Canadian Underwriter

Young Drivers of Canada

December 23, 2013   by Laura Kupcis

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Company: ingenie  

Founder & CEO: Richard King  

Insuring those 25 and under is often said to be insurance by sufferance. It is a social issue, in so far as there are too many crashes, but also an economic issue, due to the high cost of insurance. The only way young people will be able to reduce insurance premiums is by having fewer crashes. The best way to accomplish this is through ongoing feedback and education.

ingenie, founded by Steve Broughton, Chris McKee and myself, went live in the UK in 2011, underwritten by Ageas and RSA. We use technology developed by Quindell, with input from the Williams F1 driving team. The launch followed two years of research and development in conjunction with Cranfield University, a leader in driver psychology and behaviour studies. We are not only one of the fastest growing brokers in the UK, but one of the fastest growing companies as well, with £50 million gross written premiums in our second year of operation.

After the success we have had in the UK, we are bringing the program to Canada in early 2014 in partnership with the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO). We will be making the product available directly from ingenie, but the majority of our focus in Canada will be to make the product available via independent brokers. We are not only making insurance more affordable for young people, we are helping them to be safer on the road. We would like for Canadian brokers to help us accomplish that goal.

ingenie’s telematics system—a black box placed directly into the vehicle—captures a substantial amount of data based on how the car is being driven. Through that data, we build a “driving DNA,” which provides a picture of a driver’s attitude to risk. We act as a copilot for the young driver, providing plenty of information and feedback through push notifications sent to an application on their smartphone. Every 10 days, provided the vehicle is driven at least 64kms, we send updates on their driving behaviour in Twitter-style messages. A green message means the driver will receive a discount, which is applied every three months.

Through increased communication with young drivers, the average cost of insurance has dropped by about 30% in the United Kingdom. Additionally, we have achieved a loss ratio that is 30% lower than traditional insurance for young drivers. We are creating happier underwriters, and we’re giving parents peace of mind knowing their children are much safer on the road.

While we are an under-25 brand, 90% of our customers are under 21 and 40% have just received their permit. A new driver has a coach in the car during the learning process. Once the driving test is passed, a supervisor is no longer required. However, ingenie acts as a figurative coach, providing feedback to help improve driving.

Our program is an opportunity to educate about the dangers of driving, including speed choices, distracted driving and peer pressure. For the work we have done in this area, we have been awarded the 2013 Prince Michael of Kent Award for Road Safety.

— as told to Laura Kupcis


Copyright 2013 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the December 2013 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.