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    How technology is driving new business models for motor insurers


    The combined effect of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning has potentially huge implications for the future of motor insurance. Hardly a week goes by without research or an industry spokesperson highlighting the demise of traditional practices and the rise of insurtech.

    For example Insurance Times recently quoted AXA’s UK technical director David Williams’ suggestion that as much as 80 per cent of today’s motor insurance market will have disappeared by 2040. That’s not a death knell for motor insurers. Instead the market is likely to change, with insurance being defined and transacted differently. Insurers have time to react, and there is huge potential for technology to benefit the motor market.

    The advent of driverless cars, continued insurtech innovation, the impact of the sharing economy, the growth of consumer power and the expectations of millennials – these are some of the factors that will increasingly shape insurance products and the relationship between insurer and insured.

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    Semi-autonomous vehicles ‘too relaxing’ to be safe


    A report published by Bloomberg has highlighted an unexpected issue with the current crop of driverless cars being tested – their test engineers are becoming far too relaxed.


    Manufacturers such as Google and Ford have reported that doing nothing while being driven in semi-automated vehicles lulls testers into a false sense of security, meaning they often can’t react quickly enough if they suddenly have to take over the controls.


    Ford denies that any of their engineers have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. However the realisation that the semi-automated car experience reduces the urge to pay attention has led them to take the decision to move straight to a fully autonomous vehicle.

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    This could be a rollercoaster year for motor insurance premiums



    It looks like 2017 could be a rollercoaster year for motor insurance premiums. We began the year with news from the ABI that premiums had reached their highest recorded level. The insurance body said the increase was caused by the combined effect of a rise in repair costs, increases in Insurance Premium Tax, and a continued rise in whiplash-style claims.

    It meant that the cost of motor insurance rose by more than five times the rate of inflation in 2016, with the average premium costing £462 by the end of the year.

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    Car insurance premiums to rise for drivers caught using phone


    Thanks to changes to legislation that came into effect on 1 March, anyone caught using a mobile phone at the wheel will be slapped with a £200 fine and six points on their licence.

    However it’s not so clear what this will do to a motorist’s car insurance.  The AA conducted a survey of insurance companies to see how they would treat drivers who’d been caught using their phone.  Four of the 13 insurers who took part said they would not offer cover to a mobile phone offender, and would even withdraw cover for violators.

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