Telematics insurance contributes to fall in young driver casualties, finds LexisNexis Risk Solutions

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LexisNexis Risk Solutions has found compelling evidence linking a fall in the number of teenage drivers who have been killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents with the uptake of telematics insurance.

According to LexisNexis Risk Solutions, the number of 17- to 19-year-old drivers who have been killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents has fallen by 35% since 2011, compared to 16% for the driving population as a whole.

The one major difference between young drivers and their older counterparts is telematics insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions has found, with four in five young drivers estimated to have a telematics policy today.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions added that the significant reduction in young driver road casualties masks an increase in the rate of road casualties among the wider driving population. Drivers aged 25 to 59 saw road casualties increase by 4% between 2016 and 2017.

The analysis by LexisNexis Risk Solutions is the first time road casualty statistics have been studied in direct relation to the exponential growth in telematics policies (since 2011) with 975,000 live policies in 2017, suggesting that black box-backed-insurance has done more to cut accident risk than any other road safety initiative aimed at the young driver market.

The 35% reduction in road casualty rates in 17- to 19-year-olds comes despite the 10% increase in the number of vehicles on the road (2011-2016) and a 7% increase in the number of driving licences held across all ages since 2012.

Graham Gordon, director of global telematics at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said of the study: “Our analysis and interpretation of the publically available road casualty statistics factors for key road safety advances such as improved roads, better junction design and new car safety technology—but the patent downward trend in the 17-19 age bracket points to an additional factor at play, the increasing availability and adoption of telematics insurance.”

“Young drivers remain the riskiest drivers on our roads but the insurance sector deserves a great deal of credit for developing an insurance product that encourages safer driving and delivers fairer pricing to young drivers based on their road behaviour.”

Gordon added: “The analysis is exciting because it provides evidence that telematics has had a real impact on the safety of young drivers and the potential it therefore offers to improve road safety standards for all motorists. It comes at a time when the cost of offering telematics is falling dramatically for the insurance sector—we estimate by as much as 50% since 2013. At the same time, analysis of motor insurance premiums shows telematics policies frequently come out as some of the most competitive insurance policies when consumers shop for cover.”

“We also know from our own research that four out of five consumers are comfortable with the idea of telematics insurance. This all paves the way for more drivers outside of the youngest age group to benefit from new, customer-friendly telematics policies with the promise of fair premiums.”

Tim Marlow, head of autonomous and connected vehicle research, commented: “It’s good to see that telematics are both giving young drivers access to insurance products designed to meet their needs and reducing the number of young drivers who become casualties. Future developments of this technology offer the potential to reduce casualties amongst other age groups, making a welcome contribution to our stagnated casualty reduction targets.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk