The insurance arm of Medellin-based conglomerate Grupo Sura has partnered with Scope Technologies to introduce new technology to its auto insurance. The collaboration will bring onboard “telematics” to user vehicles that can track driving performance and help the financial services firm better price its policies to correspond with each individual’s likelihood of having an accident.
The program is the first of its kind in Colombia, according to Scope, and will allow Seguros Sura to analyze driving results to better assess the premiums that it should charge to each of its auto insurance customers. With better data, the goal is to rely less on traditional underwriting demographics — such as age, gender, and city of residence — to provide quotes that are more tailored to an individual driver’s tendencies in real-world conditions.
Sura believes that adding the data analytics derived from this technology provided by Scope, a company that specializes in this so-called “usage based insurance” space, will be especially beneficial to its “Plan Conduce Mejor” (Drive Better Plan) that aims to cut down on accidents and poor driving behavior.
Photo: Drivers in Bogotá grapple with crippling traffic everyday, and Sura is hoping its telematics offering can help make the roads safer in the capital and throughout Colombia. (Credit: Jared Wade)
The partnership, according to Camilo Agudelo, mobility manager of Seguros Sura Colombia, “allows us to offer our customers a truly unique product.” Agudelo added that Sura is seeking “to make Colombians aware of their driving habits and help them make safer driving decisions.” On top of gauging behavior, the telematics can give the driver notifications about when their vehicle needs maintenance, helping to reduce the chance of accidents caused by faulty equipment.
Sura sees a large potential for growth given the low penetration rate of car insurance in Colombia. With a voluntary comprehensive vehicle insurance market, the penetration sits at about 30%, according to the company, and this lack of historical data makes pricing rates accurately more challenging than it is in more mature markets like the United States.
Sura hopes that the telematics benefits will help it disrupt the current auto insurance landscape. It sees possibilities for increased customer retention as well, since policy specifics will be more transparent and easy to understand even for those who have never purchased insurance before. And since drivers will have direct economic incentives to be safer on the road, the company expects to see fewer accidents among drivers using the Scope technology — and thus have fewer claims to pay out.
“Seguros Sura have been looking at telematics implementation for a while are well ahead of the curve in adopting a full-service, usage-based Insurance product in Latin America,” said Christian Terfi, regional director for the Americas at Scope Technologies.