Video footage from dashcams or from cell phones that use driver assistance apps are becoming standard today. Some insurance companies are accepting dashcam footage as part of the claims process or are offering incentives (such as reduced premiums) to those who agree to install a black box or share their video feed. According to the British Insurers Brokers’ Association (BIBA), there is already a fivefold increase in the involvement of vehicle black box technology during in-vehicle insurance policies.
If we judge by the increase in software companies offering video-based products specifically for the insurance industry, it is safe to say video is proliferating in the customer service and property evaluation aspects of insurance, too.
We anticipate this trend to grow even more in the years to come. This growth will almost certainly culminate in video becoming a standard for the insurance industry. The introduction of video opens a door to some amazing and innovative technological advancements. Video is not only the best channel for conducting communication with millennials, it is also a rich source of critical benchmarking information for unlocking opportunities, innovative customer service and practical applications. We can use video to build efficient workflows and back claims processes with accurate and factual evidence to increase response time and improve performance.
Vehicle insurance is a great example of the impact video can have on the insurance industry. Just a superficial look shows there is an infinite amount of information regarding your vehicle that is out there — be it from your own dashcam or cell phone, other call phones, CCTV, traffic cameras or home security cameras. Video is everywhere, and that is not all. There are some really interesting technologies that can analyze driver video footage when combined with real-time data retrieved from the vehicle’s own board computer (such as available via standard OBD2 connectors). These tools can show the average speed the driver is going and profile driving habits, such as keeping a safe distance, observing the speed limit, the times of day the driver is more (or less) active — and more. All this information can be compiled to provide an accurate and personalized analysis of driving and behavior patterns.
By centrally collecting all your video-based information, you gain the ability to combine several technologies that augment video input and provide a better all-around picture. Let’s face it: With the volume of business the insurance industry has, the way you manage your video must be able to perform and grow at the same capacity — while also complying with privacy laws and managing complex content access control policies.
Once video is collected, we also gain the video’s metadata consisting of additional information such as date and time. With this information, we can start augmenting our understanding of the video. We can use GPS to cross reference the driver’s location. Include weather tracking software to assess the impact of external driving conditions and combine this information to calculate the effect these conditions have on the driver’s ability to drive safely. We can use social media to understand specific road conditions for specific times and places, such as using GEO tracing for Twitter to monitor real-time complaints from drivers in a specific location at any given time. With all this information integrated and overlaid on top of video (either recorded or in real-time from the field), insurers are able to significantly increase incident processing accuracy and, over time, construct personalized profiles that can result in reduced policy costs and more efficient claim processing.
For example, insurers can initiate a probation process for new drivers where a certified mobile app is installed on their phones to be mounted on top of the vehicle’s dashboard. The app will record the drivers’ behavior overlaid with car data (such as taken from OBD2 or calculated from the video) and, after a set period of time, calculate insurance plan premiums based on personalized driving habits and issue feedback to the drivers. It would be interesting to see this kind of methodology implemented as a standard for all drivers and use the conclusions collected from all video and other complementary information to create a number-based score for drivers that indicates their objective risk.
See also: Connected Vehicles Can Improve Claims
Apart from establishing driver ranking, there is so much more out there that can be funneled to help evaluate drivers, driving techniques, road conditions, vehicle performance and incidents. We are already starting to see sprouts of innovation making use of video that can ultimately improve insurance and the driving safety all around, from startups like DrivingBuddy and Nexar that aim to improve driver safety with real-time video feed analysis of driver activity to government and police initiatives aiming to crowd source driving and parking violation reports.