How to reduce rising repair costs
As new cars feature more ADAS, the cost of repairing vehicles following an accident is on the rise. One reason for this is the fact that most sensors and cameras, which are central to automatic driving systems, are installed in the bumper or windscreen, which increases the likelihood of them being damaged in an accident. Repairs of new vehicles often require a recalibration of sensors or their complete replacement.
One way to help counter this trend is to liberalise the EU’s market for spare parts that are visible and must match the vehicle. Introducing a spare-parts clause in the recast of the EU Design Directive would allow the visible parts of a car to be repaired with components that do not match exactly the original design but have the same appearance and safety features. This would enable consumers to choose from a wider range of high-quality, reasonably priced spare parts and services that are compatible with their vehicles.
For Insurance Europe’s key messages on the EU Design Directive, click here.
Limitations of app-based telematics
So far, usage-based insurance (UBI) policies have usually relied on telematics devices installed in vehicles to gather data. While reliable, as demonstrated by a positive experience in the Italian market with “black boxes”, these systems are rather costly and difficult to implement, which has led insurers in other markets to make use of more affordable and scalable systems such as app-based telematics.
Phone applications do have limitations, however. First and foremost, they have to rely on sensors and operating systems that have not been designed to record vehicle data or a driver’s behaviour and that therefore may not always accurately collect data. Also, poor connectivity or phone malfunctions can lead to incomplete or inaccurate data. Moreover, phone sensors might compromise data accuracy by providing extra or wrong insights into driving data — a smartphone that falls off a seat, for instance, could register the fall as a crash.