Company to run trials for a year to test the water

Ed Fitzmaurice

Broking firm Hastings plans to run its forthcoming telematics pilot for roughly 5,000 customers over one year, according to chief executive Edward Fitzmaurice.

The pilot will begin in the middle of this year.

“If we took on board 5,000 customers we would want to run them for at least a year to understand the message that the pilot is telling us,” Fitzmaurice said.

“Clearly if it tells us very good news very quickly we’ll accelerate it, or if it takes more time to understand and analyse it then we’ll take our time, but my gut feeling is that it will be a year for us to look at and analyse the data.”

Fitzmaurice said Hastings was hoping to discover during the pilot how well telematics helps the company find better customers and price the business better.

“The whole industry is  on the first steps of a very exciting journey,” he said. “It will be about how people use the data, how they present the proposition to the customer in a simple manner and the resulting costs and benefits that come from it.”

Hastings today revealed a full-year 2011 profit after tax of £26m, up 62% on 2010’s £16m. The combined ratio was static at 96%.

Fitzmaurice attributed the performance in part to the company’s low-cost model and continued efforts to improve anti-fraud measures. “That has allowed us to remain a bit more competitive than some of our competition,” he said.