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Thatcham Research partners with WTW insurance to keep pace with impact of vehicle technologies on claims

WTW and Thatcham Research have announced a new partnership that combines their market-leading data and analytical capabilities to deliver a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of increasingly advanced vehicle technologies on claims risk.

Vehicle technology is experiencing a seismic transformation, with even mass market family hatchbacks featuring Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), expensive headlights, and keyless and connectivity systems. This is in addition to the substantial rise in sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This pace of change adds new complexity for insurers, putting them under pressure to achieve a more sophisticated picture of claims data relating to the many varying features of new vehicle models.

Claims leaders, underwriters, pricing teams, reserving actuaries and senior management need to understand the extent to which these novel risk factors are driving new claims trends. For example, which vehicle features represent the highest claims risk, higher inflationary costs, or actual savings, such as from reduced injury frequency and severity.

Thatcham Research
Thatcham Research

Containing data for over 50,000 vehicle variants, the unique Thatcham Research dataset Variant Code provides data granularity on the growing variety of standard and optional features in UK vehicles. WTW’s Claim Metrics platform provides deep analysis of claims activity in the personal lines insurance market, benchmarking over £17 billion of motor claims spend and more than 40% of the UK motor market. The tie-up will see Variant Code’s vehicle specificity combine with Claim Metrics’ data and analytics to give insurers far deeper, richer insights of emerging trends in claims risks at a granular level in terms of claims characteristics, geography and vehicle type.

Tom Helm, Head of Claims Consulting, WTW, said: “We are excited to announce this new partnership, which delivers a powerful combination of two unique datasets, supported by market-leading analytics, that offers insurers exceptional levels of insight into emerging claims trends driven by changes in vehicle technology and, as a consequence, the opportunity to benchmark claims performance at a more precise and granular level.”

Daniel Payne, Chief Digital Officer, Thatcham Research, said: “Vehicles are set to change more in the next five years than they have in the last 50. Combining the uniquely granular data and sophisticated analytics capabilities of Variant Code and Claim Metrics is a win-win for insurers. Empowered by new levels of insight, claims, underwriting and pricing teams are able to make more informed decisions, and price according to the specific features of a particular model variant. This capability is fundamental to maintaining competitive advantage, as vehicles evolve and technologies that were once the preserve of high-end models increase ngly become available at entry level.”

Thatcham Research, established by the motor insurance industry in 1969 with the specific aim of containing or reducing the cost of motor insurance claims while maintaining safety standards, has been delivering vehicle risk data on behalf of its members and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for two decades.

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