While in-car insurance telematics devices are on the rise, they’re not precisely the same. Different insurance companies are offering different devices, ostensibly to track how carefully you drive. The thought is that if you don’t screech around any corners and you don’t do a lot of fast stops, you’re a careful driver, so you get a discount. (And don’t let your teenagers use the car while it’s installed, or you may find an unpleasant surprise in your premium next year.)
One of the smartest new in-car telematics devices is the SmartBox, offered by UK-based specialist broker Adrian Flux Insurance Services. In a similar manner to other devices, it tracks motorists’ mileage and keeps track of safe driving. But it does more than that: the device turns into an in-car telephone following an accident, providing immediate two-way communication with claims handlers.
The company says that it’s a great way to come down on fraudulent claims.
Gerry Bucke, general manager at Flux, said the ability for claims staff to communicate directly with those involved at the scene of an accident has many benefits.
“It not only speeds up the claims process, but it provides an immediate record of what happened, how many people are involved and allows insurers to speak with the third party at the scene - reducing the opportunity to later fabricate evidence,” he said in a statement. “Staff will also be able to speak with witnesses and possibly even members of the emergency services if they have time, all of which will help to stop issues like ‘ghost’ passengers, where drivers invent extra passengers who all then claim for whiplash injuries.”
The SmartBox can detect an accident and initiate immediate communication between the driver and an agent. It can also record the location of the car if the phone is unanswered, prompting insurance handlers to alert emergency services to the location.
Edited by Brooke Neuman