Premium services give auto insurance carriers and self-insured organizations new ways to connect with their customers.
Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that it is expanding its Integrated Insurance Solutions portfolio with two new products, text disablement and premium connected services.
Working with Modus, Sprint launched an innovative text disablement product that goes beyond the technology of many app-based solutions because it is hard wired into a device that plugs into the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port (OBDII). The driver’s cell phone is blocked from sending and receiving text messages and surfing the Web. Blocking engages almost instantly when the vehicle begins to move while it does not affect passengers or nearby vehicles. The new text disablement system also includes geo-fencing, a safety feature that alerts parents when teen drivers stray too far. Sprint plans to unveil additional text disablement options for insurance carriers in 2014.
According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they’re texting while driving.* To help combat this problem, Sprint has expanded its portfolio of solutions for auto insurance carriers.
“Text disablement enables auto insurance carriers and self-insured organizations to improve driver risk assessment and encourage good driving behavior,” said Ben Vos-vice president, Emerging Solutions Group, Sprint.
“We are working to simplify the complexities of usage-based insurance. Using Sprint machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, both insurers and policy holders gain access to important analytical data about driving behavior.”
Integrated Insurance Solutions from Sprint is a usage-based insurance platform that gives insurance carriers and self-insured organizations cutting-edge tools to help them manage risk, reduce costs and improve profitability. Policy holders can opt to have their vehicles fitted with a small device that plugs into the diagnostic port that captures data about their vehicles’ operation and performance. That data is transmitted over the Sprint wireless network to a cloud-based system that analyzes the information with driver-scoring software.
Connecting to vehicles means connecting with customers
Sprint also announced that it is adding IMS to its Integrated Insurance Solutions ecosystem. Later this year, insurance carriers will have access to IMS’ scalable usage-based insurance program, giving them more ways to connect with policy holders by offering premium connected services. This affordable aftermarket solution turns any car with an on-board diagnostic port into a connected vehicle with in-dash information and entertainment in an environment that encourages drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
Premium connected services include:
Safety and convenience:
- Vehicle health
- Trip reports
- Green report
- Driver behavior
- Accident detection
- Roadside assistance
- Text messaging
- Phone calls
- Local music
- Internet radio
- Facebook and Twitter updates
- Traffic routing
“This new solution combines IMS’s vision and technical leadership in the usage-based insurance space with Sprint’s expertise in M2M technology,” said Ibrahim Mohamed-chief operating officer, IMS. “We are very excited to be working with Sprint to help shape the future.”
Data is transmitted between the vehicle and a cloud-based system, over the Sprint network, where it can then be aggregated and scored by IMS, Towers Watson, Agnik or the insurance carrier’s existing scoring partner. The system functions with or without GPS, in accordance with state law.
Sprint recognizes the risk customers and others face when they drive distracted. The company has taken a proactive position to provide awareness and education about the dangers of distracted driving, as well as technology solutions to promote better driving behaviors.
“Sprint is at the forefront of developing innovative products that help ensure responsible use and accessibility of wireless technology in our increasingly connected and mobile society,” said Ralph Reid-vice president of corporate social responsibility, Sprint. “We offer solutions that allow customers to minimize their environmental footprint, help motorists focus on driving, and empower seniors and people with disabilities through accessible technology. By addressing these important social issues through transparency, education and technology, we’re demonstrating how good technology works as a positive force in our society.”