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Hyundai has announced a partnership with data analytics company Verisk to share customers’ driving data in exchange for offering usage-based insurance (UBI), which involves discounted insurance premiums based on driving performance. Later this year, Hyundai customers with Blue Link who agree to let their data be shared will be able to access a Verisk Driving Score, which will be a “simple metric that assesses individual driving behavior,” the automaker said Tuesday. If drivers opt in, that score can be shared with insurers that offer UBI in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
Hyundai’s Blue Link connected-car services—which include features like remote car starting and climate control and in-car maintenance scheduling—are now available on all Hyundai vehicles starting with the 2018 model year. “Lower insurance premiums will be especially helpful to younger shoppers looking at buying the all-new Hyundai Kona and Veloster,” the company said.
Verisk is a major data broker for the insurance industry, with a self-stated 3.3 million cars and more than 36.5 billion miles of driving data in its records. Driving data is seen as a nascent revenue opportunity for automakers, with the loads of information generated by connected vehicles expected to have value in the same way that internet and social media user data has made Google and Facebook into multibillion-dollar companies. Currently, the most mature way to monetize connected-car data is through UBI. Hyundai’s agreement with Verisk so far is limited only to sharing driving data to offer UBI, the company said.
Asked about privacy concerns consumers could have, Hyundai said in an emailed statement that it will only share outside the Hyundai-Verisk data exchange with “customer consent” and added, “Customers can opt out of sharing their data with insurance providers after opting in.”
For those of us who enjoy more spirited driving—on occasion and where appropriate—the prospect of inviting an insurance company to track our driving habits can seem counterintuitive, perhaps even a little risky. But people are doing it. A 2016 study by research firm LexisNexis found that only 6 percent of approximately 4000 people it surveyed said they or someone in their household had enrolled in a UBI program, but half the people who are offered UBI ended up enrolling in a program.