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73 percent of fleet managers are very keen to save money on commercial auto insurance (Source: LexisNexis)

Consumers in the US are growing more comfortable with usage-based insurance policies, according to a new study. According to the 2014  LexisNexis Insurance Telematics Study, insurance rate discounts are still the main driver for consumers, but other factors are starting to play a role in increasing acceptance levels.

Safety and security considerations are a major factor, the study found, with interest in functions that allow parents to track their kids increasing 12 pc in 2014 over year-earlier levels. Forty-five pc of those surveyed like usage-based insurance because it allows them to monitor how other household members are driving.

The poll, which questioned 2,000 consumers and 409 small fleet managers in the US, also showed that interest in safety features such as emergency roadside assistance, automatic emergency crash response and stolen vehicle tracking and recovery was up 6 pc from year-earlier levels.

LexisNexis said consumer comfort levels with sharing individual driving data are now comparable to similar levels related to online banking. And they are higher than is the case for search data and sharing social-media personal information.

“Our study has found some of the traditional barriers are beginning to subside," said Ash Hassib, senior vice president and general manager in charge of auto and home insurance information at LexisNexis. There is less fear today that insurance companies will have too much personal information, he added in a press statement.

For fleet managers, usage-based insurance continues to be a huge opportunity to lower prices and reduce costs. Insurers are marketing these products less to fleet managers than to private consumers, but LexisNexis found that small business awareness is relatively strong at 25 pc.

The study found that small fleet managers shop for insurance every two years or more and are keenly interested in saving money. "Our study shows 27 percent of them would sign up for a UBI program," said Ernie Feirer, vice president and general manager, commercial insurance, at LexisNexis. "This leaves a lot of room for growth and a huge opportunity for carriers offering UBI.”