As UK awaits insurance green paper Italy sees big telematics insurance boost

This week could see the UK government announce plans for how it proposes to make changes to insurance – this could include promotion of telematics.

One of the government’s objectives has been to assist insurers reduce what is seen to be a rise in fraudulent claims – particularly whiplash claims. It has been strongly argued that telematics devices can halt fraudulent claims – and Italy has been cited as an example of how.

Figures recently discussed by insurers show that Italy now leads the world in numbers of telematic- based policies.

Five per cent

It is estimated that, in Italy, five per cent of all auto insurance policies are now telematics based – and the rate is increasing.

The recent international conference of telematics insurance providers (Chicago, September 2013) set out to discuss exactly why.

According to figures disclosed at the conference, Italy leads the field with 5% of all policies followed by South Africa, with about 2.5% and then the UK (1.5%) and the US (1.0%).

The following countries were then ranked in this order:

  • Spain
  • France
  • Mexico, and then
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Brazil, and then
  • Russia
  • India
  • China.

Telematics in all markets

The insurers are now confident that telematics policies have reached all the most mature insurance markets. Many are now predicting that telematics-based policies will over the next ten years become the norm for auto insurance.

There are a variety of factors pushing telematics.

In Italy it is though to be two issues:

  • the high number of fraudulent claims
  • the high incidence of auto theft.

The insurer Unipol has beenhighlighted as a pioneer.

It offers its customers a specially-installed black box that in addition to premium saings offers a stolen vehicle tracking and recovery service, immediate accident assistance and is very strong on emphasising safety and security issues for both drivers and other road users.

The installed black-box can also be used to examine crash claims making it almost impossible for a fraudulent claim to be successfully filed.

It is possible the UK government green paper could advocate the use of telematic devices to reduce the rate of rise in whiplash claims – many of which are thought to have a fraudulent intention.


    Jonathan Coe, Editor

    Journalist and comms specialist for over 40 years – trained in print, broadcasting, and industrial intranet. Written about comms policy (eg. as radio editor at Time Out); held senior comms roles in public bodies (National Health Service, local government) and privatised undertakings (London Electricity – now Electricité de France). Since, has developed interests in the ordinary citizen's use of judicial review to challenge irrational decisions of government and the use of rights (like the Freedom of Information Act) to explore irrational decisions (like the BBC's original decision to close the BBC digital radio service BBC 6 Music).

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