Vodafone and professional services company Towers Watson have formed a strategic alliance to fast-track the development and introduction of telematics usage-based insurance offerings for motor insurance companies.

The new service is a combination of Vodafone’s telematics solution Vehicle Connect and Towers Watson’s DriveAbility programme, which helps insurers convert driving data into industry-applicable metrics.

Specifically, the partnership will enable insurers to gather detailed per-second interval data on driving performance – once a customer has given consent – as well as external information such as traffic patterns and weather data to enhance accuracy.

Insurers will then be able to offer customers optional value-added services, such as automated emergency calls and the tracking of stolen vehicles.

The two companies said the partnership will accelerate the pace at which insurers can get new services to market and unveiled insurance firm AIG as the first customer to sign up to run a pilot.

“Launching and maintaining successful telematics motor insurance products involves more than simply sourcing a device and considering basic driving events,” commented Duncan Anderson, global head of pricing and product management at Towers Watson.

Last August, Towers Watson entered a similar partnership with Verizon-owned Hughes Telematics.

“From our experience of doing work for clients in the US, we know that analysing granular data allows a much deeper understanding of the context of driving behaviours, which gives a much greater understanding of the likelihood of claims,” added Anderson.

The majority of solutions are expected to be made available to customers on a self-install basis, including options for insurers to offer ‘try before you buy’ applications on smartphones.

User support, including recommendations for improving driving safety, is being offered through existing insurance call centres, smartphones and a dedicated website.

“Ultimately this could lead to cheaper car insurance for a large number of people,” the two companies said in a statement.

Learn more: Interview with Vodafone’s global M2M business development head from our M2M special report

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