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United Front: Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice. gains attention from insurers

Toronto, Ontario — The ongoing issue of vehicle data ownership within the automotive aftermarket between manufacturers and car owners has also has caught the eye of insurers. 

There is currently a campaign called “Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice.” which was created by the automotive aftermarket to gain support in the effort to put the data in the hands of the driver, and insurers are in support of the movement.

Today’s vehicles collect more data than ever before, and this data is important for car insurers to know so they can understand what happened in the case of a particular accident. If the data is in the hands of the manufacturer, this could make insurers’ jobs more difficult, says Tim Zeilman, HSB’s vice president of global products, cyber.

“It seems like there’s quite a bit of possibility it might impede an investigation,” he said. “You don’t just have to get the driver’s consent to access the data. You’re going to have to get the consent of some third party that might be significantly more difficult to deal with.”

The more data that vehicles continue to collect such as weather conditions, and when the driver puts their breaks on will become increasingly more important for insurers to have access to. This is why many insurers, like Zeilman, believe that car owners should be able to retrieve their data without having to go through their car manufacturer. There is also a potential risk that the car manufacturer denies insurers access to the data that could determine who was at fault for an accident, and if the data is withheld, it could interfere with insurance claims.

“These accident investigations are often undertaken by law enforcement, at least in the situation where it’s a serious accident,” he said in an interview. “And frankly, I don’t know today whether law enforcement has arrangements with auto manufacturers who control that data. But that seems like an obvious direction it might go in. It may not be easy for the two of those groups to agree on something.”

According to Master Mechanic, by 2022, roughly 70 percent to 95 percent of the vehicles on the road will have wireless technology that sends information about the condition of the vehicle to the automaker. This means that data, and who will have access to it, will become an increasingly larger debate as the years go on. 

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