When you think about insurance companies and the interactions you’ve had with them, you probably think of three things – the process of shopping for insurance, paying your monthly insurance premiums, and the few times you’ve had to file a claim.
Think about that for a second. The interactions you’ve had with your insurance company are basically limited to three processes that have pretty negative connotations. That’s especially true for filing claims. Whether it’s filing a car insurance claim after an accident, or a homeowners’ claim after a burglary or fire, or a health insurance claim after emergency surgery, insurance claims come at times when people feel the most vulnerable, upset, stressed or hopeless.
But insurance companies are working feverishly to change this.
They no longer want to be the company that you pay a bunch of money, only to contact when you’re at your lowest and most in need. Instead, they’re working to become partners with their customers – virtually walking through life with them, helping them to avoid risk and keep situations from devolving to the point where claims need to be made. And technology is one of the factors driving and enabling this change.
Utilizing mobile devices, IoT, edge computing, cloud and other technologies, insurance companies are building solutions that can identify trouble before it gets out of hand. Using these applications and platforms, they can even help identify and change risky behavior that could eventually lead to tragedy.
In fact, that’s what one car insurance company, Good2Go, is trying to do with their new partnership with mobile application, LifeSaver. The two companies just announced a partnership that will result in Good2Go customers receiving a discount for utilizing LifeSaver to help identify and combat distracted driving.
To learn more about the new partnership, why it’s an important and needed step for a car insurance provider, and how it works for the policy holder, we sat down with Ted Chen, a co-founder of LifeSaver, and John Hoey, an executive vice president at Good2Go. Here is what they had to say:
Insurance Tech Insider (ITI): How big of a problem is distracted driving for Good2Go Auto Insurance? How large of a part do mobile devices play in distracted driving?
Ted Chen: According to most [car insurance] carriers we speak to, cell phone distracted driving is their number one cause of collisions. They feel like it’s contributing at least 50 percent of all collisions, based on their skyrocketing incidents of rear-end collisions which they attribute to the one, “new kid on the block,” which is the smartphone introduced just 10 years ago.
ITI: How does LifeSaver battle distracted driving? How does the app work, and who can use it?
Ted Chen: LifeSaver is a driver safety solution for companies with employees who drive as part of their workday. We move the needle by changing the culture of looking at their phone to using the phone hands-free with voice commands.
Teaching employees how to use their phones in a safer fashion has helped our customers reduce collisions, lower their commercial auto insurance premiums, and also realize savings from the cost of self-insured collision repairs, injuries and possible litigation.
ITI: How does the driver safety discount work? How do Good2Go customers qualify for it?
Ted Chen: Any Good2Go policyholder who is interested in the five percent discount will receive a Good2Go email. To receive the discount, the policyholder can simply click the link in the email to install and use the app.
ITI: How does the company monitor to ensure that the LifeSaver app is being used effectively by the customer?
Ted Chen: If the policyholder is not using the app, his or her LifeSaver monthly score will be negatively impacted by the inactive violations that are reported. If a policyholder’s score is below a certain threshold determined by Good2Go, they will lose the 5 percent discount.
ITI: The partnership between Good2Go and LifeSaver would appear to be another example of insurance companies embracing technology to become more proactive and mitigate claims. Is this a trend that you’re seeing across the insurance industry? If so, what is facilitating or driving this trend?
Ted Chen: Insurance companies across all product lines are realizing that technology (especially in the area of IOT) can significantly help in the areas of loss control and underwriting.
The ability to capture data around the risk and use artificial intelligence to more accurately assess the risk is a concept that insurers are beginning to embrace. To that end, insuretech has become one of the most popular areas for startup and investor activity.
ITI: It seems like we’re in a transformative time for car insurance when it comes to the adoption of new insurtech solutions and innovative technologies. What does the future look like for Good2Go? What other technologies is the company exploring or analyzing to help improve customer experience, engagement or safety?
John Hoey: We see that most of our new customers now start the auto insurance process on-line rather than calling a toll-free number. And the large majority of these on-line contacts are made using a mobile phone. So, we have designed what we think is a very mobile-friendly website.
We continue to build out functionality, which we call “Manage My Policy,” that makes it easy for our policyholders to keep their auto insurance policy information current, and do it using their mobile device if they prefer.
For additional information about the partnership between Good2Go and LifeSaver, click here to read the official announcement.