SSP Interview With Adrian Coupland

Telematics.com was lucky enough to secure an interview with the Head of Data Strategy at SSP (www.ssp-worldwide.com). We wanted to find out about the company’s view on the future of telematics insurance, why they believe it works and how brokers and insurers can get started in this emerging space.

SSP is a global company that provides a range of insurance technology solutions for insurers and brokers enabling them to innovate and trade more efficiently. To read more about SSP, please visit http://www.ssp-worldwide.com/WhySSP



Robert Prime, Telematics.com Head of Marketing
There have been various studies on the growth of UK telematics insurance and its potential uptake. Do you have an opinion on the level of future growth for telematics insurance in the UK and do you ever see it overtaking mainstream car insurance?

Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy at SSP

Telematics-based insurance currently accounts for around 300,000 policies or 1% of the UK motor insurance market, but this is increasing month-on-month as more providers launch products. Over the last year, there has been an explosion in the number of products coming to market, leading some analysts to predict that there will be 2.15m such policies in place by 2015.

There are a number of changes happening in the UK market, both in terms of both the technology and the way it is delivered, that could make this a reality, particularly the introduction of apps.
Motorists are also beginning to get a better understanding of what telematics is and what it can do for them, and this will help drive demand.

With the growth we are seeing at the moment, and usage-based insurance already attracting lower-premium drivers, the next decade should see it overtake mainstream car insurance.


Robert Prime, Telematics.com Head of Marketing
At the moment in the UK, black boxes are widely used as telematics devices. There is obviously an element of work needed to get these set up in drivers’ cars. Do you see apps becoming more prevalent and favoured in telematics insurance, or do you think the box has a strong future?

Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy at SSP

Telematics started with black box devices, but we have seen the introduction of other devices over the past couple of years, namely tethered devices and apps. In the short term, based on risk selection and underwriting footprint, we will continue to see the use of all three device types, but in the future apps will absolutely become more prevalent and we are seeing this already.

Here at SSP, we have already created the first whole of market telematics solution, SoteriaDrive , which leads with app technology, but we can also support black box or tethered devices.

Ultimately, I think the continued advances in smartphone technology and the higher costs associated with black boxes mean smartphone solutions will most likely come out on top.
What is for sure is that the cost of adopting telematics insurance solutions will continue to drop, and however it is delivered, the price of using this technology will not be a barrier in the future.


Robert Prime, Telematics.com Head of Marketing
There are real concerns from the public around data privacy. Can you elaborate on how this issue can be addressed by insurers and explained to the public to alleviate any worries they may have about how their data is used?

Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy at SSP

Data usage in the insurance market has grown substantially over the past two years, and it will continue to do so as insurers become more and more used to the benefits and value that can be derived from the use of data in single or blended ways.

Telematics is another data source that the market will get used to using and it is worth remembering that the insurance industry already deals with huge volumes of data and has proved its ability to handle it safely and securely.

The key with any new method or solution is to make sure customers are aware of how data is being used, how it is protected and what it actually means to them – so education is a big area that will provide the public with the reassurance they need.

Increasingly, however, consumers – particularly younger consumers – are much more comfortable with sharing information as they have grown up in an electronic environment and already socialise, communicate and work to a large degree over the internet.

As people understand exactly how sharing their personal data will create benefits in terms of their motor insurance and see that it could save them money, then I think most will be comfortable with moving in that direction.


Robert Prime, Telematics.com Head of Marketing
At the moment, data is sent from the car via boxes, apps and various technologies. Do you see there being a data standard at any time in the UK that allows people to move more easily from insurer to insurer and to take their driving data with them? Also, what rights do the public have with regards to seeing and using their own driving data - do they own it or do the insurers?

Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy at SSP

Definitely. But the key to creating successful standards is introducing them at the right point and for the right reasons.

Telematics-based insurance is still in its infancy, and as such we are seeing some great innovation in a relatively small timeframe, and this is good for the industry.
In terms of the customer being able to take their data with them, I think this will become the norm over the coming years and an individual’s driving data will simply act as a no claims discount does today.

The data collected via the app is personal data and, as such, is owned by the customer. Any good telematics solution needs to demystify the way the data is used, so the more insurers can do this, the more drivers will understand the benefits and adapt their behaviour to take advantage.


Robert Prime, Telematics.com Head of Marketing
What do you see as the main reasons why brokers and insurers should adopt telematics insurance into their overall offering and why now is the right time for that?

Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy at SSP

The motor insurance market is moving rapidly towards being a data driven market and telematics is the ultimate data play. It delivers driving behaviour in real time and this is an exciting development. It allows insurers and brokers to respond to customer needs more quickly and to create highly tailored service and product propositions.

As with all new developments come new risks and, if brokers and insurers do not get on board, they are in danger of losing out to forward-thinking firms that get in early and win business. Once brokers and insurers have lost customers, winning them back will be incredibly difficult.


Robert Prime, Telematics.com Head of Marketing
SoteriaDrive is an app-based solution that will be available via 1,000 UK insurance brokers who want to offer telematics insurance. Can you go into any detail about how this works and the steps a broker needs to take to make use of this functionality and to offer it to their client base?

Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy at SSP

SSP has developed the first whole of market telematics solution with SoteriaDrive. We set out to solve as many of the issues as we could with existing telematics solutions and to make it as easy to use as possible.

To do this we have integrated our software with Wunelli’s telematics systems, so our brokers will be able to obtain a quotation for their clients via their existing SSP system from a panel of SoteriaDrive insurers. Each insurer will set their own terms and conditions for the policy.

Once the policy is accepted, the client will be sent a link to download the SoteriaDrive app to their smartphone. This will record their driving behaviour and allow feedback on driving performance and any adjustment to the premium.

In effect, brokers do not actually need to do anything to be able to offer SoteriaDrive; they’ll automatically gain access to the products when we launch them.


Robert Prime, Telematics.com Head of Marketing
Finally, do you think that people's driving can be improved by the use of apps like SoteriaDrive and, if so, is there any current evidence to support this?

Adrian Coupland, Head of Data Strategy at SSP

Yes, absolutely.

I’m sure most of the people reading this will think they’re a good driver based on their view of how they drive and how they see others drive.

Based on current data, over 70% of drivers using telematics insurance products actually get a reduction in their premium based on good driving. This shows they are actively changing the way they drive and enjoying the benefits it creates.

The great thing with SoteriaDrive is that, at the end of every journey, drivers will receive a score of between 1 and 100; 100 being great and 1 being – well, 99 points lower than great!
In addition drivers will get periodic feedback on how they can improve their driving and potentially save money on their insurance.

I think the positive impact of telematics on people’s driving styles will be a major feature of the market.


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Robert Prime launched telematics.com in early 2013 and has over 10 years experience in the financial sector. He specialises in business startups and online marketing with a passion for new technology.