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A New Era for Auto Insurance

On average, the way we pay auto insurance isn’t exactly fair. We could be the best drivers on the road who drive the minimal amount every day, yet end up paying just as much as the speed demons around us simply because we happen to be the same age or gender. The use of M2M (machine-to-machine) technology, in the form of usage-based insurance, can do wonders for getting auto insurance rates on an even road.

Usage-based insurance allows drivers to plug a device into their vehicle’s OBD (on-board diagnostics) II port which collects data about specific driving habits including how often they drive, how far they go, as well as location and speed information using GPS technology. Dennis Lottero, vice president of business development, Walsh Wireless, www.walshwireless.com, San Ramon, Calif., joined The Peggy Smedley Show this week to talk about this market and the potential for the technology going forward.

Walsh’s specific solution can also determine how safe a vehicle is being driven by monitoring variations in movement, such as the speed a driver makes a lane change, with the device’s three-axis accelerometer. The data collected by the device is then transmitted back to the driver’s insurance company via the mobile broadband network from Sprint, www.sprint.com, Overland Park, Kan. Once the insurance company receives this information, it can then analyze it to determine how much each driver should be paying for their auto insurance based on their personal driving habits.

Aside from providing Walsh with the network connectivity for its solution, and as a longtime business partner, Sprint helped Walsh to “develop a strategy to bring the solution from concept to market,” says Bill Faresich, strategic opportunities manager, Sprint’s Emerging Solutions Group, who also joined the show.

Lottero says Walsh considers a partnership like that with Sprint to be important, as evidenced by having worked with the carrier for almost ten years. He went as far as to label Walsh as an “exclusive business partner” to Sprint, expressing no interest in any other network operators. While other vendors may work with more than one carrier at a time, Lottero says he hasn’t found any limitations working exclusively with Sprint.

To hear the entire broadcast and to access archives of previous shows, visit www.peggysmedleyshow.com. The Peggy Smedley Show broadcasts live every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. PST/12:00 p.m. CST/1:00 p.m. EST on wsRadio.com or check out The Peggy Smedley Show on iTunes.

 



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