There’s less and less money to be made selling you a car – the net profit earned on the sale of the average new car is only about 3 percent – so the car companies have decided to sell you instead.
It’s much more profitable because it’s not just the once, as when you buy a car. It’s every day you own the car, via the data about you they collect – and sell. And which they intend to use to extract more money from you, ongoing – as via insurance.
Which, of course, you are forced to buy.
Maybe not from them – yet – though it is certainly possible that buying insurance will soon be folded into the buying of the car and marketed as “convenient.”
Even if not, it hardly matters as you haven’t got much choice about insurance; it’s a government-enforced thing you have to buy and the insurers (all of them) are well aware of the fact that you have no choice and collude to structure – and price – their “services” accordingly.
GM (one of several big car companies) sees insurance selling as a big part of its future revenue stream – as GM used to be deep into financing, via its GMAC lending division.
Much more money there than in the car, itself.
And insurance is a potentially far more profitable business, since it is an adjustable business.
This has always been the case, of course. You get an adjusted insurance bill if you are issued a piece of payin’ paper – i.e., what is styled a “ticket” – for having ignored or transgressed some arbitrary traffic law.
Irrespective of the absence of claims filed against – or by you.
But if you didn’t get tickets, they had no excuse to adjust your bill and usually didn’t. What they don’t know doesn’t hurt you.
That’s a problem for the revenue stream or – as these people reveal in an “inside baseball” executive summary titled The New Auto Insurance Ecosystem: Telematics, Mobility and the Connected Car.
“The stage is set for insurers to develop more meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with policyholders.”
Indeed it is.
Italics added, for just that reason.
Note the signature verbiage of the technocratic totalitarians. “Meaningful” – like a lifelong friendship, almost as so very caring – that will be “mutually beneficial” . . . in the manner of the “unity” which is achieved when dissent is suppressed.
“Advances in machine-to-machine (M2M0 communication, or telematics, are rippling across the marketplace, generating data to more precisely assess the risk and reward for policyholders who adhere to safe driving practices.”
Italics also added.
Because it is left unspoken – and so, presumed – what constitutes “safe driving practices.” You should assume these presumptions are much the same as “the science” underpinning the weaponization of hypochondria and the “practices” expected of us in its name.
“Safe driving practices” doesn’t mean you haven’t wrecked – just as not being sick doesn’t mean you aren’t expected to perform various odd rituals as if you were.
“Safe driving practices” does not mean you are an attentive, skilled driver who knows how to control your car, as established by your having controlled it . . . the indisputable evidence for that being the objective fact that you haven’t wrecked it.
“Safe driving practices” means accepting as unquestionable truth the risible assertion that it is always unsafe to drive any faster than any speed limit, ever – because every speed limit is held to represent a kind of edge-of-the-cliff beyond which extreme danger necessarily lies.
Kind of like showing your face in public.
One-size-fits-all and so always dumbed-down standards embodied by such things as speed limits and no-right-on-red signs are not merely legalisms but religious totems, exactly like the signs on the doors of stores demanding the wearing of face-effacers and other “practices,” with the same holy unction underpinning the both of them.
This of course has always been “the case” – so to speak. A driver who has never wrecked is nonetheless dunned on the basis of having received a “ticket” for driving faster than the sign says – of a piece with being punished for not wearing what the sign says. In both “cases,” the absence of injury caused is irrelevant.
The assertion of possibility is sufficient.
What’s changed – what they badly want to change – is the possibility that your safe but irreligious driving goes unnoticed and so unpunished; this being a species of effrontery similar to that displayed by the healthy who flout the tenets of the sickness cult by not pretending they are sick, as by walking around with their faces showing.
Both Faiths being fundamentally about controlling the Faithful. Which control is exercised by punishing those who aren’t Faithful.
And now they have the means to do it.
“For some time, auto manufacturers have provided connected vehicle services to discerning drivers.”
“This includes GPS, emergency notification, roadside assistance, concierge services and other offerings . . . Today, devices self-installed or plugged into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics (OBD)port,or professionally installed black boxes, transmit driver behavior and mileage directly to a carrier’s back offices . . . As a result, many carriers and brokers worldwide are leveraging telematics data to create more precise rating variables that underpin new usage-based insurance (UBI) products . . .”
Parsed, what it means is they intend to adjust what you pay not every six months but every day. You may not have received a “ticket” this year – or during the past several years – but the data shows you drove faster than the speed limit today. Or accelerated “aggressively” – which is defined in the same way that “safe driving practices” are defined.
Many commercial drivers are already subject to such data-streaming, which is why so many commercial vehicles seem to be operated by little old ladies (not the kind from Pasadena, either). More than eggshell pressure on the accelerator – a swerve, to get around an actual little old lady gimping along at 27 in a 45 – and the data is streamed, the driver identified as not “practicing” the prescribed “safe” “practices” – and punished, accordingly.
This is what they – the insurance industry and the car industry – want to scale up, apply generally.
The motive is the ancient one – money, of which there is a great deal more to be made when every single “incident” of failure to”practice” is known unto them. The control is a side benefit.
“Telematics-supported UBI programs are upending the traditional auto insurance business model . . . These programs benefit both insurers and consumers by providing data for better risk-assessment as well as incentive-based pay-as-your-drive (PAYD) programs.
Italics added, once more.
One wonders whether it has occurred to the people pushing for this that they are destroying any “incentive” to bother with driving at all. They have lost sight of the fact, known to every goose-plucker, that if you pluck the goose too assertively, the goose realizes what’s up and ceases to be cooperative.
“By embracing telematics-informed UBI programs, our research shows insurers can reap substantial returns on investment . . .”
Honest language, for once.
But if they kill the goose, no more feathers – much less golden eggs – for them.
. . .
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