Willis Towers Watson plans to sell its usage-based insurance assets to Octo Telematics, a UK telematics company focused on the auto insurance industry. Once the deal concludes, both companies will form a strategic alliance to develop new technology in the space.

“It makes sense to join forces with Willis Towers Watson to pool resources and lead on further developing telematics propositions,” Octo Telematics CEO Fabio Sbianchi said in prepared remarks. “Together, we can extend our geographical reach and leverage our respective established networks to maintain a leading position in enabling consumers and insurers to gain the maximum benefit from accurate telematics data.”

Neither side is discussing financial terms.

London-based Octo said its purchase will include the company’s DriveAbility telematics program. As well, key Willis Towers Watson personnel will be joining Octo, including WTW Global Telematics Leader Geoff Werner, who is credited with leading the development and growth of DriveAbility.

The DriveAbility technology aggregates and analyzes granular telematics and insurance data to provide a driving score and help insurers design, score, issue and bind telematics-based insurance policies. It also helps facilitate relationships between motor OEMs, telecoms, insurers and others to present convenient, personalized insurance offers for customers that uses pre-analyzed driving data.

Octo said the DriveAbility technology is synergistic with its own, including advanced big data analytics and its recent launch of the Octo Next Generation Platform, which creates an “insurance ecosystem” of products and services for insurers.

Once Octo buys the WTW usage-based assets, both companies will link up to develop more auto telematics technology, with the goal of enhancing both companies’ products roster and services. Specifically, they’ll develop algorithms and other analytical tools designed “to provide actionable intelligence based on accurate analysis of data.”

Werner will chair an advisory board that leads this effort, and he’ll report directly to Sbianchi. Plans also call for Duncan Anderson, WTW Global Leader, Insurance Technology, and Tom Coughlin, National partner, WTW North America, to serve on the advisory board.

Alice Underwood, WTW’s Global Leader, Insurance Consulting and Technology, said that both companies share a similar vision and are focused on jointly developing next-generation products.

“We’re always looking beyond what’s currently offered in the telematics space and leading the way in the development of the future,” Underwood said in prepared remarks. ”

She added that WTW teaming with Octo will also help both stay in front of new advances such as the Internet of Things and big data in terms of data analytics.

“We look forward to continuing to drive and improve the application of telematics and telematics data into an increasingly connected society,” she said.

In May, Willis Towers Watson partnered with technology firm Roost, to establish a claims data sharing consortium to help insurers test the effectiveness of water and fire smart home telematics technologies.

Sbianchi founded Octo in 2002. The company now has more than 60 insurance partners and 5.1 million connected users around the world, according to Octo’s web site. The company bills itself as the largest global database of telematics data, with more than 165 billion miles of driving data collected and 417,000 crashes and insurance events analyzed as of the end of June.

Octo has its headquarters in London, but also maintains offices in Boston, Rome, Stuttgart, Madrid and Sao Paulo.

Willis Towers Watson is a global company focused on employee benefits, HR consulting and risk management insurance/broking.

Source: Octo Telematics, Willis Towers Watson