Pinnacle Driving Challenge
Katey Walker

Pinnacle Driving Challenge

Perfect Driving Road Master or Brake Slamming Reckless Roadsters

Katey Walker July 08, 2015 Posted in: Blog Posts, Telematics / UBI

As part of our new partnership with Driveway, a number of Pinnacle employees accepted the challenge to prove their driving expertise. This was a real introduction for several who had heard the terms Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) or telematics, but not had a practical opportunity to participate in a UBI program.

The experience with the smartphone app was informative, surprising, enlightening, and occasionally challenging.

We have researched and presented on the consumer UBI experience, and it was interesting to see the same concerns present themselves from insurance professionals – privacy, tracking, ownership of the data, potential consequences of driving imperfections, and the inability to turn the app off at will. This reiterates the challenges that insurers face with consumer acceptance and the limited presence UBI has relative to the entire insurance industry.

As we progressed through the first month, the feedback varied. There was some annoyance that the app failed to recognize apparent driving supremacy. Hybrid owners challenged the fuel efficiency calculations. Some drivers learned to slow down while cornering, all while avoiding a hard brake. Many enjoyed the driving names – Perfect Driving Road Master and Professional Style Auto Ace – and looked forward to seeing if they had earned a perfect score of 100. And others wondered why the phone kept criticizing them as Brake Slamming Reckless Roadsters.

Overall, Pinnacle drivers scored well with an average score of 79 and scores ranging from 49 to 94. Our 8 top drivers maintained an average driving score over 90 (on a scale of 0 to 100) throughout the initial trial. These drivers tended to travel 20-35 miles per day and had only 11 combined days with observed mileage over 100 miles.

Our 3 lowest scoring drivers exhibited more incidents related to acceleration and braking scoring - below 65 in both categories. These drivers traveled 35-45 miles per day on average. However, we did see improvement in 2 of these 3 drivers from the first half of the observation period to the second half with one driver improving their average driving score by 9 points.
The comparison of the first and second halves of the trial showed that only 12 drivers improved their average score with the most improved driver increasing their score from 83.6 to 97.5. This supports insurance companies’ hopes that driver education and safety could be material benefits of a UBI program.
However, despite this notable improvement, there were 4 drivers with average driving scores decreasing by more than 9 points in the second half of the observation period. As drivers tend to revert to ingrained driving habits, the scores may regress. This underscores the need for insurance companies to seek a balance between the duration of the observation period with the associated costs of continuous monitoring in order to determine the most accurate rate.

UBI will continue to be a key emerging trend for automobile insurance, spurring many new innovations that insurance professionals will seek to be better educated on. The Pinnacle Driving Challenge has given us a front row view of the experience and provided us with additional areas of investigation that we will explore to answer as we continue the event. Watch for more insights as we continue the Pinnacle Driving Challenge.

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