Esurance Picks Vendor for UBI Program DriveSense

Esurance has picked Modus to lead several telematics-related aspects of its usage-based insurance program (UBI) called DriveSense, according to the wireless company.

Modus said Wednesday that it was tapped to deliver its “full-service UBI” suite to DriveSense that includes “logistics, integration, application development, data warehousing and support services.”

Esurance advertises DriveSense as a program where “smart drivers can save big,” and is available in 10 states.

If Esurance policyholders in those states want to turn safe driving into auto insurance savings, they could install a device into their vehicle that uses telematics information technology to monitor their driving habits, and that information would be sent to Esurance.

Enrollees can save 5 percent on their first policy term, while policyholders enrolling in the first month after renewing or buying a new policy can get a premium discount up to 30 percent.

Discounts won’t be as high for motorists who exhibit unsafe driving behaviors like “speeding and sudden braking,” according to Esurance, which added that premium rates won’t increase because of data showing such behavior behind the wheel.

Esurance Plans to Expand DriveSense Availability

DriveSense is currently available in these states:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas

Danny Miller, an Esurance spokesman, told Online Auto Insurance News (OAIN) that DriveSense is a “great way to offer customers a substantial discount.”

“The technology can help educate drivers about unsafe driving behaviors,” he said.

Drivers will “see DriveSense in more states moving forward,” Miller told OAIN. Esurance declined comment on how many motorists are currently enrolled in DriveSense and which states would be sites for future expansion.

DriveSense will likely find competing UBI programs that several major car insurers already offer in those states.

‘Visual Dashboard’ Offers ‘Easy Data Viewing’

According to Modus, DriveSense participants check on how they’re driving through a Web platform that gives drivers a “visual dashboard of their driving performance.”

Like many UBI programs, driver data is recorded by the DriveSense in-car device before being transmitted wirelessly for software analysis. Software-based driving “scores” are then translated into a format for “easy data viewing,” Modus said.

Such scores, based on drivers’ actual behavior, “is used to create more accurate insurance premium pricing models based on individual driver risk,” according to Modus.

Also, Esurance enlisted TowersWatson to provide “in-depth analysis of driver behavior” for DriveSense participants.

The consulting firm has released a number of studies and polls on telematics and UBI, the most recent being a global survey that released findings on Wednesday showing 9 out of every 10 respondents in the U.S. would buy a UBI policy if they would not be surcharged for bad driving habits.

That same survey also found that 3 out of every 5 U.S. drivers surveyed would be open to reform those bad habits behind the wheel.

The findings strengthen “the potential of driver coaching to make our roads safer,” according to the survey.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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