Every now and then you get nice surprises.
Like free ice cream. Or when the boss declares a half day off. Or when you receive your GST credit.
We received a pleasant surprise from NTUC Income when they graciously invited us down to their media launch to unveil their Game Changer to the Motor Insurance industry on 6th October.
In their invitation, it stated that
Income is leading a step change in the motor insurance industry with the unveiling of two new motor insurance schemes that will allow private car owners to enjoy more customised motor insurance premiums based on their driving habits.
It involved the use of advancements in telematics to marry technology, behavior, and insurance pricing. it sounded pretty futuristic, so we didn’t need much persuasion.
Over a morning of coffee and live demonstrations, this is what we found out about their 2 latest advancements.
Drive Safe and Save – The Drive Master App
How it works: The 10-second breakdown
It’s an app that you download, and it tracks your driving behavior. The better your driving habits, the more discounts you receive (off your NTUC Motor Insurance premiums of course).
How it works: The details
The app determines if you are a reckless speed demon or a benign feather-foot behind the wheel based on four factors:
Of primary concern here is the number of rapid accelerations and harsh brakings the driver executes over a period of time.
The thought process here is that safe drivers give adequate consideration to their surroundings, and anticipate their actions accordingly. When that is done correctly, there really isn’t a need to floor the pedal or slam those brakes.
On the road, you may notice these cute little signs with numbers in them. Those are called speed limits, and every road has one.
So the speed factor here refers to the frequency in which a driver keeps to within the speed limit. Obviously, safer drivers keep within the speed limit more so than dangerous ones.
The two levels of speeding include level 1 speeding (just above the speed limit) and level 2 speeding (at least 20km/hr higher than the speed limit)
And yes, the app knows where you are in Singapore, and the corresponding speed limit of the road you are traveling in.
Simply put, the more you drive, the higher your mileage, and hence the greater your risk factor.
4. Drive Time
More specifically, it probably should be called Time of Drive. This is something new to us, and it makes pretty good sense.
Since driving conditions vary throughout the day, the risk factor should also be proportionate to the amount of time spent under the various driving conditions.
The app has 3 classifications of Drive Time:
Safe Hours Driving
Peak Hours Driving (We assume it’s the rush hour traffic time)
Night Hours Driving (from 12 am till 5 am)
So a driver that clocks most of his miles driving at night would probably be subject to less of a discount than someone who drives mostly in the day during the off-peak hours – which makes sense from a risk assessment perspective.
So over a minimum period of 6 consecutive months and a 5000km driven, drivers will be provided a score and eligible for the respective premium discounts.
Other Cool Stuff
- Keeping true to its spirit of placing the customer’s needs to the forefront of its business, this app also provides a 24/7 Live Chat service – So help and answers are alway a text bubble away.
- Smart Technology – The Drive Master collates data about you and your driving habits, so it knows if you are on a bus, MRT, or even when another person is driving. Pretty nifty.
- Recall the telematics bit earlier in the article? The company responsible for the field testing and development of the technology is Raxel Telematics, a Russian start-up with more than 30,000 users in Europe alone.
Drive Less and Save – FlexiMileage
The second innovation that NTUC Income unveiled was the FlexiMileage scheme.
Its operating principles are even simpler than the Drive Master – just install a device which tracks your mileage accurately. The less you drive, the lower insurance premiums you pay.
Here is the OBD (On Board Diagnostic) device that you install:
It tracks the mileage of the vehicle, which translates to savings of up to 35% off premiums (if total distance covered is less than 5000 km a year)
What we like about the schemes
They only provide benefits – not penalties.
You can’t pay more than you already are for your premiums, only less. So it’s definitely a win situation for the user.
It makes you more conscious of your driving habits.
This to us is the biggest (and most exciting) advancement possible. Because your behavior is being measured, it is only natural that you are more conscious of it, and hence lead to better driving behavior over time.
It may not have anything to do with the premium savings, but rather with the fact that for the first time ever, there is something that tracks the relevant road behaviors and gives it a rating. I personally installed the Drive Master app over the weekend, and I already am more aware each time I accelerate or brake hard.
So cost savings aside, the biggest benefit has to be that it makes drivers drive more safely.
There can be no greater benefit than that – to the user, and to other road users in general.
It advances the future of insurance
Back in the day, we were already pondering about how the future of insurance would look. Some scoffed at the ideas, but it seems that the future has a habit of arriving sooner than expected, and unannounced at that.
More accurate risk assessment leads to fairer premiums – we believe Life Insurance will soon follow suit. (Check out Lemonade, the world’s first P2P Insurance Provider)
If you would like to experience cutting edge technology, reduce your premiums, and start being a safer driver, you can register for each of these schemes at:
Ending off: A Note of Thanks
We would like to thank NTUC Income for inviting us down to their media launch. All photos and screen grabs courtesy of NTUC Income.
Special Thanks to Mr Bill O’Connell for giving us a live demo of the app in action. We think that if he weren’t heading the Motor department at NTUC Income, he might be Schumacher’s biggest rival yet.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.