Car insurance is a huge market and for decades brokers and insurers have offered the same type of cover. TPF&T or Fully Comp are still default options in the UK, public liability the bare minimum in many parts of the USA, with asset value, or finance/loan insurance added as a bolt-on. But times change, and Covid-19 has prompted a sudden shift to PAYG cover and modern telematics apps offer tons of driver behaviour data, which gives insurers a real-time view of the risk, or at least a fair chunk of that risk.
So, the news that GM has partnered with OnStar Insurance in the USA, setting them up as an exclusive agent is interesting. Tesla are doing their own insurance thing of course because the tech is unique, cutting edge some would say, and the asset value is high. It is another revenue stream for Tesla as well and when you’re building space rockets, you probably need that cashflow. But can GM pull off a similar loyalty marketing tactic with mainstream cars which don’t attract the same cult worship that the Teslarati positively glow with online?
Maybe. GM says that they want to offer insurance that is fair, personalized and an easy-to-use digital insurance experience for drivers.
“OnStar Insurance will promote safety, security and peace of mind,” said Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance Services. “We aim to be an industry leader, offering insurance in an innovative way. GM customers who have subscribed to OnStar and connected services will be eligible to receive discounts, while also receiving fully-integrated services from OnStar Insurance Services.”
Over the next few years, OnStar Insurance Services plans to develop a digital insurance experience that is:
OnStar Insurance Services envisions a world where customers can drive with added confidence knowing they are protecting themselves, their passengers and their vehicles whenever the unexpected happens. In the future, if an accident occurs, OnStar Insurance policyholders who have an OnStar Safety & Security plan will have added peace of mind knowing that Automatic Crash Response can notify an OnStar Emergency-certified Advisor who can send for help.
OnStar Insurance Services is working with its insurance carrier partners to offer insurance that takes biased judgement out of insurance shopping by focusing on factors within the customer’s control: individual vehicle usage and rewarding smart driving habits that benefit road safety.
By biased judgement, do they mean the Zip/postcode data on theft, Antifa riots or vandalism rates in those areas? Those are risk factors, surely? They cannot mean race, sexual preference or gender as those factors are not even on the table for discussion during the online quote process in the entire EU or UK markets – is gender bias really a thing in the USA? Hard to believe women are getting a poor deal on auto insurance over there based on their chosen gender identity.
OnStar Insurance Services plans to provide customers with personalized vehicle care and promote safer driving habits. With advanced technology and data-backed analyses of driving behavior, OnStar Insurance Services plans to build on the learnings of the OnStar Smart Driver feature to provide proactive recommendations for smarter driving habits so customers can drive more safely and potentially earn discounts.
This is good but nothing new. Almost every telematics based insurer or broker has been offering points based rewards for over a decade.
EASY TO USE
OnStar Insurance Services seeks to create a centralized location for customers’ automotive insurance needs. In the coming years, OnStar will work to provide customers with a seamless insurance shopping experience. With OnStar Insurance Services, convenient online support will be available, and OnStar Insurance Services’ agents will stand ready to help customers with insurance needs.
Starting with Arizona residents, OnStar Insurance Services will initially offer OnStar Insurance to GM employees in Q4 2020, expanding to additional customers, including the general public, in early 2021.
You can learn more at http://www.OnStarInsurance.com.
GM needs to do more than offer a one-stop insurance shop, available by app. It also has an umbrella of very different car brands in its empire, from Isuzu trucks to Cadillac limos. You won’t find the same cultural values, driving styles, servicing records etc from one brand to another, or even within one brand. The cover that a classic Chevrolet Corvette owner needs isn’t the same as an Chevy Volt leaseholder. In fact the two drivers probably hate each other as one loves petrolhead sports like NASCAR and the other is saving the world by wearing vegan shoes.
What we are saying is that one size doesn’t fit all and so one insurance brand cannot possibly offer wraparound service and brand loyalty to every GM owner/renter. On the upside, GM’s solus insurer move leaves the door wide open for agents and brokers with the nous to build affinity marketed auto insurance products that DO speak to loyal Chevy, Caddy or Isuzu owners. And more importantly, offer them cover based on detailed driver behaviour and trackable, shared data.
The future is PAYG, shared ownership of vehicles, occasional named drivers and more flexible car insurance that can be turned on and off as required by the consumer, with no MTAs or admin aggro. Reward good driving – and sensible parking locations. It isn’t rocket science. If you build it right, people will buy it, as they are doing with ByMiles, Zego, Metromile, Marmalade and many more.