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5th September 2012

Men prefer telematics more than women says survey

Men in the UK appear to be showing greater enthusiasm than women about the benefits of having a telematics device fitted in their cars to monitor driving behaviour and set insurance premiums, consumer research commissioned by Towers Watson, has shown. This is despite an expected rise in car insurance prices for many women when a European Court of Justice ban on insurers’ using gender to assess risk comes into effect at the end of the year.
The online poll showed a more than 60/40 split between men and women who indicated they were “very likely” to be interested in a telematics insurance product. Proportionately, more women also said they were “not likely” to look at the telematics option.
“With the ban on the use of gender in setting insurance prices from 21st December, young female drivers could materially benefit from the use of telematics. The survey results suggest there is an opportunity to improve the marketing and communication to this segment,” said Duncan Anderson, Towers Watson’s Global head of P&C Insurance Pricing and Product Management.
He added “Even allowing for the use of additional pricing factors, many insurers will have little choice but to narrow the price differential between men and women, particularly at younger ages, from next year. But many women may not realise what is waiting around the corner-our quarterly research of motor insurance prices with Confused.com indicates that nearly all women saw comprehensive premiums fall in the 12 months to June 2012-and typically at a greater rate than men.”
Taking both sexes into account, 84% of drivers said they would consider participating in a telematics pilot scheme to find out more, a 7% increase compared to the equivalent survey in 2011. Just 1% of respondents said they already have a device installed.
Among the range of many potential benefits of telematics, insurance discounts were the most attractive to 44% of drivers. Theft tracking and automated emergency services alerts were also popular options. Least attractive was the possibility for parents to receive reports on the driving of their children–a feature of some products already on offer in the US– with 44% of married respondents rating this last out of the 10 available choices. Concerns about their driving carbon footprint were also low on people’s priorities.
Other results from the survey included:
-67% of drivers overall, and an even larger proportion of older drivers, would prefer a third party to fit a telematics device or expressed no preference.
-Women are more willing to self-install a device than men.
-Discounts based on driving during daylight hours would be welcomed by 45% of all drivers but are particularly favoured by women.
-58% of drivers would not want or are unsure about insurers sharing their data with third parties in order to receive additional services and benefits. Women are more anxious on this point than men.
-Telematics devices are rated second behind ‘shopping around’ as a means of reducing the future cost of car insurance, mentioned by 32% of people.
-6% of drivers, mainly aged under 30, said they are contemplating ditching their cars altogether in favour of greater use of public transport and taxis.
The survey was conducted using CCB Fast.MAP’S Consumer Voice panel in Summer 2012. 1,930 people took part with responses weighted by gender and age group during analysis to fit the UK national demographic.