German insurer takes on Signal Iduna telematics

Telematics continues to find new customers on the continent, as German insurer Signal Iduna, has now signed on with the world’s most popular telematics service, TomTom. The navigation and tracking company recently announced that it had begun supporting telematics in its 400,000th vehicle – it might need to revisit that figure as Signal Iduna could add several thousand more customers to that list.

The system Signal Iduna opted for in the end, comes in two options, the first of which takes advantage of TomTom’s most cost effective solution: AppDrive. AppDrive is an application for people’s smartphones, that when downloaded makes use of onboard sensors like GPS, accelerometer and magnetosphere, to give the insurer and the user themselves, a way to track the location of a car, as well as the way the driver controls it.

While not as effective as some of the solutions that plug straight into the vehicle’s diagnostics port, the AppDrive system does offer basic information like how far someone has driven, what route they took and whether they are engaging in any unsafe driving practices like accelerating too quickly, braking too sharply or speeding.


TomTom was understandably quite pleased by this appointment, and put forward Thomas Schmidt, the current managing director of TomTom telematics to comment:

“We are delighted that a leading insurance provider like Signal Iduna has chosen TomTom Telematics to develop innovative new products,” he said.

“Our technology continues to help our partners in the insurance and motor industry offer a new generation of young drivers the tools to identify areas of risk, and make adjustments to improve their road safety.”

While the AppDrive system does allow users to provide some feedback on their driving habits and receive pointers in turn if they happen to drive dangerously, there is another system that Signal Iduna will be implementing, which makes use of TomTom’s Link 100 system which is able to offer much more detailed information about the vehicle in question. Plugged straight into the car’s diagnostics port, the system will track information about the car, such as the health of certain parts of its system, as well as its fuel usage and driver inputs.

This is all a lot more accurate than just the smartphone app alone and Signal plans to reward drivers that take it on. Those that adopt the Link 100 system will be given an immediate discount on their insurance however they will need to adopt an insurance policy that – much like US based UBI policies – limits their driving miles per year to a set amount. If they drive well however, their mileage allowance will go up.

If drivers exceed their limit however, their premium will increase to offset the extra mileage adding increased risk to their policy.


    Jon Martindale

    Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.

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