After a muted year for growth in usage-based auto insurance programs, several carriers are rolling out new or reworked versions of programs that reflect changes in the preferred method of data collection and an increased focus on end-user experience as a selling point rather than just discounts.

For about the first decade of its existence, usage-based insurance (UBI) was powered by third-party telematics devices that an insurance company would have to provide to customers for installation in their vehicles, most commonly in the OBD-2 port. Now, telematics technology is embedded in cars coming off the lot. And if that’s not enough, the combination of GPS, accelerometer, and mobile broadband means that many consumers have a fully functional telematics device in their pocket – the smartphone.

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