Fleet News

Thatcham Research data helps vehicle insurers identify safety tech

A new collaboration between Verisk and Thatcham Research aims to help UK insurers identify new advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Thatcham says that the lack of data regarding the varying features of newer vehicle models can ‘fundamentally’ affect an insurer’s understanding of vehicle risk.

Many insurers struggle to identify features that have become available in more car models and marketed under different product names, it explains.

Verisk, a global data analytics provider, is enhancing its motor insurance products with Thatcham Research’s Variant Code, a dataset that provides updated information on the growing variety of standard and optional features in UK vehicles.

“This is about accurate risk assessment at a uniquely granular level,” explained Dan Payne, chief digital officer at Thatcham Research.

“Variant Code offers a competitive advantage, empowering Verisk’s insurer customers to make more informed and intelligent decisions, and price according to the features present on a particular model variant.

“This is fundamental as vehicles evolve and technologies that were once the preserve of high-end models are increasingly made available at entry level.”

Verisk is also benefitting from the aggregated view of data that Variant Code provides, says Sean Moriarty, operations manager at Verisk.

“Carmakers have their own naming conventions for vehicle features, which can be problematic,” he said. “However Variant Code provides this information using a consistent nomenclature, ensuring the quick and easy identification of these features.”

Features such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), expensive headlights, and keyless and connectivity systems, are ‘accurately’ captured, says Thatcham, addressing what has been a frustration for the insurance industry.

Moriarty said: “Variant Code addresses a long-standing challenge to the accurate underwriting of new vehicle models, benefitting both insurers and insureds.

“Until now, there has been a lack of clarity regarding the fitment of certain features across vehicle variants and their potential positive or negative impact on risk.

“ADAS have been a particular issue – with little information available to insurers on the presence of technology that can reduce accident risk.” 

Variant Code enhances the vehicle risk data Thatcham Research has delivered for the past 20 years on behalf of its members and the Association of British Insurers (ABI)

It contains data for more than 50,000 vehicle variants, provides data on key systems such as ADAS, lighting, security and connectivity and covers 98% of the car parc released in the UK since 2015.

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