DriveGain app offers possibility of cheaper car insurance

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Fiat study finds insurance reductions are the greatest incentive for people to drive more efficiently.

The creators of an iPhone app that helps drivers save fuel has revealed it is in talks with an insurance company and a European government seeking to roll out the technology.

Simon East, chief executive of UK startup DriveGain, told delegates at an industry round table this week that an unnamed insurance company is looking to use the app to offer cheaper car insurance.

“We’re in the process of doing a deal with an insurance company to offer our technology as part of the deal,” he said.

DriveGain says UK drivers can save £170 and 350kg of CO2 a year by using the app, which gives visual and audio feedback on what changes drivers can make to save fuel, such as “Your cruising speed was good” or “Try reducing your acceleration”.

The news emerged after a study by Fiat found insurance reductions were the greatest incentive for people to adopt eco-driving techniques. Eighty-three per cent of people said they were more likely to eco-drive if their premium decreased by doing so and making driving data available to insurers.

The Co-operative already offers a deal known as Smartbox, using “Pay-How-You-Drive”‘ technology to measure how well a car is driven.

The box uses GPS to send information to Co-op on how those on the policy are driving, which is then used to review the driver’s insurance premium every 90 days. This could go up or down depending on how the car is driven.

East also told BusinessGreen that DriveGain is in talks with a European government that wants to use and rebrand the DriveGain app to offer it to citizens.

He refused to identify the government in question, but said they were looking to announce a deal in the next four months.

Fiat’s research found a growing number of drivers are willing to adopt eco-driving techniques to improve fuel efficiency in the face of rising fuel costs.

A 57 per cent majority of the 1,001 UK adults questioned by a Populus poll said they would be willing to take up smart driving techniques to save costs. A survey by Fiat last year found drivers using its ecodrive technology could save £80 per year on average.

By Jessica Shankleman

www.BusinessGreen.com