Wednesday, 12 August 2020 18:44

Honda App Links Feedback on Drivers to Insurance Carriers Via Verisk

Written by Jim Sams, Insurance Journal


Honda Motor Co. is offering an app that scores the safety of car owners’ driving habits and links with insurance carriers that can offer discounts to drivers who are deemed a good risk.

The Driver Feedback app is available to drivers of several 2019 and 2020 Honda and Acura models who subscribe to HondaLink or AcuraLink, which is Honda’s suite of connected services. The system transmits data from cars whose owners agreed to participate in the Verisk Data Exchange.


Honda says the partnership with the insurance data firm Verisk will help motorists become better drivers, while giving them an opportunity to earn discounts in the 42 states where Verisk has filed usage-based insurance (UBI) rates.


The Verisk Driving Score draws from insurance industry loss data to monitor five predictive risk factors: smooth driving, appropriate speed, a consistent driving routine, the time of day a vehicle is driven and the amount of time spent behind the wheel.


Smooth accelerations and gentle braking can indicate less risk of being involved in a crash, Verisk explained. Speeding is also obviously a risk. Drivers who regularly commute at the same time are less likely to crash, as are drivers who avoid risky hours such as night and early morning, Verisk said. More time behind the wheel equals greater risk.


Verisk said its data shows the lowest scoring drivers are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash or have an insurance claim than those with the highest scores.


Karthik Balakrishnan, general manager of Verisk’s telematics business, said in a press release that driving data from the Driver Feedback app can be used both by insurers that use Verisk’s algorithm and insurers that have proprietary usage-based insurance programs.


“Data from consenting Honda drivers will be available across Verisk’s portfolio of telematics products, expanding the reach of the Verisk Data Exchange and helping our insurer customers launch or scale up their UBI programs,” he said.


Owners who opt in will receive driving scores on their smartphones and recommendation for improvements. Honda spokesman Chris Martin said after car owners are enrolled for 15 weeks, they may receive a message from the app telling them if they are eligible for a discount. The driver can choose to use the app to link directly with the insurer’s interface.


Martin said insurers receive only anonymous data. They will learn a driver’s usage-based insurance data only if that driver chooses to share it.

“Thus, participants who learn that they have a low driving score may not receive discount offers at all based on the UBI data, and if they receive an offer and pursue it, they would only be sharing their personal info with the insurer which made the offer, not all participating insurers,” Martin explained in an email.


Drivers that do share their information will receive promotional messages within the HondaLink and AcuraLink mobile apps from participating insurers if their driving qualifies them for discount offers, said Verisk spokesman Joseph Madden in an email. Drivers have the option to opt out of this feature and/or data sharing at any time within the mobile app.


The app essentially offers a shortcut to the usual process of buying usage-based insurance, where drivers have to install equipment and wait a few weeks while the insurer monitors their driving habits.


“When there is sufficient data in the Exchange and the driver also consents to sharing their data with an insurer, the insurer may make a request and instantly receive a driving data package from the Exchange to calculate a discount immediately,” Madden said. “From the customer perspective, there is no monitoring period post-quote as there is with UBI programs that rely on third-party hardware or mobile applications. This approach also provides consumers with portability of their data.”


The app is available only to Honda and Acura owners who currently subscribe to HondaLink or AcuraLink or subscribed to it in the past. Martin said drivers who discontinued their subscription to HondaLink and AcuraLink are allowed to continue using some free features. He said the Driver Feedback app will be added to those free services for use by former subscribers.


The app is available only for “connected” Honda and Acura models that are able to link up with the internet of things.


We thank Insurance Journal for reprint permission.

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