I believe all insurers are ‘working with’ the field of telematics in the Middle East, learning from the successes and failures of fellow insurers outside the region and adjusting these experiences to a model that will work in the GCC region. This is a natural next step of refining our underwriting models and getting closer and more connected with our customers
Some insurers (including us - http://www.safedriver.qic-insured.com) have already introduced a first or second level telematics solution with various success with the uptake from the customers – most probably because the products weren’t quite ‘there’ and because the majority of the car insurance customers in the GCC do not see the value of driving with a telematics product – the culture is very based on now-and-here discounts and less on rewards for safe driving over time
There is a general and increasing interest for pay-how-you-drive products in the market as a natural extension of the consumers’ demands for paying only for what they use, so telematics will be a more integrated part of the insurers’ product offering in the future. The question is whether the market and the insurers will move fast enough to reap the benefits of telematics before it’s too late?
Let me elaborate. Our research and current experience points towards a market getting ready for telematics very slowly, suggesting some 17-19 % of the drivers will be truly interested in adopting telematics within the next two-three years, which brings us to late 2020. Add to this the rapid introduction of autonomous vehicles backed by the GCC countries vision of replacing large shares of public transportation (buses, taxis, etc.) with self-driving vehicles
We’ll begin to see autonomous cars on the streets in GCC in a couple of years – these cars will render the traditional motor insurance product completely obsolete as the car manufacturers will assume product liability instead (Volvo and Tesla have already chosen this route and the other car manufacturers are expected to follow the same)
What we’re in essence looking at, then, is a fantastic product with a proven international track record being introduced too late into a market that never really was prepared for it before it was rendered outdated. Seriously interesting times ahead of us…