Leading Irish insurer 123.ie has launched a new telematics product, 123GO, to encourage safer driving behaviour in young drivers. 123GO’s innovative technology involves the installation of a small black box in the car which monitors driving style, recording information such as driving speed, smoothness and usage to give the driver an overall driving score. The size of the average smartphone, the 123GO black box also offers access to a mobile app, allowing the driver to review their own driving score anytime, anywhere. The product is aimed at 18 to 25 year olds and young drivers who sign up to 123GO could benefit from up to 30% discount on their ‘Year 1’ premium, with further discounts on renewal based on driver behaviour. This means the better you drive the less you pay.
Online insurer, 123.ie, a subsidiary of RSA Insurance Ireland, has already begun offering the product to customers and has seen a positive response among young drivers, and parents seeking insurance for their sons and daughters. 123GO customers will get the most out of their policy by demonstrating good driver behaviour. The converse of this is that poor driving scores will result in intervention to educate customers to change their behaviour, while severe or repeated speeding and bad behaviour can result in the cancellation of the policy.
Telematics products such as this are relatively new to the general insurance market in Ireland, but their use has become widespread among young drivers in the UK over the last number of years (over 80% usage). A recent report by UK business research agency, Lexis Nexis showed that among the youngest drivers, (17 to 19 year olds), road casualties in the UK have fallen by more than 35% over the past seven years, compared with a 16% drop among all motorists. According to their analysis, telematics insurance has done more to cut accident risk in the UK than other road safety initiatives targeting the young driver market.
The Lexis Nexis report states that people applying for telematics policies generally do so knowing their driving will be monitored and are comfortable with this idea. The uptake of these products in the UK has grown by 229% since 2013.
The cost of insurance is also a motivating factor with a significant gap between telematics enabled insurance and standard policies that emerges over time.
Speaking about the launch of 123GO, Niall O’Grady, Managing Director of 123.ie, said “This is a great example of how 123.ie is harnessing new technologies to improve our ability to assess risk and help drive down cost for our customers. It’s great to be able to introduce such an innovative product to help them get started. We know from the experience of our colleagues in the UK, where the product has been available since 2014, that the vast majority of young drivers who have the black box installed have had a great experience and have also benefited from discounts when it comes to renewal time.
For those who take up the product, we believe it will lead to safer driving on their part, as they will be able to keep an eye on their score on the 123GO app. Since we began offering this product before Christmas, over 500 drivers have signed up to it. Parents of young drivers are delighted with the additional peace of mind that comes from knowing their young son or daughter’s driving is being monitored and this will help remind them to drive safely.”