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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Male drivers ‘more likely to use telematics for insurance’

Male drivers are more likely to be willing to have a telematics device fitted in their cars to monitor driving behaviour and set insurance premiums, Towers Watson said today.

Women's car insurance prices are expected to rise when a European court ruling takes effect in December Photo: Shutterstock

This is despite an expected increase in the car insurance prices paid by many women when a European Court of Justice ban on insurers using gender to assess risk comes into effect on December 21.

A poll carried out by the consultancy found that more than 60% of men said they were very likely to be interested in using a telematics insurance product, compared to 40% of women. At the same time, more women than men said they were ‘not likely’ to look at using telematics such as vehicle tracking.

Duncan Anderson, Towers Watson’s global head of property and casualty insurance pricing and product management, said: ‘With the ban on the use of gender in setting insurance prices from December 21, young female drivers could materially benefit from the use of telematics.  The survey results suggest there is an opportunity to improve the marketing and communication to this segment

‘Even allowing for the use of additional pricing factors, many insurers will have little choice but to narrow the price differential between men and women, particularly at younger ages, from next year.’

Anderson highlighted the results of Towers Watson’s latest quarterly survey of motor insurance prices which found that nearly all women saw their comprehensive premiums fall in the 12 months to June, generally at a greater rate than men.

Towers Watson’s telematics survey also found that 84% of all drivers would consider participating in the use of the technology on a pilot basis, 7% more than in the same survey last year. However, only 1% of respondents said they already had a device installed.

Almost half (44%) of all drivers responding to the survey identified insurance discounts as the most attractive potential benefit of using telematics. Theft tracking and automated emergency services alerts were also popular options, but parents receiving reports on their children’s driving, and concerns about driving carbon footprints were low on people’s priorities.