A Scenario: The End of Auto Insurance

What Happens When There Are (Almost) No Accidents
by Donald Light, May 8, 2012
North America

Abstract

Could the broad adoption of currently available technologies result in a radical reduction in the auto insurance business? This report presents a scenario showing how it might happen.

A new report, A Scenario: The End of Auto Insurance: What Happens When There Are (Almost) No Accidents, describes a provocative but plausible scenario in which federal and local government in the US encourage the use of three currently available technologies (telematics, collision avoidance, automated traffic law enforcement) and one emerging technology (robot cars). The net effect is to substantially reduce traffic accidents and insured automobile losses. Consequently, property/casualty insurers see a major reduction in their auto insurance premiums revenue.

“In the near term, an auto insurer should be asking itself three questions,” says Donald Light, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Insurance group and author of the report. “First, how is it monitoring technology-driven changes in insured losses, (i.e., the progress of the scenario)? Second, do scenario technologies provide new kinds of data and analytics-driven changes in pricing, underwriting, etc.? And third, what should it do differently this year and next?”

“In the longer term, insurers with a significant amount of auto business have to grapple with some very challenging enterprise strategy issues,” he adds.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America (Boston)
Tylor Tourville
ttourville@celent.com
Tel.: +1 617 424 3284

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)208 870 7875

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81.3.3500.3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

3

Introduction

5

Most of the Scenario Technology Is Available Today

7

A Scenario for a Radical Reduction in Auto Insurance Premiums

10

What the Scenario Means for the Property/Casualty Industry

13

What the Scenario Means for Individual Insurers

16

Questions Auto Insurers Need to Ask: Now and Later

22

Conclusions

24

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

26

Related Celent Research

27

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