Driving for your rewards

2012-03-17 08:13

Do you believe that you are an above average driver but that your insurance policy does not reflect that?

For example, statistically women in their 40s drive better than men in their 20s and their premiums usually reflect this – but what if you are a 20-year-old male with exceptional driving ability yet pay for all the other testosterone-driven youngsters out there?

Last year Discovery entered the short-term insurance market with Insure: vehicle, personal and household insurance.

One of the components of Insure is VitalityDrive, which aims to encourage drivers to change their driving behaviour and reap rewards in the process.

The advantage here is that better driving means fewer accidents – and that spells fewer claims, too, which takes some pressure off the insurance industry.

Anton Ossip, the chief executive of Discovery Insure, says that using telematics to monitor driver behaviour means that insurance premiums can be different for every individual and need not be based on averages.

Through collecting data via the telematics device which monitors the speed, acceleration, braking and cornering of the car every five seconds, Discovery Insure is then able to compile a picture of the driving style of their customer.

The driver then receives a rating based on their driving style which in turn entitles them to rewards as part of VitalityDrive which costs an additional R49 on your monthly premium.

The rewards include cash back on fuel purchases at BP, travel rewards and benefits as a Discovery credit card holder.

Direct insurer MiWay introduced a similar device as part of its offering in 2009, however the technology has been developed further and real time feedback is available with drivers able to log onto the Discovery Insure website to track their own driving behaviour.

Unlike MiWay which offers lower premiums if you drive prudently for six months or hikes your rates, Discovery Insure works purely on an incentive basis by offering rewards not discounts.

Discovery argues that by incentivising people on a monthly basis by providing cash rewards linked to fuel purchases, it is easier to keep their clients focused on their driving habits rather than offering an incentive six months later. Every month the driver goes back to neutral and has to earn their driving points.

There are also lots of ­add-ons, like FamilyProtector where you receive an SMS when a family member starts or ends a journey and you can use a DQMapper to check safe routes.

VitalityDrive’s accident management system means the telematics device can detect when your vehicle has been in an accident and your GPS location is relayed to a control centre, which notifies emergency services.

Ossip says drivers can now log a claim on their BlackBerries and iPhones at the scene of an accident, by means of free Discovery applications, which makes the claims process much more convenient.

You will need to obtain the name and contact details of the other party or parties at the accident, plus photograph their licence and ID, number plate and also the damage caused to any vehicles involved, which will make processing the claim quicker and easier.

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 25 and you want to get started with insurance, the Young Adult Contract is very appealing.

You can get discounted premiums and learn how to avoid high-risk driving behaviour.


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