A survey of more than 2,000 consumers published last week reveals that awareness of usage-based insurance has tripled in the last three years.

But the survey figures published by LexisNexis Risk Solutions also suggest auto insurers still have a long way to go in getting the word out, with only 36 percent saying they are aware of UBI and only 3 percent of those consumers who are aware saying they actually use UBI.

However, the survey of 2,072 insured drivers between the ages of 21 and 74, commissioned by LexisNexis and conducted by Lynx Research in March 2013, reveals that the 36 percent awareness figure has risen from just 10 percent recorded in 2010.

Among aware consumers, Progressive outranks competitors in recognition—with 78 percent saying they are aware of Progressive’s UBI program, compared to 8 percent for Allstate and 6 percent for State Farm.

The LexisNexis report defines usage-based insurance as an insurance program that allows drivers to share information about when, how much and how they drive their cars. Driving data is transmitted to the insurance company using an on-board telematics device and is available for the insurance carrier to review in order to determine the insured’s eligibility for premium discounts, the report says.

According to survey findings, premium discounts are the No. 1 factor in UBI enrollment. And the size of the discount matters. While half of the consumers surveyed say they are likely to sign up for a 10 percent discount, the figure jumps to 62 percent for a 15 percent discount and shrinks to 23 percent for a 5 percent discount.

The report highlights the fact that 36 percent of consumers would actually change carriers for a 10 percent discount.

In addition to discounts, the survey found that factors that would increase consumer interest in UBI are the ability to opt out without penalty (80 percent) and the ability to choose information provided (77 percent).

The survey found that while consumers are warming up to the idea of actual driving data collected from a telematics device being used to determine rates, most—more than 75 percent—still lean toward traditional factors of driving record, the number of accidents in the past three years and the number of claims filed.

The survey also asked about the use of mobile phone apps in place of telematics devices and found that 36 percent of those surveyed believe mobile UBI would be easier to use. Another 34 percent think ease of use is about the same for mobile UBI as with a telematics device.

The survey findings also suggest that drivers aged 21-34 and those drivers who accept more risk (buy minimal coverage) or evaluate coverage needs based on age and value of vehicle are the most likely to be receptive to UBI. So-called “avoiders,” who seek full coverage regardless of vehicle age or value, are less likely to accept telematics or mobile UBI.

Topics Trends Auto