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Japan: Insurers launching more offerings to safe drivers

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Feb 2018

Japan Motor Risk Management Technology

Insurers are offering lower premiums on an increasing number of new auto insurance products, in cases where the driver meets certain safety criteria. 
   Starting this year, insurance companies will launch in earnest auto insurance in which driving habits are analysed and premiums lowered for people judged to be good drivers, reported The Yomiuri Shimbun.
   Some policies take advantage of telematics, in which devices installed in vehicles or smartphones are used to instantly recognise travelling distances and driving tendencies, including acceleration patterns. Insurance companies are automatically notified of any accidents involving the insured vehicles.
Three policies that lower premiums for safe drivers
Among the insurers, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance has started accepting applications for a new service that will reduce premiums for people judged to be good drivers through a dedicated smartphone app. The new policy covers people who are purchasing auto insurance for the first time and those who are signing contracts for newly purchased vehicles.
   If drivers are recognised for their safe driving, their insurance premiums will be lowered by up to 20%. Before purchasing the policy, applicants need to have their driving style checked for a designated period of time via the company’s dedicated smartphone app.
   Another insurer, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, offers Tough – Tsunagaru Kuruma no Hoken, which employs a system in which monthly premiums are lowered in accordance with such factors as distance travelled, speeding and how the driver applies the brake. Applications for coverage were opened last month with the policies taking effect from 1 April.
The insurance policy only covers Toyota Motor Corp’s “connected car” models, which are constantly connected to the Internet. Under this policy, premiums will be lowered by up to about 20%.
   Similar policies were introduced in Japan by Sony Assurance in February 2015. At that time, the company began selling an insurance product named Yasashii Unten Cashback-gata, in which premiums are lowered on the condition that the covered vehicles are driven safely. This product does not use telematics, which instantly transmits information. Small measuring devices that are rented free of charge are installed inside the vehicles to record how they 
are driven. A 
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