ERM Advanced Telematics is launching three new products designed to help insurance companies determine the price of car insurance policies, the company said.
The product line is part of a new ERM strategy focusing on usage-based insurance (UBI). The new products will join StartLink OBD, the on-board diagnostics unit that the company launched three years ago.
The first product in the new UBI series, StartLink OnBat, is available for purchase in more than 65 countries where ERM is active. The other new products, the UBI Tag and UBI Plug, are scheduled to be available during the second quarter of 2019, according to the company.
The easy-to-install StarLink OnBat, a miniature monitoring and tracking device, comes with an internal backup battery, GPS and a cellular modem in a small, waterproof (IP 67) encasement, according to the company. After installation, the device sends location and driver-behavior data to the server of the service provider or the insurance company, via a dedicated cellphone app.
The UBI Tag, a sensor that monitors driver behavior, comes with a single-use battery that can be replaced by the customer, and lasts for three years. Incorporating ERM’s safety technology and a Bluetooth low-energy interface (BLE), the UBI Tag sends warnings about driving behavior to the server of the service provider or the insurance company, via a dedicated cellphone app.
Installed in the vehicle’s cigarette-lighter socket, the UBI Plug will be equipped with ERM’s safety technology, a GPS module, a BLE interface and a USB charging socket. Once installed, the UBI Plug will monitor the driver’s behavior regarding location and driving speed and will transmit warnings of any deviation from normal driving behavior to the server of the service provider or the insurance company, via a dedicated cellphone app.
“Insurance companies are constantly looking for ways to reduce risk in the pricing of car insurance policies, and ERM’s UBI telematics-based technologies supply an excellent means of doing so,” said Eitan Kirshenboim, CMO at ERM Advanced Telematics. “The new products in our UBI strategy enable insurance companies to understand the driving behavior of their customers, the time spent driving and the location, and extract from this data the exact level of risk associated with each driver. Based on this information, the insurance company can better determine the price of a policy and offer substantial discounts to safe drivers.”
“Up to now, many insurance companies based their UBI solutions on SIM-based products that could be connected to an OBD socket and required the companies to pay for communications costs with the driver monitoring and tracking device. The StarLink OnBat continues along these lines but reduces the chances of the device being interrupted, since it is installed under the hood. In addition, ERM’s UBI Tag and UBI Plug are characterized by a very simple installment process by the end user himself or herself. The devices use Bluetooth communications, a cellular app, and a cellular modem of the driver’s own cellphone and by so doing cancel the insurers’ communications charges. The ERM set of solutions makes it easier for the insurer to price policies in a way that compensates safe drivers while managing risk over an extended period. At the same time, the solutions offer various types of installments and possible branding of the solution based on a wide variety of devices. ERM is committed to supplying the insurance industry with a line of products that will meet the developing needs of the industry in a consistent and dynamic manner over the long term.”