Drivers insured by 21 of America’s top 25 auto insurance companies will save lives and money with new services from a leading telematics technology provider.
Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), founded in 2010 based on research and development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004, launched three programs last fall to reduce claims through driver education and rapid response to car accidents. CMT is already seeing results from the programs, says Matt Fiorentino, senior director of marketing for a company whose technology is used by leading insurers.
DriveWell Crash & Claims uses telematics technology to detect accidents and take action long before the insurance company receives the first notice of a loss. “A driver in Tennessee had a heart attack, crashed into a tree and lost consciousness,” says Fiorentino. “The ambulance found him face down in a ditch next to the road. They managed to revive him and take him to the nearest hospital. The technology actually saved his life.”
In addition to rescue responses, DriveWell Crash & Claims provides data for the work of insurance agents. “The accident itself changes your position as an insurer: instead of waiting for a phone call, you need to know when the accident happened and contact the client,” says Fiorentino. “Then get all the data from the scene, knowing the speed of the collision, the location, the weather and the time of the accident. This greatly improves the efficiency of installers and agents. The average processing time is significantly reduced.”
The data provided by this service is also used to educate drivers about their habits, thus reducing their risk. This, in turn, may give them discounts on coverage, depending on their carrier. “Most people think they are better than regular drivers,” says Fiortentino. “When they interact with these programs, they realize they haven’t thought about how often they use their phone while driving or how often they speed. Then they see that on the trip 50% of the time they were driving 10 miles over the speed limit. You see drivers actually changing their behavior to the point where they leave the house earlier so they don’t have to speed.” Rebates can range from $200 to $300 for a six or 12-month policy, Fiorentino said, also depending on the carrier.
Feed rate reduction to another new CMT service, FuelStar, a free app that shows drivers how to drive more efficiently by adjusting their driving behavior in a similar way. “FuelStar measures fuel efficiency and tells you if you’re overpaying or underpaying for gas,” Fiorentino said, adding that speeding usually reduces fuel efficiency. “If you’re supposed to get 35 mpg and you’re accelerating a lot and only getting 20 mpg, this will turn that into dollars and cents so you know exactly how much you’re paying or overpaying and will teach you how to drive more efficiently” .
A third program, Hard Brake Alerts, takes previous technology that made warning sounds to drivers when braking too hard and too fast, and brings it into the app, either on its own or with the driver’s insurance company. CMT testing found that drivers’ hard braking was reduced by 14% when using the new service because, like FuelStar, it tells drivers about their habits, Fiorentino says. “Turn that into a cost of loss, and that’s three to four points below the cost of a loss,” he said. “Depending on the business book, that’s a significant savings.”
Altogether, CMT’s three new telematics services facilitate engagement with policyholders, Fiorentino said. “That interaction translates into safer driving behavior,” he adds. “CMT’s entire mission is to make the world’s roads and drivers safer. When you see that participation and actually make drivers safer, there will be fewer accidents for insurers and lower claims costs. . Then the roads will become safer, and everyone will benefit from this.”