Insurers get with the programs
Safety technology could save on the road and in hip pockets
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