Tag Archives: telematics

Spotlight on Kevin Henderson, Founder and CEO of Indenseo

By Marielle Rodriguez, Social Media and Brand Design Coordinator, Triple-I

Kevin Henderson

For Black History Month, Triple-I is putting the spotlight on Black entrepreneurs and innovative leaders in insurance. We sat down with Kevin Henderson, Founder and CEO of Indenseo, an analytics software company based in Palo Alto, CA to talk about his background in insurtech and how telematics is shaping the commercial auto insurance space.

Originally from West Medford, Massachusetts, Henderson moved to the Bay Area in California during the Web 1.0 internet boom in the late-1990’s, where he led the global data business for telematics company @Road [later acquired by Trimble] and partnered with commercial auto carriers on their telematics programs. Henderson’s extensive experience in insurance telematics led him to create Indenseo in 2013.

Data has an enormous potential for insurance, according to Henderson. We are now able to know in real-time what’s happening with the vehicle and how it’s being driven. Combining telematics data with contextual data like the road conditions, the limit is your imagination.

Yet, obtaining funding for Indenseo as a Black business owner provided initial hurdles for Henderson. Citing a Harvard Business article on diversity in innovation, he says there’s a positive correlation between the [racial] makeup of partners and those who get funded.” However, his difficulties with obtaining VC funding also led him to be more strategic in his fundraising approach. “It made [us] use the capital we did raise more efficiently,” he says.

While funding was an initial battle, Henderson shares the importance of having a vision and people around you that you trust.

“You need to have people around you that know the ecosystem, and people who will be honest with you. It’s a numbers game and you need to be creative. Learn how to target investors with an interest in the markets you’re trying to get into,” he says.

While telematics is synonymous with commercial fleets, use in personal lines insurance remains low. COVID-19 has revealed telematics’ potential in personal lines. “People are more open with sharing their data,” Henderson says. “The shift in driver behavior caused by the pandemic has revealed that people want to be priced based on how much they use their vehicles as opposed to a standard premium that doesn’t account for vehicle use.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought its own set of challenges for Indenseo, including a slowdown in developing international business, but Henderson believes those opportunities will help expand his business in other countries. “Not everything can be done on Zoom. I will be back on airplanes when international travel and in-person meetings are practical again.”

As on the future of telematics in insurance, Henderson believes that commercial auto will evolve very differently than personal lines.

“The risks are different, and the technology is different. The risk you care about for an 18-wheel truck or a service van will be much different than the risk for a four-wheel sedan,” he says.

With the rise of new specialty markets and new companies, distribution models will change, and new products will emerge. All this makes the future of telematics and commercial auto insurance quite unpredictable and exciting.

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Indenseo will be hosting a free webinar with Jeffrey Williams of Forrester on February 25th, 1PM ET as part of the “Connected Insurance” series on how IoT will transform insurance. During the webinar, they will talk about trends, technologies, and use cases.

You can learn more about the webinar and register here.

To learn more about Indenseo, visit Indenseo.com. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinGHenderson.  

Pay-as-you-drive keeps rolling along

The pay-as-you-drive movement in auto insurance got two big boosts in March, one in the United States and one in Europe.

Pay-as-you-drive insurance bases rates on individual’s driving habits. Drivers are monitored by on-board computers that monitor how much and how safely they drive. A cautious occasional driver would pay less. The monitoring devices are the latest in telematics, the technology of computers on the go communicating with central devices. (GPS devices are the most common example.)

In the United States, Progressive Insurance has decided to put its advertising muscle behind its Snapshot product. Your car, if it was built after 1996, contains a computer that monitors driving. The Snapshot device plugs into that computer and sends information to Progressive. If a customer’s driving habits are better than average, he or she gets a discount.

After 30 days, a customer could log on to see what discount was earned and how to do better. The service is available in 32 states.

In December, State Farm and the Automobile Club of Southern California launched a program. A report in Streetsblog San Francisco indicated State Farm’s program used the OnStar system to capture odometer readings.

In the UK, meanwhile, soaring auto insurance rates have customers casting about for discounts, piquing interest in pay-as-you-drive. Young men pay more than  £3,000   ($4,830) a year for coverage. Women will see rates rise over the next year as gender-based rating is phased out, thanks to a recent European court decision.

The Daily Mail reports that Co-operative Insurance launched a pay-as-you-drive service for young drivers, with AA Insurance expected to follow suit this year. The article focuses on an 18-year-old man using a firm called Insurethebox to cut his rate to  £3,100 ($4,991) from  £5,500 (  $8,855) a year.

His 10-year-old Ford Fiesta has a satellite tracker that monitors his car’s speed, its acceleration, the G-forces from applying brakes, cornering and the time of day the car is driven. He receives a driver rating between one and five and can monitor the results online.

His policy covers him for 6,000 miles a year. If he drives more than that, he can buy more miles – similar to the way you can re-load a prepaid cell phone – or he can earn them by driving safely.

Pay-as-you-drive proponents emphasize two other benefits. The rapid feedback gives an incentive to drive safely. That’s good risk management. And the incentive to drive less means some people will forgo trips to save cash – the Brookings Institution estimated savings up to 8 percent in California. That reduces energy consumption and unclogs the roads a bit.