March 31, 2021

Hyundai Just Made It Easier to Opt In to Usage-Based Insurance

If you don’t mind your car and your insurance company keeping pretty detailed records on…

  • If you don’t mind your car and your insurance company keeping pretty detailed records on how you drive, then usage-based insurance (UBI) has probably already been on your radar.
  • With changes coming to Hyundai’s Blue Link through a new partnership with Verisk, connected insurance companies now have easier access to UBI data.
  • The benefits could include lower premiums and learning safer driving habits. The downsides? Well, they’re the same ones we’ve been hearing for decades about Big Brother’s constant encroachment on our lives.

    We’re already living in a world where car insurance companies can link up your car to their data servers in order to track you, in exchange for lower rates or other benefits. The whole idea has come a long way since Car and Driver’s Patrick Bedard came out against the concept of mileage-based insurance back in 2003, but now the line between saving money and constant surveillance grows even thinner on the new Hyundai vehicles equipped with Blue Link.

    Hyundai announced today that it is partnering with Verisk Data Exchange to give drivers the optional ability to send their information to insurance companies that offer usage-based insurance, or UBI. Most large insurance agencies already offer a version of this kind to tracking to save money. Allstate has one called Milewise. Nationwide has both SmartRide, which offers discounts for safe driving behavior, and SmartMiles, which is based on miles driven. There are a number of others.

    As to why you’d want your insurance company to know all of these details about your driving habits, Progressive’s Snapshot program website says the benefits of UBI include discounted premiums, drivers who act safer and the fact that this sort of tracking can help law enforcement understand why accidents happened. The number of UBI programs is only expected to grow in the coming years, with Reportlinker recently saying it predicts the global UBI market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7 percent between 2021 and 2025.

    Using Blue Link, part of Hyundai’s connected car technology suite, drivers in connected Elantra and Tucson models, for example, will see a Driving Score on their personalized MyHyundai.com page. When enabled—and this is all requires a driver to intentionally opt-in, with the ability to opt-out at any time—this page will track your behavior in a number of categories: smooth driving, total driving hours, driving time of day, speed responsibility and driving consistency. Each of these contributes to a driver’s overall score, which ranges from 0 to 100 (higher is better), and Verisk said that information from these categories has “a proven correlation with insurance losses.”

    The MyHyundai site will also offer up suggestions to improve driving habits. These should not only help improve safety and fuel economy but also that all-important driving score, which is updated once a week and could help save money on your auto insurance premiums if you’ve connected your car’s information to a UBI program in Verisk’s ecosystem. This network currently includes “numerous auto insurers,” the company said, including three of the ten largest U.S. carriers.

    Hyundai isn’t the only automaker exploring these kinds of UBI partnerships. In February, Ford announced that it was partnering with Allstate’s Arity to link up eligible connected Ford and Lincoln vehicles to participating UBI programs.

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