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From the blog

Telematics the Focus at AudaVision Vancouver 2014

By Mike Davey, Collision Repair Magazine

Vancouver, British Columbia — May 28, 2014 — Current and emerging telematics technologies are set to transform businesses across the auto claims economy. The recent AudaVision Vancouver event kept the focus strongly on this growing part of the industry. Audavision Vancouver took place at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown on May 23.

Anthony Giagnacovo, Managing Director of Audatex Canada, delivered the opening remarks, welcoming attendees to the event and introducing the first speaker of the day, Michel Laurin.
Laurin is the President and COO of Industrial Alliance (Mobiliz) Auto Insurance. He spoke on the story of Mobiliz, and how telematics technology has enabled business transformation.
The transformation began in September 2010, sparked by a visit from a vendor with a proposal to use telematics technology to improve the way the company managed auto risks.

Michel Laurin at Audatex Vancouver. Laurin spoke on how telematics technology can enable business transformation. Photo: Anna Beaudry © 2014

Envisioning how the new model would work, and what it’s underlying basic principles would be was a full-time job for six executives from March to April of 2011. Starting in May 2011, the team grew to 15 employees. They were tasked with creating, within 12 months, a product that would improve driving behaviours through telematics, with an emphasis on a lean approach.
The team hit its goal, and Mobiliz went live on April 11, 2012.

Laurin said that, from the very beginning, part of Mobiliz was the idea of a cause that would inspire people and rally them to action. The cause was preventing teen driver deaths and injuries. This is still the core of Mobiliz. In fact, the product is primarily marketed as being for drivers aged 16 to 24, with the stated goal of making them more aware of issues related to speed and dangerous driving, while influencing them to become responsible in a positive and non-coercive way.

Other aspects of the core mission were to bring together a community of young drives, not to mention reducing accidents and saving lives.

Laurin noted that Mobiliz was truly a new approach to car insurance, with customers engaging in 100 percent self-service via the web, and only needing to answer a few questions to get a quote.
Mobiliz also offers only one product. The coverage and deductible are the same, and only one option is offered. The most startling part is that the same deal is offered to all customers regardless of claims history.

The product in question depends heavily on telematics. A small box is installed in the vehicle, and the device transmits driving data such as mileage, speed, forced accelerations and heavy braking, and then adjusts the price to suit driving behaviour.

The cause is forwarded by a weekly driving report, delivered by email. The report includes both a summary of the driver’s behaviours behind the wheel, but also compares them with other young people in the Mobiliz community. This allows drivers to monitor their behaviour and thus to continually improve. Laurin says that part of the goal was always building a community. Social media interaction on a continuous basis means that Mobiliz literally must listen to its customers. Laurin says this social media connectivity led to adjustments to the program after only six months.

During his AudaVision presentation, Laurin made a strong case that Mobiliz is more than simply another insurance product. The cause remains central, and this has allowed the company to make a positive contribution to society based on their core business of insurance. More to the point, Laurin says there have been value added features to Mobiliz, such as continued active communication, behaviour awareness information, creation of a virtual community and customer driven improvements.

“I very much welcomed the opportunity to share our unique vision of connecting insurance, technology and social responsibility with the audience at AudaVision Vancouver,” says Laurin. “Our Mobiliz program clearly demonstrates the ability of technology to transform insurance strategy and operations when implemented with strong customer focus. Strategic partners like Baseline Telematics and Audatex Canada understand this approach and we look forward to future innovations.”

Lloyd Wheeler is an executive performance coach and was one of those in attendance at AudaVision Vancouver. A regular attendee of various industry events, he says the value of AudaVision Vancouver was extremely high.

“I’ve gone to a lot of them over the years, and this was the best one,” says Wheeler. “It was extremely professional, from the venue to the speakers to the whole set-up. Speakers knew the answers to questions they were asked, and I impressed with the level of technology used during the presentations. Being a technology company, Audatex uses updated technology.”
A short break followed Laurin’s presentation, after which Giagnacovo returned to the podium to introduce a number of speakers from Audatex.

Godwin Liu, Director of Product Management, discussed Audatex Collision Repair Services Innovations, followed by Mark Porter, VP of Technology, who presented information on AudaNet Claims Management Platform. Next up were two presentations from Kelly Merchant, Senior Regional Service Manager, who spoke on “All Things Total Loss: From Vehicle Valuation to New Car Purchase” and “Parts Procurement and Profitabilty.” Darcy Gorchyski, Director Business Development, was the last speaker of the morning, offering insight on salvage disposition.
After breaking for a networking lunch, attendees were treated to a number of hands on technology demonstration workshops in two streams. Each stream covered the same material, allowing attendees to attend two out of the three available workshops. The workshops focused on AudaNet LIVE, Audatex Insight and AudaWatch.

The focus came squarely back to telematics with the final speaker of the day, Paul-Andre Savoie, President of Baseline Telematics, who spoke on improving insurance telematics.
Telematics are a central part of usage-based insurance (UBI), and Savoie outlined how UBI is already having positive effects around the world. Savoie says these include fairer premiums, safer drivers, reduced claims cost and reductions in the cost of managing those claims.

Savoie also outlined the partnership between Audatex Canada and Baseline Telematics has as its mission to ensure that telematics will benefit insurers, repair centres and policy holders, with full OEM integration coming in five years. According to Savoie, there will be numerous benefits to repair centres, including full integration with existing Audatex Canada solutions. In addition, Savoie says it will make it easier to provide estimates by giving shops the ability to view crash data such as speed, impact severity and direction. It should also result in what Savoie calls optimal client referral: the ability for a claims agent to see where the client lives and works, as well as where the vehicle current is, along with all of the closes and most appropriate repair centres.
Savoie also noted that there are increased upsell opportunities for collision repair facilities that offer automotive service or are linked to an auto service business, as they’ll have the ability to see all recommended maintenance according to the telematics data.

In closing, Savoie noted that all cars will be online soon, meaning that obtaining driving behaviours will no logner require aftermarket devices. Savoie said that insurers will need a common gateway to obtain OEM driving information, and that Audatex Canada is perfectly positioned between the two parties as the logical exchange point.


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