The Potential Value of Telematics in Insurance Claims Handling

Through vehicle telematics, data on a wide variety of driving behaviors (acceleration, deceleration, braking, and more) can be obtained through the vehicle’s engine control units (ECUs). Such data is already being used by insurers in pricing and underwriting, but the new frontier for telematics could be claims handling. According to Donald Light, the director of Celent’s property/casualty insurance practice, vehicle telematics could help determine the allocation of responsibility in the event of an accident. For example, telematics could provide information on relative speeds, braking patterns, and more. Currently, usage-based insurance devices (also known as dongles) are installed in a car in order to capture the data collected by that car. But as the use of such data becomes more widely used, and therefore more valuable,  there is a concern among some that manufacturers will begin to limit access to the data and impose additional costs on its collection.

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