Blog: The rise of new mobility and how flexible insurance is helping to drive this greener transport system

Electric scooter

Vice-president for growth at Zego, Mathilda Nathan, considers how insurance is adapting to support greener transport.

As we gradually emerge from the pandemic, the world’s focus has in part turned to the most prestigious climate change summit, COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November.

We already know of the ambitious commitments being pledged by different governments across the world, with businesses and corporations alike also choosing to declare a climate emergency. The UK has committed to ‘net zero’ carbon by 2050, with an additional target to slash emissions by 78% by 2035 now also enshrined in law. It is, therefore, clear that a transition to a ‘net zero’ economy is now more than ever at the heart of the public’s, government’s, and businesses’ agendas. 

Specifically, we are seeing the positive steps being taken by the transport sector to create a greener and more sustainable system, particularly following the recent publication of the government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, focusing heavily on zero emission vehicle fleets. The rise in new modes of transport and new mobility services, such as e-scooters, e-bikes, and car sharing schemes, are already contributing significantly to carbon emissions reductions in cities across the UK and Europe. As we continue to make these transitions there is one factor which will likely be forgotten that is central to enabling these shifts and driving a move to greener roads: insurance.

With the rise in new ways of travelling and new models for owning and using vehicles comes a need for innovative and flexible insurance which takes account of emerging risks. Traditional insurance models, with fixed annual costs and outdated pricing models, inherently will not be able to support these changes. It is flexible, bespoke insurance policies that are key ingredients in transforming our transport system and driving this shift to environmentally friendly travel. The insurtech industry, with its advancements in technology and use of data to price policies far more accurately than ever before, holds the key to unlocking the potential of this new breed of flexible car leasing, rental and usership-focused companies.

We are already seeing a large number of fleet businesses adopt these usage-based models, which means they will only pay for insurance when their vehicles are on the road. This will not only allow them to better manage their time and cash flow but means they can channel any additional funds to other parts of the business - which could now include ramping up environmental, social, and governance and sustainability initiatives. We are already seeing how insurance is helping companies, like energy giant BP, make greener and more sustainable business decisions. BP required flexible insurance to launch its all-electric vehicle fleet for professional ride-hailing drivers. The company’s aim was to integrate insurance into its fleet to encourage drivers, who will not need to take out insurance themselves, to opt for an electric vehicle for their work, while knowing they are driving a significant reduction in emissions. 

We are also seeing the critical role of insurance in the roll out of thousands of e-scooters on UK roads, as a more sustainable alternative to cars. Riders are fully insured when using a rental e-scooter and the flexibility of insurance models means operators have been able to swiftly launch their vehicles in the UK to tackle growing concerns around a rise in emissions and encourage more people to travel sustainably, particularly in big cities such as London. 

Further to this, insurtech companies, in particular, are able to collect real-time telematics data and share valuable insights with fleet businesses on the performance of their fleet and the behaviour of their drivers or riders. While this data is primarily used to incentivise safer driving or riding through potentially lower insurance costs, in the future, advancements in telematics could even lead to drivers being rewarded for greener, more eco-friendly driving. 

It is evident that more businesses are making conscious decisions when it comes to ESG, and more people are considering how they travel and move about cities. With these actions expected to increase as we move towards our ‘net zero’ target, we will undoubtedly see a further rise in new mobility and shared vehicle services. As we shift from a world of vehicle ownership to usership, we must continue to build and develop the most innovative and flexible insurance products to suit greener travel options so we can achieve a truly sustainable transport system. 

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page  

Only users who have a paid subscription or are part of a corporate subscription are able to print or copy content.

To access these options, along with all other subscription benefits, please contact [email protected] or view our subscription options here: http://subscriptions.postonline.co.uk/subscribe

You are currently unable to copy this content. Please contact [email protected] to find out more.

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have an Insurance Post account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an individual account here: