Telematics data uncovers use of private vehicles for commercial deliveries

Real-time driving data has uncovered the growing use of privately-insured vehicles for commercial purposes.

Telematics insurtech, ThingCo calculates that as much as 5% of new private motor insurance policies are currently being used for commercial activities, such as take-away food deliveries.

Its findings were uncovered from driving data collected by a proprietary device called Theo, which is currently installed in around 2,000 vehicles through its partnerships with brokers and insurers.

ThingCo is developing artificial intelligence to help pinpoint more quickly where drivers are undertaking regular deliveries by mapping trip data to reveal journey patterns to and from the same fast food outlet or frequent stops within a distinct area.

Martin Williams, COO of ThingCo said: “We are in the early stages of the market’s adoption of Theo so what we are seeing could be the tip of the iceberg. There has been a sharp rise in delivery driving during the pandemic as a side hustle and we know it has provided a valuable source of income for many as well as serving the needs of local communities. However, the volume of policyholders failing to disclose that their vehicle is being used for commercial purposes has exceeded our expectations. The personal lines motor market is largely a bystander to this problem. It’s only through driving data that they can take action before the risk becomes a claim.

“Delivery driving carries a huge level of risk, particularly where late night food deliveries are concerned. It is vital these drivers are identified and encouraged to arrange appropriate cover not only to help ensure that if they do have an accident, they are able to claim but also to protect anyone else innocently involved in a collision. This is a perfect example of the huge power of real-time driving data in helping the insurance market understand and mitigate risk to better protect their customers and their bottom lines.”

Image courtesy Zurich Insurance

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