Technology / Telematics is redefining the way products are made

Telematics is redefining the way products are made

Buying and claiming insurance can be a complex process. Hundreds of questions need to be answered, while finalising claims can sometimes take months. The procedures have been cumbersome for both the industry and the consumer – not to mention the fact that they’re not always cost-efficient.

But technologies such as telematics – which involves transmitting data in real time – are changing all that. Telematics allows insurers to analyse customer behaviour rather than rely on statistical modelling based on age, gender or experience.

Speaking at the FUTR M2020 event in London, Dr Huma Lodhi, principal data scientist – artificial intelligence and machine learning at Direct Line, says: “What will happen in the future is that we don’t need to fill so many questions, and outright premiums will be calculated only in a few questions, while claims will be settled in real time.”

Using data and telematics

Lodhi gives the example of telematics in the car industry. Data is captured about driving behaviour. This data can then be used to build a profile of the driver, whether they are a high or low risk, and the premiums are calculated accordingly.

“We can build, and can provide, better services to customers,” Lodhi says. “It will be a better service for someone who drives a car seven days a week than [it will be for] someone who drives a car just over the weekend. These premiums should not be at the same rate.”

How is it impacting the industry?

For the industry these changes point to an increase in operational efficiencies. However, not everyone is happy about them and thinks the changes could also result in job losses.

Lodhi does not deny that the job landscape will change, but insists that jobs lost to automation will be offset by other jobs that will arise to take their place. “There will be jobs where humans will not be required – and ideally humans should not be doing those jobs,” she says, “whereas there will be more jobs for skilled humans.”

“There will be more jobs, but with different skills,” she continues. “It has happened [before]: once there were no cars, but then there were cars… In insurance there will be a change of roles, but not loss of jobs as such.”

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