In­sur­ers get with the pro­grams

Safety tech­nol­ogy could save on the road and in hip pock­ets

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

Al­lianz Aus­tralia cor­po­rate af­fairs gen­eral man­ager Nicholas Scofield says this is the only safety set-up cur­rently get­ting the dis­count but the com­pany is eval­u­at­ing other sys­tems com­ing into the mar­ket.

‘‘ The com­mer­cial ra­tio­nale re­lates to lower claims costs,’’ he says. ‘‘ We’ve em­barked on this with Subaru and we’ll be look­ing at over time what sort of im­pact flows through in terms of claims (and per­haps) ex­tend­ing.’’

NRMAIn­surance head of re­search Robert McDon­ald says the in­surer and its over­seas coun­ter­parts are eval­u­at­ing brak­ing sys­tems.

‘‘ We are en­thu­si­as­tic about the po­ten­tial of au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing sys­tems to re­duce in­juries as well as claim costs,’’ he says.

‘‘ We are look­ing to en­cour­age the de­vel­op­ment of the most ef­fi­cient and cost­ef­fec­tive tech­nol­ogy as well as the pos­si­bil­ity of tak­ing (auto brak­ing) into ac­count when cal­cu­lat­ing pre­mi­ums.’’

Other key in­sur­ers, in­clud­ing mo­tor­ing clubs and QBE, are also mon­i­tor­ing the ef­fect of cur­rent sys­tems or those com­ing to the mar­ket.

Volvo was first to in­tro­duce au­to­mated brak­ing. Swedish re­search found Volvo cars equipped with City Safety are in­volved in 23 per cent fewer rear-end col­li­sions than cars with­out auto brak­ing.

Other Euro­pean re­search sug­gests a car with adap­tive cruise con­trol and col­li­sion warn­ing can cut the risk of col­lid­ing with the ve­hi­cle in front on a mo­tor­way by up to 42 per cent.

Subaru Aus­tralia spokesman David Row­ley says au­to­matic brak­ing tech­nol­ogy such as the Eye­Sight sys­tem, which is stan­dard in many high-end Subarus and a $1500 op­tion on other ve­hi­cles, will be­come more com­mon over time.

‘‘ We re­fer to it as a driver as­sist sys­tem as there is no sub­sti­tute for the hu­man eye,’’ he says.

‘‘ How­ever this sys­tem can greatly as­sist in this rare oc­ca­sions where an emer­gency does arise. There is also grow­ing recog­ni­tion from in­sur­ance com­pa­nies that th­ese cars are wor­thy of pre­mium re­duc­tions.’’

Re­search by High­way Loss Data In­sti­tute in the US has found 16 per cent fewer claims were lodged for the Volvo S60 than other cars in its class. The XC60 sta­ble­mate’s claims were 15 per cent lower than for other mid-size lux­ury SUVs. Four out of five Volvo own­ers want City Safety on their next ve­hi­cle.

Pre­mium qual­ity: Subaru’s Eye­Sight ac­ci­dent avoid­ance

sys­tem

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