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Special Report: Motor Insurance Research 2019: Expert View

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With Adas on the rise, insurers need to better understand these technologies, including their impact on safety and claims, to derive the greatest benefits from them. National Windscreens managing director Jan Teo highlights how education can play a greater role in achieving this, not just internally, but with policyholders too.

National Windscreens managing director Jan Teo
Jan Teo, managing director, National Windscreens

It is forecast that by 2020, up to 40% of vehicles on UK roads will be fitted with at least two advanced driver-assistance system features.

This is backed up by the 2019 Post motor research where over two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents state that the number of Adas enabled vehicles they currently insure is less than 30% of the total number of vehicles they cover. However, only 22% believe this will still be the case in 2020, strongly supporting the view that demand for Adas calibration is set to grow very fast for the foreseeable future.

Two-thirds of respondents to the survey believe that the positive aspects of Adas outweigh the negatives of this technology. This is certainly borne out by Euro Ncap research that shows automatic emergency braking alone can reduce rear end crashes by 38%. It is no surprise that some people claim automatic emergency braking is the only Adas technology delivering tangible benefits, but with new technologies constantly being introduced, it would be a mistake to underestimate the contribution of other Adas systems in reducing claims.

Vehicle safety technology continues to develop fast with more connected systems being introduced to mainstream vehicles, not just premium marques. One such example is ’turn across technology’ for vehicles at a T-junction where the driver is looking one way and a car is coming from the opposite direction. In this case the technology would stop the car from pulling out into a potential T-bone collision. This technology is being worked into the Euro NCap testing and will need to be present by 2020 in vehicles looking to secure a five star rating.

Education is key

This means fast changing and increasingly complex vehicle safety technologies and demanding requirements for their maintenance. In this environment, insurers need to be able to understand these technologies, together with their impact on safety and claims, in order to structure premiums and excess levels correctly.

Education is key to achieving this. Fleets and insurers need to be educated at all levels including training courses for insurers’ claims handlers, those dealing with complaints, team leaders, supply chain managers and engineers. Driver education is also key to maximising safety and minimising accident claims. Adas are most beneficial when drivers are engaged with the technology and understand the uses and parameters. This can then lead to improved driver behaviour and reduced claims incidents. The vehicle handover process is, therefore, critical for showing drivers how the technology functions and to be comfortable in their use.

It is also important that training and accreditation providers work to ensure the windscreen fitting industry and those working within it can keep pace with technological advancements. All of this means insurers are provided with the expertise and insight they need to react positively and effectively to this ever developing technology.

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