US: Cross Country says telematics can bring cost savings to insurers

Leveraging existing automatic crash notification technology in more than 8 million connected vehicles on the road today in North America could generate immediate savings to auto insurers – with little investment – by simply providing earlier notification of a vehicle loss.

This is according to Dave Ferrick, senior vice president and general manager at Cross Country Automotive Services, who presented at “Creating Markets for Connected Vehicle Data,” the latest industry forum conducted by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), a non-profit research organization dedicated to conducting research on significant issues related to the future direction of the global automotive industry.

Ferrick further said immediate savings in accident claims costs would be realized by insurers and their policy holders by enabling insurers’ access to relevant information about vehicle accidents.

He noted that too often discussion about telematics-based insurance focuses around the challenges of using location-based data from telematics-enabled vehicles for rate-setting purposes.

Ferrick also noted that almost every accident scene tow in the U.S. and Canada today is handled by local law enforcement authorities, driving up costs for insurers and policyholders with multiple towing events and the storage of damaged vehicles by vendors whose prices, response times and customer service levels may fall short of insurance carrier benchmarks.

Through automatic collision notification triggered by air bag deployment and other in-vehicle crash sensors, a connected vehicle services provider such as ATX Group, a business unit of Cross Country, learns of accidents and sometimes their severity before notifying emergency responders.

With vehicle owner’s permission, ATX could also notify auto insurance carriers to enable a faster removal of the vehicle from the accident scene and a faster claims handling process.

“From the insurance carriers’ perspective, the quicker they can process the claim, the quicker their policy holder gets the car back in the driveway,” Ferrick said.

“Accelerating the process directly translates into higher customer satisfaction with the carrier, reduced costs for towing and repair, and less risk of the claim resulting in disputes and higher claim costs.”

Cross Country’s roadside services unit provides accident scene management, vehicle release management and total loss screening services to more than 30 North American insurance carriers, providing coverage to approximately 40 million vehicles.

Source: Cross Country.

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