Mitsubishi Motors North America is making LexisNexis Risk Solutions telematics solutions available to Mitsubishi’s Road Assist+ smartphone app. The capability enables drivers of Mitsubishi autos to get the benefits of usage-based insurance without having to install telematics devices in their vehicle or buy a newer connected car model. State Auto Insurance Companies is the first carrier to participate in this program, and expects to get started using the capabilities within the next several months.

The app collects driver behavior data via LexisNexis technology, then communicates the data as feedback to drivers and to insurers that participate in Mitsubishi’s Roadside Assistance service. The Mitsubishi Road Assist+ app delivers the driving data to drivers who can choose to make the data available to insurers through the LexisNexis Telematics Exchange.

“The consumer owns his or her own data since they opt in to the program,” explains Adam Hudson, Senior Director of the U.S. Connected Car Team at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “We treat this process like Fair Credit Reporting Act data, in that we make sure that consumers are aware of and consent to the use of their personal information for decisions that impact their financial well-being – in this case, the price of auto insurance – and consumers will have the ability to request a copy of this personal information.”

State Auto debuted a usage-based insurance program, Safety 360, in fall 2016. The company is also an early adopter of the exchange model for increased sensor data for home insurance. The company signed on with Roost’s Home Telematics Consortium in January and will share data collected from that company’s devices. Nick Smith, product director at State Auto, says the benefit of this new arrangement is that the insurer doesn’t have to ship a device to a customer to start collecting driving data.

“We can skip the middle man and get the data straight from Mitsubishi whose connected car, via their app, is sharing the telematics driving data with us,” Smith explains. “This allows us to truly understand and price insurance for each customer from day one, rather than using the standard proxy variables out there today in most class plans or waiting months for each carrier’s telematics program to get the right score and price, typically at renewal. This capability lets us more accurately price policies right away so at the time of quote, we can identify the best drivers, and we can give them the best possible rate.”

Drivers may have a policy from another carrier but insurers that are participating in the program have the opportunity to offer less expensive coverage based on actual driving data. Because customers have opted to share their data, they’re generally receptive to carrier outreach, adds Brandon Bauer, personal lines manager for State Auto.

“Customers that have opted in to share their data are proactively seeking insurance offers,” he explains. “Then it’s up to us as a carrier to reach out to drivers who fit our risk profile to complete a quote and then help them get a new policy.”

Mitsubishi is the first car manufacturer to offer this kind of arrangement with LexisNexis. However, LexisNexis is currently working with other manufacturers and will announce additional partnerships soon. “Because the platform is device-agnostic and not vehicle-specific, LexisNexis Risk Solutions can quickly develop UBI solutions for other auto OEMs and insurers,” Hudson says.

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