IMS Announces Availability of Low-Cost, Quick-Start Auto UBI Program

The new program is designed to address the need created by the global pandemic’s effect on  has driving patterns, exposing the a need for a more flexible pay-as-you-go auto insurance model.

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IMS (Waterloo, Ontario), a subsidiary of Trak Global Group (TGG; Crewe, England) and provider of connected car data solutions to insurers, mobility operators and governments, has announced the availability of a usage-based insurance (UBI) program model for North American insurers that the vendor says enables the implementation of a mileage-based UBI product in just a matter of weeks.

“Recent world events and resulting economic pressures have highlighted the importance of auto insurers being able to offer their customers a flexible product that allows them to only pay for what they use—essentially, a ‘pay as you go’, mileage-based insurance program,” comments Nino Tarantino, CEO of IMS (Americas). “We have already launched a number of successful programs with carriers, creating a variety of customer propositions and using a wide range of low-cost telematic sensors to collect the necessary data. There is both proven and growing demand for this kind of solution, so the fact that we can offer insurers speed-to-market will be critical.”

Nino Tarantino, CEO, IMS (Americas).

During the COVID-19 crisis, driving patterns have been significantly altered globally, with IMS telematics data from customers around the world showing decreases in the total number of trips taken and distance travelled during lockdown. The vendor’s data from early March to mid-April shows 55 percent fewer trips and 40 percent fewer miles have been driven in the U.S., while in Canada the numbers are 45 percent and 50 percent respectively, and in Germany 40 percent and 55 percent respectively. The U.K. leads the pack with the largest decreases during lockdown, with data showing 55 percent fewer trips and 65 percent fewer miles driven.

“Right now, many auto insurers are responding to the apparent decline in vehicle usage by offering blanket rebates of premium to customers, which is certainly a welcome concession, with almost every household’s finances bearing some level of pressure,” Tarantino adds. “However, most insurers are working blind in the absence of real-time driving data and no ability to connect on a more personal level with their customers. Products that truly reflect an individual’s needs, such as pay-as-you go, or mileage-based insurance, mean the premium rebate issue wouldn’t have occurred in the first place, as policyholders would be able to understand and directly manage the link between their vehicle use and the cost of their coverage.”

Will COVID-19 Drive Telematics to the Mass Market?

“The COVID-19 crisis is going to change the way that consumers look at auto insurance,” Tarantino continues. “In the future, they simply won’t want to pay a flat rate for cars that sit on driveways or in garages for most of the week. It might just be that it’s the most unlikely of circumstances—a global pandemic—that finally drives telematics and UBI into the mass market.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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