Telematics: Every insurer should do these 3 things before taking the leap. 

If you’re an insurer and you want to compete and win with vehicle telematics, you need to change the way you think about product strategy and development.  You are building a consumer app, and consumers have high expectations for mobile applications driven by their experiences outside of insurance.  Winning requires world-class experience and skill in app design and development.  Yesterday’s strategies simply won’t cut it.

At Blue Rocket, we conceive, design, and engineer products in insurance telematics and connected cars. We recommend taking these three critical steps when making the leap.

Choose a Technology Service Provider (TSP) with robust APIs and web services

Choosing the right TSP should be based on your product strategy. Will you provide features like incident notification, stolen vehicle support, and precise mileage verification? If so, you may need an OBDII-based solution, or gain access to the vehicle manufacturer’s data. On the other hand, if your focus is driving behavior, location, time of day, and distracted driving, you will likely prefer a lower-cost handset-based solution.

Whatever you decide, make sure your TSP offers the right level of customization for your project.  Furthermore you need to make sure your TSP has robust APIs and web services that grant you easy access to their essential features and functions.  This is critical for you to differentiate your solution and avoid major changes should you change TSPs down the road.

Connect with the architect who knows your current system better than anybody

Your project will not succeed unless you consult with someone on-staff who knows your current system backwards and forwards.  You will be managing data flows from connected cars that must integrate into your existing systems.  Moreover, you need them to manage data flow, security, sign-on and much more. As you go forward, keep them engaged to ensure you have the best data monitoring approach to ensure consistent data quality flowing in and out of your systems.

This is the most important area of development and maintenance to staff with top in-house talent.  No one knows your internal systems and how they are wired better than your internal team.  It is a different story for the rest of your solution.

You’ll be tempted to build your app in-house – don’t do it

There are a million reasons not to. The IT queue is too long. The project is too complex. You aren’t staffed properly.  What’s more, building a new team would take too long and cost too much. Some insurers ask their TSPs to create custom software for them—which can sometimes work for a simple white-label adaption of your TSP’s app. But that’s not enough anymore. Today, nine of the ten biggest auto insurers have robust telematics apps and differentiated offerings.  You can read more about this in the context of connected homes by clicking here.

If you want to compete and win in insurance telematics, bring on a top-tier product design and development company. Differentiate faster, at lower risk, with solutions your customers will actually want. Remember, they won’t judge your product by comparing it to other insurance apps—they’ll compare it with everything on the App Store. So hire the right partner, build something they’ll love, and build it right. Want to know more? Read our Connected Car White Paper. Or get in touch. We’re here to help.

 

Blue Rocket is a mobile product development company based in San Francisco. Through strategy, design, and engineering, we help great companies build powerful digital experiences—the right way. Email us at inquiries@bluerocket.us.