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[Video] Putting the Customer First: How State Farm & CMT Built the Top Telematics Program

January 8, 2021

In early December 2020, State Farm and Cambridge Mobile Telematics took the stage together at the digital DIGIN conference. Brian Sullivan, editor and publisher of the Auto Insurance Report, moderated the discussion with Scott Bruns, Director of Telematics at State Farm, and Bill Powers, co-founder & CEO of CMT about the 8-year-long business alliance between State Farm and CMT, and a joint outlook of the future of telematics as it applies to the future of mobility, transportation, and insurance.

State Farm is the largest provider of auto insurance in the United States, and Cambridge Mobile Telematics is the largest smartphone telematics provider in the world. During their discussion, they explored the future of auto insurance and user-based insurance (UBI) powered by telematics, using State Farm’s widely recognized Drive Safe & SaveTM program, which is powered by CMT’s technology. They also focused on the insights generated by telematics and how they help promote safer driving for our customers, agreeing that this is much more than simply offering discounts.

Topics of conversation included:

  • COVID driving trends and what’s next for the industry now that the auto insurance landscape is changing. Powers comments that during the pandemic, CMT data scientists “saw that driving mileage actually went up, but fender bender type accidents went down,” and that “the severity of accidents is actually pretty shocking.”
  • How learning about driving behavior can inform not only the telematics product, but also the insurance policy pricing. Bruns comments on how during the pandemic, DS&S™ drivers “saw an immediate impact in miles driven and that gave immediate insights into just how driving in general is changing in the US, [and] have travel and commute has changed and evolved over the years.”
  • The increase in the severity of claims and how their expensive repair costs are affecting the industry. Sullivan notes that “for the last 24 months, [the industry has] been seeing higher severity because of expensive repairs” given the new technology in cars.
  • A deep dive into the history between State Farm and CMT, including how Bruns and State Farm believed they found the right partner to help translate their vision of the telematics landscape into the insurance world. He states that over eight years ago “we could clearly see that [Cambridge] Mobile Telematics technology was evolving rapidly. The consumer adoption rates were just off the charts, and that created a clear future for us.”
  • Repetition about how both companies have the same goal: to increase the safety for the consumer. Powers says that “CMT has always been on the leading edge of some of the [safety] problems we’re dealing with… the human condition.” So it only makes sense that one of the partners’ main goals is to “use the very same device that is causing one of the problems to solve it” – the smartphone.

To hear more of these cutting-edge insights, be sure to log into DIGIN’s on-demand, the session will be available until 2021. Watch the whole thing here.