ready to pay less… but be watched at the slightest turn of the wheel?

Paying much less for car insurance is possible… if you agree to be watched by your car. In the United States, Tesla wants to revolutionize the world of insurance based on real-time analysis of driver data.

This is a little-known activity of Tesla: its “Tesla Insurance” branch. Launched in 2019, it is gradually being rolled out in the United States – not yet in France. Its particularity is that it is completely based on the individual behavior of the driver, to the nearest second.

In concrete terms, the amount of the premium fluctuates each month according to a “safety rating”, which depends on a whole host of parameters recorded in real time by the car: the number of sudden brakings, the triggering of alerts collision, cornering too fast, respecting or not respecting the safety distances, only depending on the driving. The result is a score out of 100, the higher it is, the less you pay.

With a tantalizing promise: the average driver could save 20-40% on their insurance premium. And up to 60% cheaper than classic insurance for the best drivers. Another advantage of this new generation insurance: no other criteria are taken into account, neither the age of the driver, nor his sex, nor any accidents he may have already had. Only the quality of driving counts. Completely objective criteria. Even if we could say that it calls into question the very principle of insurance: it goes against the principle of risk pooling, one of the basic principles of insurance.

Insurance based on driver behavior already exists in France, doesn’t it?

We call it “Pay as you drive” or “pay how you drive”, “pay as you drive”. They are very rare for the moment, even if several insurers like Allianz, or Direct insurance, are starting to offer them. You are given a small box, a sort of snitch to install in the glove box. But these devices mainly take into account the number of km traveled: the less you drive, the less you pay, and some criteria such as the flexibility of driving.

Everything is very supervised by the CNIL. The arrival of connected cars, Tesla or others, is that they are computers on wheels, which collect a considerable amount of data. The car knows everything about its driver, which makes it possible to have an extremely fine view of its driving, and to modulate the price very precisely.

While waiting for autonomous cars, which will completely reshuffle the cards, insurers will also adapt to this new situation. Some insurers are also beginning to develop specific contracts.

Towards the same for health insurance?

It also takes us to a world where we will be more and more informed to pay less. This is true for the car, but it is also true for health insurance. And here we touch on a very sensitive subject. Today in France, the price of complementary health cannot vary according to the behavior of the insured. And the GDPR prohibits the processing of health data. But until when ?

In a world where we try to cut budgets wherever we can, it’s a solution like any other. In the United States, some insurers rely on connected objects: if I take enough steps during the day or jogging during the week, it automatically lowers the price of my insurance.

Companies offer their employees activity tracker bracelets, and lower their mutual health insurance or offer them cinema tickets or flight vouchers if they make good use of them. For companies, it’s all good: employees in better shape, and savings. In a context of constrained purchasing power and galloping inflation, this “earn a few euros against a little surveillance” deal could become increasingly popular with consumers.

Anthony Morel (edited by JA)

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