Quartix secures Pay as You Drive telematics partnership with Coverbox
Quartix has signed a contract to supply its latest generation vehicle tracking systems for Coverbox – one of Europe's leading Pay as You Drive insurance brands
03 December 2010
15,000 telematics systems to be installed in first 12 months
Quartix has signed a contract to supply its latest generation vehicle tracking systems for Coverbox – one of Europe's leading Pay as You Drive insurance brands. Coverbox is owned and operated by Wunelli Ltd, whose goal is to become Europe's leading provider of floating vehicle data for insurance purposes. Since product launch last year, Coverbox has rapidly taken leadership of the UK market for telematics-based insurance, with 17,000 units already installed. Quartix will be installing approximately 1200 units per month, starting from November 2010.
The Coverbox system
Customers are charged a rate for their mileage, dependant on the time of day that they drive. This type of Insurance is only possible through the advent of telematics designed to be deployed for Insurance purposes. Telematics is a way of monitoring the location, movements, status and behaviour of a vehicle or fleet of vehicles. Data delivered by the telematics systems is provided in the form of web-based "dashboard" reports for end customers, who can check their usage, driving patterns and billing online.
Supplier selection and launch
Following an extensive review of the market, Wunelli's decision to select Quartix as a partner was based on its telematics product and design capability, but also on its expertise and compatibility with Wunelli in its database and systems design capabilities. Quartix also embraced the use of telematics as part of an insurance contract and could commit to the customer service requirement of insurers for installation and servicing.
Launch of the Quartix telematics systems for Coverbox went ahead at the start of October, following a pilot project which concluded in late September. The companies had co-operated in all aspects of system specification and design since early summer to achieve these goals. Senior developers from both companies worked together with Wunelli's other data partners to achieve automation and integration of all processes from order acceptance through to delivery of trip data.
Quartix's involvement begins as soon as the customer places an order for insurance on the web – either directly on the Coverbox site or through price comparison sites such as gocompare.com. The customer's details and chosen installation time and date are supplied to Quartix by XML file exchange, following which Quartix contacts the customer to arrange installation. Once installation is completed, Quartix registers the device with Wunelli in order that trip data can be correctly processed and summarised for both the customer and the insurer. Trip data is transmitted through a direct feed from the Quartix databases to Wunelli.
Customer support and theft recovery
Quartix has invested in additional office space and staff to provide direct support to Coverbox customers for anything ranging from installation appointments to queries on the user's dashboard. Quartix also provides a 24-hour monitoring service for customers in case of vehicle theft – in order that the vehicle can be quickly recovered using data from the tracking system. Normally such a service would cost the user several hundred pounds a year on its own – so the fact that this comes as an integral part of the Coverbox service is a great advantage for customers.
Installation and customer validation
Most insurance companies never get to see either the vehicle or the driver that they are insuring, and the installation process therefore offers an excellent opportunity to check out a few key facts and documents, helping to prevent the most common forms of vehicle insurance fraud. Firstly the installer verifies that the vehicle is as described on the application, without significant modification or damage, and secondly that the insured is also the registered keeper of the vehicle. Copies of the driver's licence and registration documents are made and transmitted to Coverbox via a mobile application, using either a smart phone or portable windows device.
Many of Quartix's 64 installers also took part in field testing of the new TCSV09 telematics platform prior to launch, and they form an integral part of this partnership.
Telematics functionality and data supply
Data quality and integrity are essential to the effectiveness of telematics-based insurance, and Quartix's new TCSV09 system is key in this regard. Already well advanced in development at the time of the Coverbox project, the TCSV09 is Quartix's 5th generation of telematics system. It is one of the most integrated tracking systems available currently, incorporating a comprehensive range of features in a package which is slightly larger than a matchbox, and which weighs less than 80gm:
• Real-time GPS tracking with 10s updates and 1s resolution
• Automated firmware and configuration update by GPRS
• Crash-detection "black box", to alert insurance company or fleet owner of accident, with detailed storage of vehicle movement prior to crash
• Tri-axis accelerometer used in conjunction with GPS data to monitor acceleration, braking and cornering
• Battery-backed tamper and theft detection facilities|
• Full communication redundancy using two GPRS APNs and dual server locations
• Latest Mediatek GPS chipset for ultimate accuracy in all areas
• Serial, digital and analog inputs
• 1-wire bus for driver identification
• Alternator voltage sense for 2-wire installation.
Quartix will begin using the TCSV09 for all fleet tracking applications from early December.
Driver behaviour monitoring
Coverbox is a "smart" insurance product based on the use of telematics and data analysis. By monitoring driving habits and behaviour and verifying the information supplied by customers on their application forms, Wunelli aims to help its insurers reduce loss ratios and claim frequencies. The Quartix telematics system monitors acceleration, braking, cornering and speeding through a combination of data provided by the GPS receiver and the integrated tri-axis accelerometer. Speeding is monitored against a road speed limit database for the UK. This data will ultimately be used to assess the accident risk level posed by an individual's driving behaviour.
The "black-box" function keeps a detailed, rolling 30 second log of vehicle activity (in terms of speed, acceleration/braking), direction, location etc., in order that this information may be used in case of an accident. On sensing a g-force level that would indicate an accident has happened, this information is transmitted to Quartix's servers and an alert sent to Wunelli.
Direct insurance products
Wunelli has pioneered Pay as You Drive insurance and was the first company to launch a product based on a panel of insurance companies.It has a proven supply chain for Insurers to enable them to launch a telematics based insurance using tried and tested hardware, data collection and billing / administration processes. This means that Insurers can move quickly to market and can provide a more tailored insurance product to the policyholder , but most importantly provides Insurers with an abundance of data in order to price the risk more effectively whilst giving customers a premium which truly reflects their individual risk profile. The data available is also vital in helping with claims management and improving customer service.
Wunelli is working with a number of leading insurers to develop their own telematics based products using driving behaviours and the first of these is planned for a launch in early 2011.
Applications in fleet management
Although Coverbox is primarily targeted at the young-driver and high-risk market for the moment, it is almost certain that the use of telematics data in the assessment of risk will migrate to the fleet sector over time. Fleet managers are already using telematics systems to modify driver behaviour in order to reduce health and safety risks and fuel costs – it's a relatively small development from that to get to the point of sharing that information with insurers in order to reduce premium costs. Quartix has already proposed some of the advanced hardware and software features of this system to some major clients, who have recognised the clear benefits that this information would provide.
More about Quartix
Founded in 2001, Quartix has grown to become one of the UK's most successful vehicle tracking service providers.
Today, more than 2,500 customers across a wide range of sectors – including government organisations, housing associations, construction, hospital trusts, the emergency services, SMEs and large British brands – use the online service, with the company's unique, own-design tracking unit currently installed in more than 25,000 vehicles.
The Quartix system provides users with a fast, efficient, 'point-and-click' source of real-time information, together with tailored e-mail reports. The highly-flexible service has scope to meet the needs of large corporations and owner-managed businesses alike.
More about Coverbox
Customers log on to www.coverbox.co.uk to apply for insurance, and receive a selection of quotes and varying features from Coverbox's insurance company partners including The Co-operative, Allianz Insurance, Equity Red Star and Groupama Insurances.
Some months customers may do a little more mileage than planned and other months they may not over the year it may well even out, but if they cover fewer miles than estimated then they can have a refund or we credit their insurance bill for the following year.
In summary, it will work very much like a monthly utility bill – the key difference, though, is that low risk drivers who use their cars little and in off-peak periods are not penalised by the actions of or accidents suffered by higher risk drivers driving at higher risk times.