1st September 2015

CARROT MOVES INTO MASS MARKET TELEMATICS WITH LAUNCH OF ‘BETTER DRIVER’ INSURANCE

Carrot, the telematics insurance company for young drivers, is launching the UK’s first mass-market, full underwriting-based motor insurance that is entirely built around a unique smartphone app. ‘Better Driver,’ by Carrot, uses Bluetooth to enable robust, accurate journey scoring. The app also provides weekly rewards to encourage positive driving behaviour.

According to Nick Corrie, MD of Carrot’s parent company Trakglobal, which designed and built the technology, “Better Driver is for the 85%1 of drivers who feel they pay for other drivers’ mistakes. Better driver proves they really are better drivers.”

Nick said: “Our extensive experience with Carrot’s product for newly-qualified drivers shows that a blend of intelligent black-box technology, meaningful feedback and attractive rewards improve driver behaviour, reduce accident frequency and keep premiums lower for younger drivers.”

He added: “The same principles can be applied to mass-market telematics, but using smartphone technology. Our mass-market usage-based insurance (UBI) app is a cost effective way to deliver the benefits of telematics technology to more experienced drivers where premiums average £372. The app is 85% cheaper than a traditional telematics unit, which hugely increases the addressable market, but with the additional advantage that the data generated for risk management is also robust and actionable.”

The technology for the app has been designed and built by Trak Global, which launched the Carrot brand in 2012.

Nick said: “There have been many false dawns, but the fact is that until now the benefits of telematics for car insurance have largely been confined to young drivers. Our technology gives all drivers the chance to benefit, simply because costs are so much lower and the data is robust and reliable.”

“Telematics isn’t limited to the pricing of motor insurance or the scoring of journeys.  Our philosophy is to take a more customer- centred approach, engaging the customer in their data and creating a more rewarding experience; that way we can make more effective use of data to enhance customers’ experiences and at the same time deliver exceptional underwriting performance for insurers.”

Nick explained that, unlike other smartphone-based insurance apps, which generally give a snapshot of driving behaviour and are deployed on a ‘try-before-you-buy’ basis, Better Driver records and scores driver behaviour throughout the policy year, providing meaningful feedback to the customer and insurer.  Better Drivers can also earn weekly treats – such as free pizzas and music downloads – if they drive well.

He said that the app effectively turns the customer’s smartphone into a telematics box automatically – without any intervention from the customer – while they are driving and gathers exactly the same driving data on speeding, cornering, braking and acceleration as a box. The phone can still be used at the same time for making calls, streaming music or using other apps such as for navigation. It has also been designed and thoroughly tested to ensure data and battery usage is very low.

Any driver with two or more years’ driving experience is eligible, as long as they own a smartphone and have Bluetooth fitted in their vehicle.  Drivers without fitted Bluetooth in their vehicles will be given an unobtrusive ‘Bluetooth beacon’ to place on their windscreen so they can use Better Driver, too.

Better Driver by Carrot goes live on the aggregators in late October and will be supported by a panel of capacity providers, leading with Zurich Insurance at launch.