user can refuse this help, or tailor it to suit their needs. For example, the customer will earn no infractions if they receive a phone call and answer it through their car’s hands-free system. But text messages or social media notifications can still be paused while driving.
How This Helps Insurers
Insurers will also have access to this data, and customers will know this. They will also know that their infractions can influence their insurance premium in the long term. Something that will motivate them to become less distracted while driving.
More and more customers are realising that going with an insurance company who offers LoopMatics ultimately benefits their wallets, not to mention their road safety. They therefore factor this in when shopping for a new premium.
Insurers would do well to take advantage of this too, as investing in LoopMatics technology not only attracts new customers – It attracts the right customers. Those who want to drive responsibly and are prepared to accept your help in doing so.
Telematics: Using Technology To Offer Better Premiums To Your Customers Whilst Keeping You Profitable
All insurance companies want to offer the lowest premiums. After all, offering low prices helps them attract more customers and stay ahead of the competition. But it’s not that simple.
Lowering their prices too much risks driving down profits, which hurts the company in the long run. Putting their business into financial difficulty helps nobody. Employees risk losing their jobs, and they can no longer offer competitive rates to policyholders.
Instead, they aim to strike a careful balance between value for money and growth. Growth allows them to create more jobs, but increased profitability means they can justify keeping prices low too.
Why Driving Safely Is So Important
In an ideal world, all road users would drive as safely as possible. They’d never speed, take risks, or make mistakes. But that’s simply not realistic; accidents happen, and when they do it drives up premiums. Insurers need their customers to understand that reckless driving is one of the things that force them to raise their prices. Road users need to play their part.
Many accidents are avoidable, and drivers who maintain a cautious and safe driving style tend to have less of them. This means safer driving is within both the interest of the insurer and the customer. Therefore, making the roads a safer place needs to be a team effort.
But how can insurance companies help their customers to become safer drivers?
Investing in telematics technology may be the answer. This hardware/software keeps track of your customer’s driving habits, be they good or bad. The software advises customers how they could have made their journey safer through practical tips, backed up by hard data.
Drivers who are committed to improving their road safety will take this advice on board and strive to improve. But as telematics technology is offered through their insurance company, customers have another significant motivator – reduced premiums.
They will be well aware that their driving habits are scrutinised by the very people who set their annual premiums. Therefore, they’ll be keen to drive safely to pay less when their premium is up for renewal.
Some customers will be uncomfortable with being monitored this way, so they will resist telematics technology. But savvy customers will see the benefit to them. For the first time, they have more control over what they pay and can influence it through their own actions.
Their safe driving habits will be backed up by demonstrable data. They can point to this and make their case for a lower premium. This way, safe drivers earn the rewards they deserve.
As insurers, we can rest easy in the knowledge that such customers are less of a risk and grant them what they deserve.
We can gladly offer them lower premiums as we trust the data the technology has provided. Of course, accidents can still happen. But with these drivers, the likelihood of them is significantly reduced. It offers us a fantastic opportunity to treat customers fairly, honestly, and based on their history as a safe driver.
The benefits don’t end there though. Other drivers will recognise the rewards associated with telematics technology, or at least with the insurers that offer it. They will
want to join such companies and will be prepared to improve their driving just to save money.
Careful drivers will be drawn by the possibility of lower premiums, while other motorists will seek to become safer drivers to also take advantage too. Ultimately this technology will attract a greater number of conscientious customers, those who are keen to drive safer and work with an insurer who helps them do so.
While we don’t expect these changes to happen overnight but introducing and offering telematics technology to your customers now will begin this process. Then through technology, your insurance company can start to offer lower premiums, but enough of them to remain profitable all year round.
Where Do I Start?
The technology helps customers become aware of the things distracting them, then works proactively to eliminate these threats to their safety. But it also offers so much more.
Telematics offers a practical way for customers and insurers to work together to make the roads a safer environment. And all make savings at the same time.
Mobile telematics refers to a range of products that keep track of the driver’s data. This is recorded in an effort to identify trends that can then be turned into practical advice to encourage safer driving.
Motor insurance companies usually offer it through expert third-party organisations that supply them. This helps insurers provide more accurate premiums and essentially reward good drivers through monetary savings. Which along with improved safety, is the other main benefit of installing mobile telematics.
Not only does mobile telematics enable safe drivers to save money on their car insurance, but it also helps all motorists develop their skills and awareness behind the wheel. The software shows their insurance provider how much they are improving, allowing them to apply for a better deal over time.
How Mobile Telematics Works
Mobile telematics is used through a plug-in car device connected to software installed on a smartphone via an app. This software monitors the driver’s behaviour, be it their everyday driving habits or their phone usage while they drive. So, if they decide to read a text message, the app will know.
The app tracks infringements such as texting behind the wheel and offers some practical methods to avoid this. Reading a text message as they drive would represent one infraction but replying would represent a bigger one – as this takes far more engagement and represents a more significant distraction.
The software would alert the driver to their infraction and offer support to encourage them not to do it again. For example, the app can silence all notifications automatically when driving starts to resist future temptation of distraction.
The software also provides feedback after each journey, giving users a score. The app then provides insight into what they did well and where they could do better. The goal is to help them become safer drivers and save money by doing so.
As mobile telematics is provided through the insurance company, they too will have access to this data, and it will influence their coverage – the cost of it in particular. Of course, drivers who want to continue doing things like texting behind the wheel will avoid such insurance companies and resist innovations like this.
But those who are more open to mobile telematics will ultimately reap the rewards. Some people are naturally safe drivers, and they will benefit the most from this technology. They will finally earn the insurance premiums they’ve always wanted and be able to back up why they deserve the lowest prices.
Bluesona’s aim is simple; we want to help reduce distracted driving. In doing so, we hope to make the roads a safer place and help motorists continuously polish their skills.
Of course, increased safety is its own reward, but Bluesona’s products finally offer safe drivers the best path to savings on their insurance premiums. But arguably more importantly, it will help drivers improve keeping themselves, their families and other road users safe.
The good news is using their software/products is free to customers. All they need to do is go with an insurance company that offers the Bluesona product range. Bluesona get paid by the insurers, not through the insurer’s customers.
More and more insurance companies are embracing mobile telematics, and Bluesona is leading the charge in the UK and Ireland. If you’d like to improve your driving skills, improve your road safety, and save money simultaneously, we’d highly recommend their telematics technology.
Every good insurance company knows the key to success is making sure their customers are safe and road accidents are kept to a minimum. This way they can continue to offer the best coverage for the most affordable price.
However, they need their customers to also play their part, and drive as safely as they can. Many customers are already incredibly careful drivers, but others may need our support in improving their skills.
Here are five ways we can help them achieve this:
1. Stress the importance of obeying the law
Laws exist for a reason. Even if your customers disagree with some of them, laws still must be obeyed. Not following them does nothing to help your customers from a safety or financial point of view.
The more laws they break, they are at more risk of having an accident. Make customers aware of the consequences if they are found to be responsible for an accident. Especially if they were breaking the law when it happened.
It benefits them and you for them to understand this. Accidents happen, but they can be minimised by obeying the law.
2. Encourage regular car maintenance
A clean and well-maintained car is a safer car. Wear and tear can be kept to a minimum, and problems can be spotted and resolved before becoming a danger.
The longer people have a car, the less pride they tend to take in it. This means everything except legally mandatory maintenance, like MOT and servicing, often falls by the wayside.
Always encourage customers to keep their cars clean and maintained. Ultimately this will make their vehicle safer to drive, helping keep their premiums down. That is what they care about.
3. Offer regular tips on current trends
As a motor insurance company, you’ll naturally keep up to date on current trends and threats to road safety. Make an effort to inform your customers of this information.
Consider creating and advertising an informative blog or running text and email campaigns geared around road safety. You could even create monthly questionnaires about these topics and reward participation through discounts or prizes.
This will encourage engagement and make sure your customers go out of their way to learn information that will keep them safe. People love chasing a bargain, so help them do so in an educational way.
You can also share real data with them. This way your customers can see that your efforts are motivated by a genuine desire to keep them safe rather than just another marketing ploy.
4. Incentivise your customers
Many customers will roll their eyes at or ignore data and other efforts to encourage them to drive safely. Many will just go back to doing what they always do and resist your methods.
But incentivising your customers through monetary gain (or savings) is always a reliable motivator. Even if your customers don’t seem to value their own safety, appealing to their wallets may get their attention more.
Always try to incentivise anything you do that is customer-facing. Human beings are often guided by a ‘what’s in it for me?’ approach, so make sure there is something in it for them.
Also reward customer loyalty and safe driving. Make these customers know they are valued and that they are your best drivers. If the safest drivers are treated like VIPs and have access to the best premiums, more customers will drive more carefully to attain these same rewards.
5. Offer the latest innovations
Look to technology and the latest trends when adjusting your products. Right now, distracted driving is a major threat to road safety. Smartphone addiction while driving is a legitimate killer, but help is available.
Consider offering telematics technology to your customers, such as Bluesona’s LoopMatics software.
The technology helps drivers overcome distractions behind the wheel and aims to improve their skills with each journey. This d1dddata can be viewed by them on a daily basis, as well as being available to you as their insurer. The safest drivers can then use this information to justify why they deserve the best premiums.
In time other customers will also want to earn similar rewards, so your customers who have LoopMatics technology installed (in their car and phone) will work hard to become safer drivers. In doing so, reducing their risk of having an accident. Also reduces your risk as an insurer greatly.
Installing this technology benefits both the driver and insurer in the long run and represents a worthwhile investment.
Bluesona Brings Telematics Plug from Bosch into the Loop
Bluesona, the Northern Ireland based company, is delighted to announce its strategic partnership with Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions. Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions is a fully owned subsidiary from Robert Bosch GmbH and is a globally leading sensor-device provider. The combination of Bluesona’s innovative distracted driving App ‘Loop’ and Bosch’s Telematics Plug will provide insurance companies with a comprehensive data-driven solution, ‘LoopMatics©’. It will enable them to improve their risk management, provide more tailored and cost effective policies and services to their customers and facilitate their move to Usage Based Insurance (UBI). As a result it will help to improve road safety.
Mel Morrison, Bluesona CEO said, “This partnership with Bosch is testimony to the quality of our products and technology, the benefits they can deliver to insurance companies and to safer driving generally. Our combined offering will provide the most comprehensive vehicle telematics solution currently available and the only one that solves the problem of distracted driving caused by mobile device usage.
“It is great to work together with Bluesona within telematics to create value for insurance companies and their customers. The integration of our Telematics Plug was a great milestone to initiate successful future projects.”
Dietrich Brunner, Global Sales Manager Insurance Industry
Bluesona was formed to provide a smart software solution to the major and growing problem of distracted driving caused by mobile device usage. This is achieved via our Loop Product which is a combination of an easy to use App and our unique Smart Charger. More recently, we have introduced LoopMatics which provides detailed information on driving behaviour and style as well as on all journeys. This detailed data is combined with the distracted driving data and is made available to the insurance companies via a tailored Dashboard for each customer.
Loop and LoopMatics can be integrated with other specialist telematics products as well as to other insurance company systems. https://bluesona.co.uk/
About Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions
Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions is a fully owned subsidiary from Robert Bosch GmbH and is a globally leading sensor-device provider. They develop and market innovative connected devices and tailor-made solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and telematics. Their competencies in electronics, sensor technology and software enable new business models for global markets.
More information can be found on their homepage: https://www.bosch-connectivity.com/
In recent years, the growing field of telematics has been at the forefront of a collective response to address the motor casualty rates especially among young drivers. Recent research has also confirmed in a bid to fight dangers while driving, collisions, and fatality rates that telematics is here to stay.
Whilst inexperience and speed are factors to take into consideration in these rates, distracted driving through in-vehicular phone usage is a growing problem for not only young people but all age demographics. The IAM RoadSmart Driving Safety Culture Survey 2019 cites that 70% of UK motorists believe this is a bigger problem than the previous year.
This graph below confirms that telematics has had a positive impact on the casualty rates of young people, an encouraging prediction for more mature drivers.
Source: Lexus Nexus
Our smartphone-based solution Loop protects people, not just cars and Bluesona’s connected technology is founded upon an ideological shift from repair to prevention. We take aim at distracted driving, the number one cause of road accidents. we encourage habitual attentiveness and a change in road behaviour for the safety of everyone.
Insurers can observe vehicles in real-time to track journeys, monitor road behaviour and understand how drivers use their vehicles with our LoopMatics telematics solution.
The Global Telematics Solutions Market Analysis Report 2020 states that the global telematics solutions market is expected to reach £62.03 billion by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 16.9% from 2018 to 2026.
With 31.9 million licenced cars on the road in GB, 1.1 million in Northern Ireland and 2 million in Ireland there is a huge opportunity for the insurance industry to develop prepositions to take advantage of this cutting-edge telematics technology.
Insurers can capitalise on our powerful LoopMatics technology to connect with their clients, offer a solution to provide a proactive, preventative approach and make a real difference to the lives of their insureds.
Getting behind the wheel drivers are faced with many potential distractions that can increase their risk of collision. With the increase in mobile phone ownership over recent years for all age demographics, its usage when driving for young drivers who are often inexperienced drivers already, all too often increases the risk of collision even more dramatically. The RAC’s Report on Motoring has highlighted the risk of distracted driving on our roads. The response from the 14 million motor owners surveyed shows their concern over handheld mobile phone usage as a significant distraction danger.
Source: RAC Report on Motoring 2019
Almost 10 million drivers admit that they make and received calls when driving on a handheld phone and alarmingly the rate for young drivers between the ages of 17-24 is 51% for those who make or receive calls in this manner at least occasionally. According to the RAC, motorists are concerned by incoming calls and notification distractions.
Source: RAC Report on Motoring 2019
The survey also highlights that the activities which cause even more risk due to even greater distraction is also a cause for concern with young drivers. Bluesona develops software and hardware that create a safer driving environment. Loop is a one of a kind solution to prevent distraction driving! Using a combination of advanced software systems as well as custom engineered patented smart charger to detect and deter distraction driving. Our “lock down” feature silences all notifications while the driver is in transit, allowing them to concentrate on their journey.
A new device designed by Bluesona company reduce fatalities on Ireland’s roads while also making it easier for young people to get insurance.
According to the Road Safety Authority, driver distraction accounts for up to a third of all road fatalities. And mobile phone use makes motorists four times more likely to crash.
But the ‘Loop’, a small piece of equipment designed by Bluesona, could change all that.
The brainchild of entrepreneurs Oliver Ferris, Denis Bourne and Mel Morrison, the Loop locks down all incoming calls and notifications to mobile phones, allowing the driver to give their full attention to the road in front of them. If the driver does pick up with their mobile device, the Loop captures the information with location, date, time and speed that the interaction took place.
The ultimate benefit is a reduction in crashes. But there is also a financial incentive, particularly for young drivers. The information collated by the Loop can be requested by insurance companies when considering quotes. If the feedback they receive from Bluesona is positive, it could lead to a discount in the cost of insurance.
The Loop was unveiled at the launch of the Garage Project on Tuesday night. An off-shoot of the Pro Social course, Garage is an innovative new project aimed at giving young people hands-on experience of a car before they get behind the wheel.
Co-designer of the Loop, Oliver Ferris, said Bluesona’s technology was about encouraging driver safety while also helping young people secure an insurance policy they can afford.
Mr Ferris said, “It is about driver awareness. Using the Loop, drivers can see that they used their phone and that it is an issue. The insurance company can then request the information from us and if they see you have not used your mobile device then they can reduce the premium. But if they see constant use they can increase the price or cut their cover altogether.”
Bluesona is in advanced talks with one of Ireland’s big insurance companies about factoring the Loop into their business. It will be available through insurers who will provide users with all the details they need.
Donegal County Council’s Road Safety Officer Brian O’Donnell said he was firmly behind the new technology.
Describing it as a ‘no brainer’, Mr O’Donnell said, “We have tried a number of things over the years, devices like a wallet that you put your phone in and it shuts off your signal. But this device will help make our roads distraction-free if people adopt the idea properly.
“If we can get it rolled out as part of an insurance package and young people buy into it to the point where it leads to cheaper insurance for them, then to me it is a no brainer.
“Driver distraction is a major problem and if this device helps overcome that distraction then I am behind it,” Mr O’Donnell added.
Author: Donegal News
Downpatrick-based software company Bluesona has received a six-figure investment to further develop its product offering.
The company has developed technology designed to reduce mobile phone usage while driving. The system – called Loop – was created by chief executive Mel Morrison when his daughter was learning to drive.
The funding has been secured from Co-Fund II and the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN). The latter is a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest NI dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment.
Morrison said: “We’ve spent 18 months researching and developing a product that we feel is superior to what is already on the market.
“Our app provides real time data to insurance companies and warns users when they try to use their phone.
“We’re aiming to double our staff numbers early next year and we’re in discussions with a number of insurance companies across the UK and US. The long-term goal is to reduce road traffic collisions but also to reduce consumers’ insurance premiums.”
Morrison hopes to start a new funding round next year to raise £1m to help take the brand worldwide.
Claudine Owens, HBAN business angel forum manager, added: “Bluesona is an innovative, forward-thinking business that is tackling one of the biggest issues of road safety.
“The HBAN Forum events create new opportunities for companies like this to gain investment and access to a pool of expertise that can greatly benefit their business.”
Author: Matthew Ord, Senior Digital Staff Writer, Insider Media Ltd