Insurance costs could be determined by car tracker

Data mined from a tracking device being fitted to 300 smart-connected cars could eventually be used to analyse driving habits to calculate fair insurance premiums for motorists.

A partnership between the AA and the University of Limerick (UL) will see 300 AA members’ cars fitted with a smart device that will connect to the engine management system and share data from it with the AA in real time.

The trial will feature technology developed by the AA with IT device-maker Intelematics, and data will be analysed continually and can be used to assess whether an insurance premium has been calculated fairly, the AA said. A spokesman for the AA said: “In the near-term this will more so focus on the monitoring of a car’s performance and early breakdown detection and prevention which is an exciting area in itself, but one of the areas we are looking at — and particularly where UL will lead — is the role this device can play in tracking a driver’s risk profile.”

UL research will look at driver behaviour among groups typically deemed as higher insurance risks, such as younger drivers, to see if they are truly a greater risk than other driver groups.

“It’s early days yet but in the long term we do hope this could help price insurance more fairly based on an individual driver’s risk and produce more fairly priced premiums,” he said.

Finbarr Murphy of UL said while tracking devices had been around for some time, the device used in the partnership was more advanced.

“As we collect that real world data we will be able to predict how the car will perform. In many cases, we will know a car is going to break down before the driver does,” Mr Murphy said.


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