We are currently in the early stages of the next disruptive shift in work and technology, with a powerful economic substance sweeping across industry, as a result of new technologies. Change is coming at an eternally accelerating pace, predominantly as the futuristic generation comes of age and sees few barriers to the way technology can empower individuals and businesses. Within the automobile industry, revolution has come gradually and certainly over time. One new technology that has the potential to bring substantial change to all features in the Automobile Industry is telematics, with its capacity to monitor vehicle performance and driving behavior, and communicate back to the user with tremendously rich real-time data. For some carriers, telematics data provides the basis for understanding how far, how fast and under what conditions a person drives, as well as a substance for more sophisticated data modeling and scorecard development. This ability is fostering new and innovative products that more accurately price risk and attract lucrative new customers.
Octo North America built its business around telematics and has now grown to be the number one global provider of telematics and data analytics solutions for the auto insurance industry.
Founded in 2002, Octo is one of the pioneers of the insurance telematics industry. Today, Octo has grown into the largest and most experienced insurance telematics company in the world, with more than 5 million connected users and the largest global database of telematics data, with over 165 billion miles of driving data collected and 417,000 crashes and insurance events analyzed (as of June 30, 2017).
The platform that is transforming the insurance industry
Octo turns driving data into analytics solutions that are transforming the insurance industry. Its technology captures and analyzes behavioral, contextual and driving data to provide innovative solutions for its partners, and is powered by the largest telematics database in the world. Octo’s solutions are built on a proprietary platform that is built to help better price risk, manage claims and maximize customer relations.
Octo’s Proactive First Notice of Loss (FNOL) allows insurance companies to rapidly react to an accident, making contact with the policyholder in a proactive way, with the objective to collect as much information as possible and “freeze” the crash scene, reversing the traditional approach of notifying the insurer through the end user.
We learn more about the company as we speak with Nino Tarantino, CEO of Octo Telematics North America
What led you to select this vertical and create this establishment?
Octo entered the US market in 2011 to serve the needs of insurers facing technology innovations such as IoT that were fundamentally changing the interactions between insurer and policyholder. We were the first telematics Company to provide ad hoc solutions for the insurance and automotive markets. Octo built the first dedicated insurance telematics platform, through which it became a market innovator first in Italy and then across Europe.
How big a role does innovation play in your syndicate?
Innovation is the lifeblood of auto insurance today. It’s changing the insurance industry in a way that hasn’t been seen in decades. Insurance is no longer just about price, but about value-added services such as crash assistance, vehicle monitoring, and usage-based insurance and telematics that allows insurers to provide those enhancements.
And what are the most disruptive changes you have witnessed in your industry, and how do you navigate these changes?
The most disruptive changes will be in the way insurers cut costs while simultaneously improving customer service and retention. For example, telematics gives insurers a complete understanding of a crash - even if only one vehicle involved has the technology. Due to telematics, insurers can even understand intricacies such as the force of an impact, and thus the likelihood of things like whiplash – an oft-common claim –as well as other injuries such as soft tissue damage.
There is a lot of opportunity for insurance carriers to use telematics to improve customer value proposition and bottom line revenue. Claims expense represents up to 76% of gross premium, fraud represents 4-15% of total claim value, late accident reporting results in a 33% higher payout and telematics results in 40-50% higher response time.
What, according to you, are the key factors that have been the biggest assets to your company?
Our global presence and next generation platform with an unparalleled telematics database and analytics capabilities. We provide unparalleled intelligence because we own the world’s most robust database. Our customers are loyal, happy, and feel secure in the fact that they are working with the most experienced telematics provider in the world. Telematics role in improving this process – for both insurer and insured – is huge
Tell us something about what the company is up to right now?
In North America, we continue to expand our offerings across the U.S., Canada and Mexico – for example, having just launched Glimpse Plus, a cutting-edge, digitally-enabled telematics service that provides a reliable way for insurers to gather accurate data on driving behavior, as well as more detailed crash detection and claims analysis. The solution also enables consumers to use their smart phone to monitor their driving habits and become safer drivers.
You can also expect continued news about new customers on an ongoing basis – most recently, we announced a partnership with Agero, the largest B2B provider of roadside assistance services to automotive manufacturers and insurance providers in North America, to deliver an integrated crash management solution to enable carriers to more proactively and quickly respond to any crash situation, and to permit insurance carriers to improve First Notice of Loss (FNOL) services and savings. We also recently launched a distracted driving scoring capability – another example of how we are helping consumers and insurers to battle the challenges in automotive and road safety.
What are your thoughts on the future of the industry?
Much of the buzz for the future is about autonomous vehicles but there is so much happening right now that’s interesting and exciting as well. In insurance, mission-critical insurance solutions are being developed to help insurers reduce costs and more accurately price risk across multiple different industries. We plan to be at the forefront, leading the way through this exciting IoT evolution.
Meet the Key Executive
Nino Tarantino has held the post of CEO since Octo moved into North America in 2011. With more than two decades of experience in the global telecommunications industry, he has grown the North American arm of the company from scratch to more than 1.5 million connected users in just four years. Nino is also Board Director of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA)and is a frequent speaker at industry events on subjects such as usage-based insurance, telematics and crash and claims management.
"We turn driving data into analytics solutions that are transforming the insurance industry."