INSURANCE EUROPE KEY MESSAGES ON THE ECALL REGULATION
The European motor insurance sector welcomes any initiatives contributing to increased safety for all roadusers and supports the implementation of the European 112-eCall system for all new vehicles aiming to help minimise the severity of traffic injuries.
However, Insurance Europe believes it is important to ensure that the basic principles of consumer choice and free and fair competition are guaranteed. In this context, Insurance Europe would like to draw policymakers’ attention to some key concerns with respect to the eCall Regulation.
The eCall Regulation would not only mandate vehicle manufacturers to implement the new eCall technology, it would also enable manufacturers to benefit of the in-vehicle platform as the gateway to any additional services such as assistance or repair services.
By not implementing an open-platform, car manufacturers, as the keeper of the in-vehicle platform, would be in a quasi-monopolistic position to (i) provide services only offered by themselves or (ii) choose on their own their preferred third party service providers for any additional services, thereby taking away the ability of consumers to have an influence on, or make an active decision as to, their preferred service and provider.
Consumer choice must be preserved. As such, it is essential for the consumer to be able to access third party services and acquire the services he has specifically asked for. It is essential to ensure that consumers have the possibility to choose and change third party service providers in a competitive market. In order to achieve this, a fully accessible platform is essential.
Developments in technology are giving rise to various services and new products for insurance clients. Should insurers, as third party providers, be foreclosed from the in-vehicle system, consumers would be deprived of the possibility to choose from a range of services and providers.
Insurance plays a role in achieving greater road safety, providing assistance for the driver and combatting fraud:
One of the most promising aspects of in-vehicle technology for instance is the opportunity for insurers to have an even better understanding of the risks they insure. Alongside factors currently used by insurers, voluntary usage-based insurance (UBI) would provide insurers with more information- in line with data protection laws - making it possible to adequately reward good driving practices . Besides the positive effect for the consumer, this would incentivise safer behaviour and ultimately have a positive effect on road safety.
The in-vehicle information also provides solutions for insurers to assist their customers in case of accident as the assistance coordinator of the insurer could provide his help to the driver and any vehicle passengers. It would also enable the insurer to take all necessary to minimise the damage.
The information collected from in-vehicle technology could also, in certain markets, assist insurers in reaching quicker decisions on liability and thus resolve claims more efficiently. Accelerating the claims process and shortening the lifecycle of a claim ultimately benefits consumers in receiving timely compensation.
Telematics also represents a means for insurers to help combat motor fraud and vehicle crime. Insurers continuously combat fraud in order to protect honest customers and ensure that they do not pay the price for fraudsters through higher premiums. Together with other initiatives undertaken by the insurance sector, governments and police forces, in-vehicle technology will substantially help reduce fraud in the motor field.
Insurance Europe therefore stresses that there is a need to adequately ensure that the in-vehicle platform is fully accessible, without discrimination, to all independent operators of additional and optional services; and that it operates on an interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access basis.
Insurance Europe also wishes to underline that such a platform would be in line with initiatives of the European Commission on promoting the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems. In order to ensure that all vehicles can communicate between each other and with road infrastructure, standards for an open-platform must be established.
In this context Insurance Europe supports Article 10(a)(3)(new) as proposed by the European Parliament, mandating the Commission to start working as soon as possible on the technical requirements for an interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform.
Insurance Europe is the European insurance and reinsurance federation. Through its 34 member bodies — the national insurance associations — Insurance Europe represents all types of insurance and reinsurance undertakings, eg pan-European companies, monoliners, mutuals and SMEs. Insurance Europe, which is based in Brussels, represents undertakings that account for around 95% of total European premium income. Insurance makes a major contribution to Europe’s economic growth and development. European insurers generate premium income of more than €1 110bn, employ almost one million people and invest over €8 500bn in the economy. For more information go to www.insuranceeurope.eu