Local insurance broker, Autoline Insurance Group with offices in Newry, Ballymena, Coleraine and Downpatrick today unveiled an exciting, new downloadable Android smartphone app which will monitor driving patterns and charge insurance premiums accordingly. The sophisticated technology provided by MyDrive Solutions will, for the first time, enable drivers to choose an insurance product which will charge premiums based on how they drive rather than postcode, gender and local claim levels. This product aimed primarily at the young driver market but available to all motorists, could reduce premiums by up to 50%.

Michael Blaney, Managing Director of Autoline Insurance Group explained, “We are an insurance broker so it is our job to try to get the best deal for our customers. We looked at a black box system to monitor driving last year but the cost of installation outweighed the benefits. Working with insurance telematics specialist MyDrive Solutions, this new software has been developed for an android phone as research shows this is the type of phone most young people can afford. The technology should be ready later in the summer for Blackberry devices and soon after for iPhone. This is a voluntary option with immediate savings of up to 40% on current premiums and potential for up to 50% with a good driving score.”

Julie Gibbons, Autoline’s Operations Director continued “This technology has been well recognised as the future in other countries and we are delighted to be the first to bring it, in an affordable app format, to the Northern Ireland and UK markets. We are liaising with DOE and the Minister following proposals last week to change the driving test system to see what implications this type of product could have. There are far reaching possibilities with this mechanism for road safety and the environment also. Responsible, careful drivers of all ages, not just young drivers, have a better awareness on the roads helping prevent accidents and leads to fuel efficiency which will benefit the pocket. We will actively be encouraging customers to seek a better driving score which should cut the number of accidents on our roads and hopefully have a positive impact on insurance premiums for everyone if the result is a smaller number of claims in the region.”

University studies are currently being carried out into linkages between behavioural traits and driving habits. In the future this data could be used to enhance this study. This product has been designed to preclude misuse of the system but it does allow for the fact the small pockets of Northern Ireland are not covered by GSM mobile phone network.

MyDrive became the telematics provider of choice due to the quality of data its technology captures and the ability to assess driver profiles against data gathered from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Unlike early arrivals to the UK telematics market that record data at 30 second intervals, MyDrive captures data on a second-by-second basis and contextualises the data in relation to the underlying road network – building a true picture of a driver’s behaviour, enabling insurance companies to understand and accurately calculate the risk that each driver presents.

Linden Holliday, CEO of MyDrive Solutions comments, “We are proud to be the chosen telematics provider for Autoline and look forward to working closely with them to provide their first telematics-based insurance policy. We have worked very closely with RoSPA to ensure that our driver profiling is one of the best available to the current market.  The partnership with Autoline demonstrates the increased demand for an alternative to the traditional proxy-based system used to price premiums.”

Kevin Clinton from RoSPA added, “We are delighted to be involved in this partnership between Autoline and MyDrive Solutions, which comes at the perfect time. There is on-going debate in Northern Ireland about the rising cost of car insurance especially for young drivers and the number of incidents which occur daily on our roads; and just last month the Department of the Environment announced radical proposals to introduce Graduated Driver Licensing in Northern Ireland. People who choose the telematics scheme from Autoline can control their own insurance premium and help to decrease the number of road accidents by being careful, responsible drivers. RoSPA’s Advanced Drivers and Riders Groups in Northern Ireland, who can help people to improve their driving, can be contacted at  http://www.roadar.org/groups/northern-ireland/index.htm.”

Further information about the Telematics scheme from Autoline is available by downloading the factsheet from www.autoline.co.uk or by contacting Autoline Insurance Group.