Cashback for safer drivers as Beema launches the area's first behavioral auto insurance – The Nationwide

Pioneering insurance company Beema Insurance has unveiled an innovative car driving product that rewards car owners for their safer driving behavior.

Beema SmartDriver uses powerful technology to measure behavioral factors – including overspeeding, phone handling, sudden braking and lane changes – to deliver a score that can lead to savings.

The latest innovation follows the success of the UAE company's groundbreaking pay-per-kilometer auto insurance product, which offers cashback to car owners who travel less distance during their policy.

SmartDriver is aimed at drivers who spend more time on the road – and may not be ideal customers for Beema's core insurance product – and may reward them with lower premiums for proven safer driving habits, says Nicola Garelli, chief executive of Beema Insurance.

"Today we try to be innovative in the way we assess risks and how we interact with customers, how we set incentives and are more transparent, but also use the insurance product more consciously," he says.

SmartDriver follows the second anniversary of Beema's arrival on the UAE insurance scene, and has resulted in record growth and success in market share with its technology-driven approach to auto insurance.

The provider now has more than 30,000 customers and has been building an evolving user-based framework for more than 18 months that "caters for multiple needs and multiple products."

This provides powerful data collection and analysis that enables Beema to understand customer driving behavior "very privacy-compliant and respectful", which in turn makes it possible to share reduced risk savings with authorized users.

According to Garelli, SmartDriver has a similar “budget” to Beema's groundbreaking pay-per-kilometer product in that “we give you cash back at the end of the policy if you were a so-called smart driver”, but it evaluates many more factors .

SmartDriver is activated via the Beema mobile app, which was launched last year for IoS or Android, to give customers better access to their policy information. If a customer chooses the new feature and drives safely, the software formula calculates an “excellent reward”, especially if a driver combines good behavior with low mileage.

Three hundred Beema customers are early adopters of SmartDriver and the provider expects demand to surge as the benefits become more widely known in 2022.

According to Garelli, the solution includes a strong element of customer trust in its design, backed by maximum customer privacy. While sophisticated software detects various elements of driving behavior, he emphasizes that SmartDriver does not include a physical tracker attached to a vehicle.

"We only use location information to calculate the average speed between point A and point B and to compare this speed with the maximum speed permitted on the respective road," explains the CEO.

“Then we delete the information so that we don't monitor the customer's location for data protection reasons.

"We only use the data to calculate the driving rating – once calculated, all personal information that we needed, especially the location component, is discarded."

Mr. Garelli continues: “In addition, the user is completely anonymous during every phase of the data analysis, only represented as tokens, which are then only reconnected to the user at the moment when we assign the driving rating to a specific user.

"So it's a safe, extremely low-penetration product that has been designed to be as respectful as possible."

As the first insurance product of its kind in the region, SmartDriver expands Beema's mission to make insurance simpler, simpler and fairer and to share profits with lower-risk customers.

We only use location surveys to calculate the average speed … Then we delete the information so that we do not monitor the customer's location for privacy reasons

Nicola Garelli, CEO of Beema Insurance

It enables a wider pool of drivers to take advantage of the potential benefits of a Beema customer, namely those who drive an average of 20,000 km or more annually.

Beema admits that since the pandemic's strict safety restrictions in 2020, many more drivers have been back on the road. SmartDriver not only encourages their greater sense of responsibility behind the wheel, but ultimately works on safer roads in the UAE.

A built-in gamification element makes SmartDriver attractive to the user, with each trip generating an overall driving score – a higher score means better driving, and actionable feedback allows users to discover all areas where they need to improve.

Ultimately, customers can earn rewards such as cashback based on their accumulated driving points at the end of their contract period.

Fewer accidents mean a safer community of drivers, fewer insurance benefits and lower premiums, says Beema.

Mr. Garelli explains that SmartDriver is designed to detect elements such as situational awareness, excessive speeding in certain conditions, frequent and sudden braking or lane changes, and cell phone use while driving.

"We serve and price everyone differently based on the level of risk we identify based on multiple parameters, but our principle is that we really want to build a community of trustworthy and trustworthy people who understand the value of the insurance they buy," he says.

“We want to offer protection but at the same time be efficient and ensure that you, as a good driver, are getting the right price and not the excess margin and compensation for the part of the portfolio that is reckless.

“We are very respectful of the data and at the same time use the data to improve pricing for the entire community. We want to be price efficient, but also sustainable. "

Substantial investments have resulted in "a product that is very complex from a technical point of view, but also from a risk analysis point of view," reveals the CEO.

SmartDriver is emerging amid Beema's plans to expand regionally and internationally in areas where other drivers are looking for a smarter way to insure vehicles.

In a country like the United Arab Emirates, where bad driving is often characterized by traffic fines, Beema's offering is the exact opposite – it tries to give good drivers a thumbs up financially rather than punishing bad examples.

SmartDriver follows a lot of regulatory work and research and adheres to strict GDPR regulations, the company says.

Although its products have been marketed and tested in the United Arab Emirates, they are "for export" to other countries, including Saudi Arabia.

"We definitely need a product that can reward the drivers who drive a lot, but they are safe drivers," says Garelli.

“If you're a careful driver, don't look at your phone, don't drive too fast, make the same journey every day and keep your distance, and don't turn and steer in weird ways… It's fair that we distinguish this type of behavior from a driver who drives a lot, but with a reckless approach. "

Mr. Garelli added, “We try to make sure the community is safe while trying to build long-term relationships.

"The better we know them and understand their habits, the better we serve people and also become more tolerant of selected risks."

Updated January 13, 2022 7:42 am

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