Canadians not embracing telematics because of confusion over value and data

Published: January 10, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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While telematics devices has been widely adopted in some countries, Canadian motorists are not warming to the technology. Despite the face telematics and usage based insurance can reduce premiums, many customers are concerned about privacy and security, the CEO of Kanetix said this week.

Drivers appear to be confused about the kinds of data insurance companies take once a telematics device is installed. In a recent survey, Kanetix asked 1,000 Canadians their thoughts on telematics devices, with fifty per cent saying they would share home and medical information with an insurer. However, on 46% are will to share lifestyle information and allow the monitoring of driving.

Andrew Lo of Kanetix spoke to Canadian Underwriter, saying drivers are less willing to share data because there is a gap in knowledge about what information insurers take. There is also a possibility many customers do not fully understand the discounts and value received when using telematics.

“When you wear a fitbit and data goes to the cloud for analysis, consumers are clear what they are getting – a path to better health,” he said.

With telematics, customers may not realize “there may be benefits to increased data collection and sharing with their providers, such as lower premiums,” Lo said in a press release. “An important question for consumers and industry today is, what are they willing to share electronically in order to save costs on their insurance?”

“I think reinforcing and reiterating the fact that this information will be used for insurance purposes only is the key,” Lo said. “It’ll become more imperative for insurers to position themselves as someone consumers can trust.”