Telematics, Parametric Insurance and AI Pitched as Claims Solutions

March 13, 2019

Technology companies anxious to expand their market share in insurance sector announced this week the launch of products that will alert carriers of unsafe driving habits, expedite payments to small business owners whose operations are interrupted by earthquakes, and use artificial intelligence to streamline claim processing.

ERM Advanced Telematics issued a press release pitching the launch of a product designed for insurers that sell usage-based automobile insurance. The Israel-based company said that its development of “usage based interface products” responds to demands by carriers for a product capable of monitoring driver behavior and location that can be sent by mail to policyholders and easily installed by the customer.

The first product in the new UBI series, StartLink OnBat, is available for purchase in more than 65 countries where ERM is active, the company said. The other new products, the UBI-Tag and UBI-Plug, are scheduled to be on the market during the second quarter of 2019.

ERM said the technology makes use of the tracking unit’s GPS and has the capability of combining multiple locations and speeds relating to a range of events that it warns about. The new products will join the StartLink OBD, the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) unit that was launched by ERM around three years ago.

The StarLink OnBat, a miniature monitoring and tracking device, has only minimal installation requirements, namely connecting two wires to the vehicle battery, the company said. The product comes with an internal backup battery, GPS and a cellular modem in a small, waterproof encasement that contains ERM’s Safety technology for monitoring driver behavior. After installation, the device sends data regarding a driver’s behavior and location to the service provider’s servers or to the insurance company based on a pre-determined frequency.

The UBI Tag is a sensor that monitors driver behavior and its installation involves a simple attachment. The tag comes with a single use battery that can be replaced by the customer, and lasts for three years. ERM’s Safety technology for driver monitoring and location tracking is incorporated in the product along with the BLE (Bluetooth low energy) interface. After the installation, the UBI Tag sends warnings about driving behavior via a dedicated app installed on the driver’s cell phone directly to the server of the service provider or the insurance company, according to ERM.

Meanwhile, a Southern California brokerage is deploying a technology-based insurance product to aid small business policy owners in the earthquake-prone state. Quake Assist is a provides business interruption insurance offering financial protection for loss of income and expenses due to an earthquake. The policy includes a coverage that triggers upon “business closure” after an earthquake, even if no damage occurs to the insured’s building and/or business property. Daily limits of insurance are available to cover loss of income and ongoing expenses while the business is closed.

Quake Assist is a parametric insurance solution, where coverage payments are triggered automatically once certain “parameters” are met, according to a press release. Payments are based on the earthquake’s magnitude (4.0 or greater) and the distance of the insured from the epicenter. Eligible customers receive their cash instantly once this condition is met, reducing the uncertainty of financial losses and helping businesses continue their operation.

The coverage is underwritten by Falls Lake National Insurance Co., a carrier based in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is sold through Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, Inc., headquartered in San Diego.

Also in California, Pleasanton-based Infinilytics announced an artificial intelligence and analytics that Aspire General Insurance Co. has purchased its Charlee Suite of claims optimization tools, to streamline the claims process, reduce costs, and improve the customer experience.

Infinilytics said its product enables automated data gathering, processing, and natural language comprehension. It includes Charlee-O, an AI-enabled chatbot that makes recommendations and suggests actions; Charlee-X, an alert system which identifies red flags and questionable patterns; and Charlee-L, a pre-litigation prediction tool that uses emotion and sentiment analysis.

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