Ingenie, the insurance company that focuses on the under-25s market and tries to make their premiums more affordable with the use of telematics to reduce their risk of an accident, has called on the government to issue a tax-exempt status for telematics firms, to try and increase the uptake of the technology. The reasoning behind this – beyond its own financial benefit, presumably – is that with the fact that telematics have been shown to reduce the risk of certain accidents, increasing its uptake could save lives.
The move, if enacted, would also allow insurers to reduce premiums it said, which in turn would get more people buying black-box enabled policies. Ingenie even goes so far as to take a guess at the numbers, suggesting that as many as 245,000 extra people would take on telematics enabled policies if the tax breaks were enacted. How many lives that might save, is obviously all open to speculation, but Ingenie believes at least 28,700 crashes might be prevented with such a change, saving the UK economy as much as £500 million.
Of course, the other side of it is that the government would lose out on all that tax from those new insurance policies, so it’s difficult to ascertain how much of a financial boon such a tax break would be for the economy.
The study was published in November last year and looked at some 200 million miles travelled by Ingenie customers. It found that out of the near half million new drivers that pass their test every year, 50,000 drivers will crash in their first six months of driving. Ingenie’s research suggests that around half of crashes in the 17-25 age group could be avoided if telematics was employed, making it one of the most effective ways of preventing accidental deaths on the roads.
While advanced safety features in vehicles obviously play a big part in reducing the severity of accidents and in some instances avoiding them altogether, Ingenie believes that young drivers need a new and unique approach and having that oversight of a telematics package and potentially parents looking in on their driving habits, can mean that they reign in any dangerous driving habits and drastically cuts back on speeding. Incentives for positive driving habits like safe acceleration, braking and maintaining a safe speed can also really advance their ability to stay safe on the roads.
According to Ingenie’s results, this consistent feedback over a longer period can have a big impact on their habits in the long run and despite younger drivers’ propensity of risk taking, can drastically reduce their chances of having an accident.
Of course, this research does come from Ingenie itself, so considering it would be likely to financially benefit from such a move, it should be taken with a pinch of salt. But it’s an interesting idea.
What do you guys think?
Image source: Matador45