TU talks to Diane Dull, project manager, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, about the challenges and opportunities of launching insurance telematics pilots
What does your company do?
We are the Insurance Products & Services department of AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah. We protect dreams and restore lives by providing insurance for all AAA Members. To our members, we are the most responsive and respected insurance company.
What is your role in the insurance telematics market?
My role is project manager. My experience includes projects to conduct telematics pilots and to launch a telematics-enabled insurance product.
How many UBI pilots/projects have you been involved with?
I’ve been involved in four projects. Two were pilots, and the third launched a UBI product. I’m currently involved in a fourth project that will launch a new telematics-enabled service.
What is needed for the success of a PAYD/usage-based insurance project or pilot?
Strong sponsorship and a knowledgeable cross-functional team are a must. Our pilots and projects heavily involved partners and suppliers. Building a team culture based on trust and mutual goals is important to success. The team must also be open-minded and flexible, embracing an R&D mindset. In many ways, they are breaking new ground in their companies.
What are the three most common obstacles to a successful UBI project?
A challenge we’ve experienced is gaining alignment from stakeholders on the business case assumptions. Many viewpoints will exist for assumptions on new business, renewal rates, loss ratio, and even cost of devices and data transmission over time. A second challenge is related to the project schedule. Projects of this type have a high level of uncertainty and risk. For example, it would be unrealistic to ask for a firm estimate on the duration to select partners and negotiate contracts. The project manager must have the experience to prepare a project schedule based on ambiguous information from the team, and to follow a change control process to manage schedule delays.