Auto insurance premiums are up 16% since 2011, according to NBC News, and carriers are pointing to distracted driving as the cause. Texting and other smartphone uses are the main culprit of a spike in accidents. To mitigate the risk among their policyholders, insurers are partnering with technology companies for a range of solutions aimed at curbing phone use behind the wheel. Here are some in the market.
Arbella Insurance has been running the Distractology program since 2010. A driving simulator featuring simulations developed by UMass Amherst’s College of Engineering makes the rounds to schools. Students complete the simulation, which is reinforced by an online test afterward.
Just a few weeks after announcing a revamped usage-based insurance program, American Family Insurance said it's partnering with TrueMotion to curb distracted driving. TrueMotion's phone-use-logging technology will be integrated into AmFam's UBI app. There also will be a family version so parents can keep an eye on their kids' driving habits.
Ohio Mutual is the latest client for Cellcontrol, a company that combines a windshield-mounted device with an app to prevent cell-phone use by the driver of a moving vehicle. Other insurers working with Cellcontrol include Allstate, Esurance, and Liberty Mutual
Like American Family, Progressive is using its usage-based insurance program, Snapshot, to help improve driving behavior. The latest version of its Snapshot app provides trip reports after each journey, including an indication of how many times the phone was used while driving.
Canadian insurer The Co-Operators is a backer of OneTap, a mobile app that allows drivers to respond to incoming messages with a single tap-to-reply that they are behind the wheel and will address the message later.