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11.6m Cars Using Insurance Telematics Devices in Europe and US

Tim Maytom

BMW-Car-ConnectedDrive-system.jpgOver 10m telematics insurance policies for cars are now in force across Europe and the US, where a connected device records a driver's speed, cornering and braking to provide a more accurate profile for their insurance company, and hopefully lower their premiums.

According to figures from Berg Insight, there are now 5.3m policies active in the European market, and that number is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 37.2 per cent to reach 25.8m by 2020.

The growth is even faster in America, with the current 6.3m policies expected to increase by an average rate of 45.8 per cent over the next five years to 42.1m, bringing the total in the US and Europe to 67.9m.

There are differences in the European and US market besides growth rate. The market in Europe is dominated by hardwired aftermarket 'black boxes' that monitor the car with little consumer-side benefit, while in the US, self-installed on-board diagnostic devices represent the vast majority, not only providing insurance companies with data, but also giving drivers more information on car faults.

Several major US providers have also recently shifted to solutions based on smartphones, and industry experts expect a rapid increase in the uptake of this kind of telematics solution in the upcoming years, as well as embedded systems created by the original device manufacturer and built into vehicles on the assembly line.

The insurance telematics market represents the intersection of a large number of different industries, with insurance companies like Allianz, Progressive and Allstate, automotive brands including General Motors, Ford and BMW and mobile operators such as Vodafone, Sprint and Telefónica all working in the area, alongside device manufacturers.

As the various players in the market invest more money in this growing sector, we can expect to see an increase in differentiation between offerings, and more partnerships between different industries as companies seek to dominate the market.

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