US automotive insurer Allstate predicts a lucrative future for insurers selling customers data to eager retailers

Bloomberg reports Allstate CEO Tom Wilson says, eventually, he can see selling data to businesses that want to reach the insurer’s policyholders with real-time coupons or promotional materials.

It’s a similar strategy to Google’s, Wilson said, and would prepare Allstate for a future where the customer relationship has to be about more than paying claims.

“There’s a whole bunch of people who look at the insurance industry and say, ‘Oh, it’s sleepy; they’re not really smart,” Wilson told Bloomberg. “It’s for us to take them apart.”

Many insurers are using data from on-board devices to determine the risk factors of covering individual motorists and then can cut rates to help retain safe drivers. The same technology can monitor drivers’ location and could even provide updates on when car owners might need a fresh battery, or a new vehicle and also alert retailers of a consumer’s whereabouts in relation to their outlets.

User specific adverts can then be sent for display in the customer’s infotainment system and, where linked to shopping history on their smartphones, the adverts can be tailored to that consumer’s preferences.

Industry experts predict that currently 40% of UBI users would object to having their data sold to retailers.

However that leaves a sizeable number of compliant customers for the insurance companies to monetise.

 “If you say ‘I could save you 10 to 30%,’ Boom! I’m in,” Wilson said, describing customer reaction. “If there’s value to it, they’ll be willing to do it.”

For all the latest thinking and developments on telematics insurance don't miss Insurance Telematics Insurance 2015 this September 2-3.