Digital insurance and self-drive on collision course for fleet insurers

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Fleet managers are facing a rapidly changing business environment, with new trends in the back offices of their insurers, and on the road with self-driving cars and automated delivery vehicles threatening a gradual reshaping of the market.

Other insurers such as property and casualty, and life insurance businesses, are modernising their systems and their insurance rates based on big data, digital marketplaces, rapid reaction to the competition and monitoring mobile through apps, or even social media, to ensure that customers are in compliance.

With what were standard trends in cheap fleet insurance making their way into the private market, we are now seeing private insurance trends moving into the fleet market. Finding the right or best low-cost fleet insurance will become more difficult as the vendors price match each other, or push customers to adapt new telematics methods for monitoring mileage, driving behaviour, locations travelled to and other metrics.

Increasingly, smaller “fleets” for all sizes of companies will need to be upgraded to fleet insurance to find the most reasonable rates for the business, but drivers will have to be rigorously trained on the new limitations and businesses might even have to reconsider their destinations as insurance no-go areas, based around high crime areas, increased risks and costs.

Another challenge for the fleet manager is the imminent arrival of self-driving vehicles and automatic delivery systems. While these are still in the trial phases, and much legal and logistical hurdles remain, the move to automation, and likely dramatic changes in fleet insurance conditions are about to hit the road.

While most developed countries will face these challenges in their own way with positives and negatives in terms of environment, potential accident reduction, greater fuel efficiency and so on, fleet managers must prepare to understand a new generation of telematics rules and regulations, determining the technology skills and support that will be needed along with possible new data systems to handle the amount of information that insurers will be seeking to base their future quotes on.

Insurers may offer favourable rates to those keeping up with these trends, as the industry learns together, but whatever your fleet or its purpose, things are about to change.