The staff here at the Insurance Tech Insider is made up of a bunch of pretty huge movie buffs. And we especially love flicks from what we consider the “golden age” of movie making – the 80s and 90s.
I mean, come on. Those are the decades that gave us some of the greatest pieces of art ever recorded on film – Die Hard, Predator, Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, the ORIGINAL Jurassic Park, Shawshank Redemption.
We may not have had moody Batman or Lego movies back then, but those were the good days – when a film could be a standalone movie and not part of a four-episode franchise designed to milk the maximum amount of money out of viewing audiences.
And if there’s one movie from the 80s and 90s that really stands out for us as an instant classic, it’s the Tom Cruise mega-hit, Top Gun. Not only was the movie amazingly entertaining, but the soundtrack and dialogue are still reverberating across popular culture today. For example:
My personal favorite quote from Top Gun? It’s easily the most quintessentially American thing any person has ever uttered, “I feel the need…the need for SPEED.”
Why is that quintessentially American? Because, although we may not all get to buzz around in fighter jets, we do sure love a good thrill ride. And we love to get those thrill rides in fast cars. Unfortunately, fast cars are not the favorite of the insurance industry, which often has to pay to repair the damage we do with them.
So, in the spirit of Maverick and Goose – and of America – let’s focus this week’s Insurance News Roundup on cars and THE NEED FOR SPEED. WOO!
Young drivers: The technologies that cut insurance bills
If there’s one group of drivers that really likes to put the pedal to the metal, it’s clearly young drivers. There’s nothing like the freedom of a new driver’s license and a really old, crappy car to make you want to fly down an open highway.
Although it can be expensive to insure yourself if you’re a young person (or to pay to ensure your newly driving child), there could be some relief on the horizon thanks to new technologies. In this article, the BBC looks at some of the advancements in automobiles and insurtech that are making it easier to track drivers, identify their driving habits/patterns and mitigate claims.
One of the technologies they profile are telematics – or “blackboxes” – that make it possible for insurance companies to track your driving habits. This may sound a bit “big brother,” but it can help safer drivers save some money. They also look at dash cams, which can help mitigate claims by showing who – in an accident – was at fault.
One technology they don’t cover is self-driving cars – most likely because young folks can’t afford them. But, there are some serious safety benefits of cars that drive themselves (hmmm…feels like a segue…)
It begins: U.K. insurance company offers discount for letting your Tesla drive itself
Let’s be honest – humans are basically easily-distracted bags of meat. Put us into automobiles, and we’re easily-distracted bags of meat flying down the road in 4,000lb murder machines.
Put smartphones in our pockets, and we’re easily-distracted bags of meat flying down the road in 4,000lb murder machines with super powerful entertainment and communication devices practically BEGGING us to pay attention to them and not the road.
Put more bags of meat in the other seats in the car, and…well…I can do this all day. The point is, there has GOT to be something more qualified to operate our automobiles than we are. Seriously…anything would be better. And insurance companies apparently agree.
This article in Popular Mechanics looks at a recent Reuters report that claims insurers are giving Tesla owners that turn on their “Autosteer” features a break on their premiums.
Of course, it’s too early in the era of autonomous cars to know if this will make cars safer and drastically reduce expensive accidents. There simply isn’t enough data to draw reasonable insights. But that’s one of the reasons why they’re doing this.
According to Dan Freedman, Head of Motor Development at Direct Line, one of the insurers offering these discounts, “At present the driver is firmly in charge so it’s just like insuring other cars, but it does offer Direct Line a great opportunity to learn and prepare for the future.”
That being said, some early research does show that taking the controls away from bags of meat and putting them in the steely hands of our future robot overlords could make a difference.
The article quotes Daniel Pearce, a Financial Analyst at GlobalData, who said, “Crash rates across all Tesla models have fallen by 40 percent since the introduction of the autopilot system…”
Seems like the robots have us beat in the driving department, as well. ALL HAIL OUR NEW, ROBOTIC OVERLORDS!