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Thread: A World First - Usage Based Insurance (Telematics) for Motorcycles

  1. #46
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterK75 View Post
    Do we need yet another corporation, organization or government agency monitoring what we do?
    I think John is boldly going where most of us would rather not....Thanks John! I hope that some good comes of it. OM
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  2. #47
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    I think John is boldly going where most of us would rather not....Thanks John! I hope that some good comes of it. OM
    Let's look at it from a perspective of risk and cost. We buy insure to mitigate potential financial risk. The insurance company prices their policies based on the potential risk of insuring you. As such, if you want the lowest possible insurance premiums, you'll make yourself into the lowest possible risk.

    It's simple economics.

    I'm currently dealing with the same issue from my employer provided health insurance. Lot's of nosy questions, blood tests, counseling, etc......or pay surcharges. I can drop the coverage at the expense of zero employer contribution to health insurance........ If I stay with the employer plan, I have to endure the constant drubbing about my financial burden to the company's profitability. It's nice being loved.
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  3. #48
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jopars View Post
    I repeat, I don't want to be baited into discussing the philosophy of these devices, but your paranoia needs a retune. No provincial taxes are paying for this project. SGI (and most of the other Crowns) generate a modest profit for the Province and unlike many so-called "private" businesses, do not require or use tax dollars to operate or do research. The books are open to the public if anyone is in doubt. Additionally, the contractor is underwriting a portion of the project in hopes of future marketability.

    SAP was chosen by the contractor as a partner because of their extensive experience in Formula 1 racing and other telemetry solutions. While there may potentially be cheaper alternatives (I suggest it'll take more than the average app developer), the choice is logical and appropriate given the complexity of the task.

    Regardless, I appreciate the fact that our insurance company is prepared to work on innovative alternatives, rather than nonchalantly upping our rates without any regard or mercy.

    JP
    This is the part I don't understand.

    Your rates are skyrocketing per your own statements.

    You currently pay lots more that most Americans.

    And now you seem convinced your insurance company is being benevolent by offering to record your activities even though 50% of the m/c accidents involve another vehicle which may be responsible, regardless of how well you drive. No Fault means a lot of drivers don't suffer the consequences of their poor driving and your rates go up because of that. What about decades of claim free riding, what about motorcycle safety courses, what about ATGATT to reduce costs if there is an accident?

    I'm glad you are happy but I would never participate.

    YM Does Vary

    Love Canada and Canadians so none of the above is personal.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  4. #49
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibud View Post
    This is the part I don't understand.

    Your rates are skyrocketing per your own statements.

    You currently pay lots more that most Americans.
    Yes, but that is due to the long-term medical benefit which is included in the Canadian insurance. If your American insurance plan paid the cost potentially deferred to SS Disability, your premiums would be higher.
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  5. #50
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Let's look at it from a perspective of risk and cost. We buy insure to mitigate potential financial risk.
    The insurance company prices their policies based on the potential risk of insuring you. As such, if you want the lowest possible insurance premiums, you'll make yourself into the lowest possible risk.
    It's simple economics.
    Not to hijack this thread, necessarily...
    BUT:
    The above statement, concerning prices based on the potential risk of insuring individuals...
    Do you think that's really true?

    Just curious, because I always thought rates were based on anything other than the paying individual's risk assessment. Isn't it more the case that rates are based on what a given group is typically doing? That Insurance companies pay out for damages and injuries to so many riders who ride without helmets, or ride insanely fast or aggressively, and those costs are trickled down to us all?
    Last edited by bmwrider88; 08-14-2013 at 07:43 PM.
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  6. #51
    K'nothead
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    Thanks for the positive words, and I appreciate the support. My intent here is to provide the MOA membership with an ongoing objective evaluation of developing technology that may ultimately affect us all in one way or another. Please note, I'm participating not because I am enamored with the technology, or that I'm completely on-side with the whole thing. I just feel it's better to be informed, especially through first hand experience and involvement, rather than to have something wrong-headed and flawed imposed on me, especially with no opportunity for input. Through this trial and other ongoing involvement (committees, panels, etc.), I have a "seat at the table" and feel that SGI is honestly trying to help find solutions other than continually raising rates.

    As to the issue of rates; ours are so high in comparison (especially to US rates) because of the benefits. Our PIP coverage includes full medical and rehab costs up to $6.4 mil, wage maintenance of 90% (based on annual income of $86,500) including payable to beneficiaries if the rider dies, just to name a few. Obviously, most riders in North America don't have, and can't get coverage like that. Perhaps the benefits are too generous, perhaps they shouldn't be mandatory and motorcyclists don't need or shouldn't expect those levels. However, allowing motorcyclists to opt out, or worse forcing them out, is obviously a 2-edged sword. SGI is also looking at options in this area, but those changes are Legislative.


    Oh yeah, in an effort to "even" the no-fault field for motorcyclists, SGI transfers all motorcycle accident costs to the car driver if the car driver is at fault (but not the other way round). Therefore the costs of motorcycle insurance reflect only what motorcyclists alone are causing. Under the current regulations, that's about as fair as they can be.

    Meanwhile, back to the device...

    Anyway, I've now had the device for a few weeks, and have some initial observations and impressions. At this point, only the speed data is being collected, although they expect to have acceleration and braking available soon. Cornering force is another magnitude of complexity and won't be available for a while. To that end, SGI have rented the RCMP training test track in Regina, and have invited a number of program participants for a track day to observe and calibrate various riding behaviors, including cornering. I'll let you know how that goes after. The track day is tentatively scheduled for Aug 23.

    The database is still quite imperfect, with some inconsistencies in posted versus actual speed limits and other discrepancies, but they are making changes on the fly and have been correcting some. There are also some software glitches that affect the display of routes (traces) in certain browsers. Again, they seem to be working hard to correct these.

    If/when this becomes a production system, I'm still not sure I would opt for it. I must point out that I used to be a very fast and aggressive rider, but find myself generally obeying limits and riding with far more respect for fellow road users as I age. If this was available for my car, I wouldn't have a problem keeping it "happy". With the bike, however, the savings would have to be significant for me to accept the slight limitations I see this device imposing on me. Note, I'm talking about practical limitations. As many have tirelessly pointed out, there are the philosophical aspects of the "Big Brother" approach that I don't entirely discount, at least as far as marketability. Ultimately, these things are optional and need to have enough riders opt-in to make any economic sense. First however, we have to make sure that they work as well as they can, then let the market decide. I'll keep you posted.

    JP

  7. #52
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    Not to hijack this thread, necessarily...
    BUT:
    The above statement, concerning prices based on the potential risk of insuring individuals...
    Do you think that's really true?

    Just curious, because I always thought rates were based on anything other than the paying individual's risk assessment. Isn't it more the case that rates are based on what a given group is typically doing? That Insurance companies pay out for damages and injuries to so many riders who ride without helmets, or ride insanely fast or aggressively, and those costs are trickled down to us all?
    Follow the example of the Saskatchewan MC insurance plan, Progressive auto or my employers health plan, the next wave in insurance pricing is premiums tailored to the individual based on risk level derived from sampled data. As such, it will be nearly impossible to comparison shop for the best price because all prices will be specific to the individual.
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  8. #53
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Let's look at it from a perspective of risk and cost. We buy insure to mitigate potential financial risk. The insurance company prices their policies based on the potential risk of insuring you. As such, if you want the lowest possible insurance premiums, you'll make yourself into the lowest possible risk.

    It's simple economics.

    I'm currently dealing with the same issue from my employer provided health insurance. Lot's of nosy questions, blood tests, counseling, etc......or pay surcharges. I can drop the coverage at the expense of zero employer contribution to health insurance........ If I stay with the employer plan, I have to endure the constant drubbing about my financial burden to the company's profitability. It's nice being loved.
    Sorry for seeming to not understand, it was my way, as a Moderator here to encourage the thread to stay on track......While it's hard to not venture into politics and the "big brother" aspect of a discussion involving the insurance biz, I was trying. OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  9. #54
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Sorry for seeming to not understand, it was my way, as a Moderator here to encourage the thread to stay on track......While it's hard to not venture into politics and the "big brother" aspect of a discussion involving the insurance biz, I was trying. OM
    I understand your intention and appreciate that mentioning health insurance can be considered a political discussion these days. On the other hand, the insurance companies are doing the same thing as the various sensors on the intake and exhaust of your MC engine......they are sampling data to determine the proper response. In the case of the insurance company, the proper response is the amount they charge you for the financial risk you present to them.

    From an economics perspective, these new programs are very understandable.
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  10. #55
    Registered User Rod Sheridan's Avatar
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    John, you've posted some very interesting stuff, thanks for taking the time to do so.

    This approach could have merits, you'll be insured at a rate that could actually reflect your personal risk, not the group average.

    For BMW owners this could be advantageous...........Regards, Rod.
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  11. #56
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Follow the example of the Saskatchewan MC insurance plan, Progressive auto or my employers health plan, the next wave in insurance pricing is premiums tailored to the individual based on risk level derived from sampled data. As such, it will be nearly impossible to comparison shop for the best price because all prices will be specific to the individual.
    AH. Well, I don't "comparison shop" very much anyway. I view insurance as a necessary evil, and as such, don't give it too much time or thought. All my insurance has been purchased thru a local agency since the mid 90s, and they are always really helpful to me- one thing that makes it quite easy to remain where I am... Been with Progressive for my bikes for quite a long time, and only recently moved from Progressive to GMAC two years ago when I bought a new car and my rates jacked.

    However, that being said- in this "economy" I'm getting to the point, for the first time in my life, when most every penny does count. Think I could be shopping around in the near future. Thinking about looking at USAA. Currently, I have insurance policies of one sort or another with the 2 aforementioned companies, as well as with Erie. I don't track my coverages or total costs, but will be taking a hard look at things in the near future.


    I see finally John has mentioned cost V coverages. I do appreciate that our coverages are not compulsory; we get to choose our amount of coverage. I, however, have slowly increased my motorcycle & car policies to pretty much "full" coverage- so am paying out more than ever before. I find this whole discussion very interesting.

    Cheers!
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  12. #57
    K'nothead
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    Progress Report

    Well, I've had the device installed for about a month now, and there have been significant developments. I just returned from a trip to BC, riding some fun mountain roads and serious mountain passes. I traveled with a friend, also on a F650GS twin, and also equipped with the device. We have learned a lot about how the device works, and how it interprets our riding. It's a mixture of results, so I'll handle it pretty much in chronological order.

    We left Thursday, Aug 15, which coincidentally was also the day they turned on the acceleration and braking monitoring, in addition to the speed they've had since the beginning. I had also just got my Live View working, which gives you a detailed record of where you rode and the parameters (i.e. speed, times) of that ride, all displayed on a Google Earth plug-in. The delay on getting this functionality is largely due to that plug-in. Even with it duly installed on my laptop, it only really works well enough with the "Chrome" browser, producing very inconsistent results or none at all on Firefox and Internet Explorer, the 2 most common browsers out there. This is the start of my first day out of Moose Jaw. The date and time stamped map points are where 'events' occur, or where the trip starts, pauses or stops, and additional points can be displayed for periodic speed checks.

    1st day trace.JPG

    Note the display glitch, where the map pane overlaps the calendar entry panes, and is non-adjustable. The Google Earth map can be zoomed in to minute detail, so it is easy to see exactly where in the ride you are looking at. Unfortunately, I understand the Google Earth plug-in is not available for mobile devices, relegating Live View's use to a full computer at present.

    Day 1 detail.JPG

    Overall, this display can be a very useful tool, as the level of detail available in Google Earth allows you to review your ride almost foot-by-foot. It is similarly precise at identifying exactly where you've run afoul of its parameters. At higher zooms, the 'Trace' of your route is 3D shadow elevated to visually correlate with your road speed. There are icons that identify route start and stop, with the Overspeeds represented by a police figure, and the Hard Accelerations and Hard Brakes represented by a red triangle. Hovering your mouse over the icon produces the details of the infraction. As you can see, I've had my share of infractions, and that's where it really gets interesting.

    I'd like to claim that I incurred all my events for the sake of reportage, but I'd be lying. On the evening of the first day when we had a chance to look at our route data, I was gob-smacked to see the number of Hard Accelerations I had (despite accelerating my touring-loaded F650GS with a very moderate hand). I had a high number of Overspeeds as well, but mercifully, they stopped at the SK-AB border due to the lack of speed limit data in the database when out-of-province.

    The Overspeeds were easily explained by the database using a 100 kph limit on the #1 Hwy, instead of the actual 110 kph. The permissible margin of 16% (i.e. 116 kph at a 100 kph limit) is mostly exceeded when you are riding at 110. Almost all of the Overspeeds were at 116-117 kph., and wouldn?t have occurred at all if the margin were applied to 110 kph (i.e. 127.6 kph). So, at some point the database will be corrected, and the Overspeeds won't be a problem. But the Hard Accelerations (HA) were definitely gonna be impossible to live with.

    The way the system expresses acceleration is in kph/s, a measurement standard I don't find very intuitive (preferring gravities - Gs). The HAs we were accused of were in the range of 25-110 kph/s with one of mine at 124.4 kph/s. When I converted these values to Gs (i.e. multiply by .0283), and came up with .7 to 3.5 Gs, I realized they are completely unattainable on our bikes and must be spurious. The database limit is 14.77 kph/s correlating to .42 Gs.

    To make a long story a little shorter, we have since ultimately proven that most of the readings are the result of a delay in GPS signal acquisition following a cold start (i.e. engine off). When it 'wakes up', you are somewhere down the road at speed, and it triggers a HA event equal to the speed you are doing at that time. There are other spontaneous HA events at speed, that may or may not be the same issue, but invariably the value of the HA is identical to the current road speed. The software engineers are now fully aware of the problem, and working on it.

    I believe the well-known problem of GPS signal drop-out may become a bigger problem for them, as there are large segments of our route that are missing in the Live View. Both of us had a GPS drop-out for all of one afternoon and most of the next morning (that one could also have been database problem). For some of the smaller drop-outs (i.e. less than a minute), the Trace may show a straight line across a corner and registers a HA when the signal is re-acquired, but not always. The testing continues...

    Incidentally, further testing on our trip and since, have pretty much demonstrated that our F650GS twins have a maximum acceleration of 17-19 kph/s (.48 - .54 Gs). Assuming the spurious events are eliminated, I can easily live with the soft limit of 14.77 kph/s. and it was initially suggested that the limits for motorcycles could expect to be a little higher.

    And that's pretty much my feelings with it after our trip. Take out all the spurious readings and the database errors, and I had very few infractions throughout the trip. As such, and given my current style of riding, the device doesn't present a serious limitation for me. But that assumes that the software and database is fixed, and there is still the intention of limiting cornering speeds. Even with my increasingly sedate style, messing with my joy of corners could be a future deal breaker. More on that later.


    JP

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    The wage protection aspect that accounts for such a large part of the cost up north very likely has as much phoney claim $ hiding in it as US welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and disability do. With doc shopping and almost no enforcement, scamming systems here is common. Some estimates put it over 15% of costs but who knows what's correct?

    Anyway, wage insurance is about as unAmerican as certain Canadian phrases. Even those who buy disability (and that's rare other than what is provided by large firms to employees as a benefit) are typically insuring only 50% of wages. I don't get the up to 90% in Canada- if you're not working and disabled your expenses will drop more than 10% so why does the govt impose the 90% cost on the population of insured?

    Medical costs are ridiculous everywhere. As a guy who ran parts of large corps for a living, I find the low efficiencies in every modern medical place I see appalling. Too many staff and lack of modern data systems start the list and it gets worse from there after adding all the redundant and expensive testing done, much of it just CYA stuff. Never met a cost conscious physician and many are actually computer illiterates (only the youngest grads are at all savvy). I try to help contain costs even though I don't pay for them directly (Medicare plus my own insurance does) by refusing anything I consider unecessary but I suspect that behavior is rare as few patients care to tell their doc he's wasting money or have the background to know when that's appropriate. And that doesn't control the building of too many hospitals, etc. all of which depend on govt $ for their existence and profits or the uncontrolled proliferation of medical specialities rather than family docs. Our local hospital actually advertises the number of expensive procedures they've done in a year rather than how many they prevented or how efficient they are - while trying to drum up more of the same.

  14. #59
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    The bit about cornering speeds/ g forces will be tough to put on any rationale basis for a whole lot of reasons like
    1) The differences between a sport bike or supermoto and a heavy cruiser
    2) Turn radius
    3) Turn type- increasing, steady or decreasing radius. Positive or negative camber. Surface properties.
    4) Bllnd or visible?
    5) Rider skill - yes there are folks who make destroying chicken strips look easy at any speed while others would panic and crash at the legal speed.
    etc etc.

    In the eastern US its pretty much a given that bikes can corner way above speeds posted for cars/trucks in most locations, especially on slower corners. The only state I regularly ride in where corner speeds signs are consistent and provide any useful info for riders is WV where someone has obviously put a lot of effort into matching postings to reality, as least for consistency. So even if you had a gps to regulatory database link, it would be worthless from a practical perspective in much of the US.

    In a well known bit of twisties like the Dragon, the key rule is never cross the centerline because it will get you killed faster than anything else. Excessive speed beyond rider skills can certainly cause that but the result is more important than the speed; the inept can do it at very low g's or speeds and Harley riders have been killed simply by grounding a footboard and getting levered off the pavement. The TN guys on duty typically don't pester anyone not doing more than 50 in that 35 zone.

    How many $ will your guys save me for my skills at anticipating and avoiding left turners? The "left turn in front of" is the most common cause of US fatalities right behind rider error and I've been 100% successful for about 50 years now. Bet I've avoided at least a few incidents that might have injured others, especially newbs.

    Why are you not arguing the whole nonsensical premise of this program? It is obviously just one more way to make or justify making $ off of minor speed issues when human judgement is more important. I've spent more hours at triple digit speeds on tracks than many have on roads over 70 or 80 and what I know for sure about straight line speed especially is that its more boring than dangerous unless way to excess in a very wrong place (judgement). While I'm no personal fan of well into triple digits on public roads compared to tracks (I really like corner workers), I know places where its safe enough to be reasonable, legal or not. If your Hi 1 is a decent road, your starting speed limit seems ludicrously low for good weather conditions- as it is in many other places in Canada. Its not 1960- vehicles stop, go, and handle a lot better. Reference TX speed limits, etc etc here. FWIW, the unmonitored traffic speeds on NC interstate roads with moderate traffic usually come close to 80 mph in good weather despite 65 and 70 mph limits and don't create known accident spots- those are all in known traffic areas, often associated with odd road designs re lane changes, or construction and often well under posted limits.

    How about automatic upcharges for every distracting device installed or carried in functional form? Distracted drivers kill a higher number here every year. a couple in my local club have been hit by these folks but lucky enough to get off without serious injury. A serious upcharge might put a crimp on makers installing more of this junk all the time- before lawsuits do it instead.
    Last edited by racer7; 08-28-2013 at 06:05 AM.

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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Anyway, wage insurance is about as unAmerican as certain Canadian phrases
    Ever hear of a golden parachute...........

    A nice wad o' cash can keep the checking account happy for a number of years.
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