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Sprint Jumps Into Usage-Based Insurance Fray

The wireless carrier worked on a pilot program with Esurance that it is now offering to the rest of the auto insurance industry.

Overland Park, Kan.-based mobile phone carrier Sprint has announced a turnkey usage-based insurance program including a telematics device that uses its CDMA network and driver scoring software.

The company calls the offering Integrated Insurance Solutions and says that in addition to usage-based insurance programs, the suite also allows insurers to offer Web-based tools that let policyholders monitor their vehicle health, get tips on how their driving behavior can be adjusted to be more fuel-efficient and monitor their vehicles’ location.

"Sprint has assembled all the necessary components together so that insurers have a single point of contact for all UBI-related needs," says Matt Carter, president of global wholesale and emerging solutions for Sprint, in a statement. "We are working with industry-leading companies to help insurance carriers offer more options and help the policyholders drive more safely and save money.”

Sprint credits an Arizona pilot program with San Francisco-based Esurance in helping it develop the offering.

“Partnering with Sprint on usage-based insurance is helping Esurance to offer consumers discounts of up to 30% based on their own unique driving habits,” says Chris Henn, managing director of product for Esurance, in the statement. “Our embrace of UBI fits with Esurance’s approach to using the latest technology, and is a great fit for ourustomer base of self-directed, tech-savvy customers.”

[Read thoughts from Esurance and other insurers about why this is the year for usage-based insurance to take off.]

The news follows rival Verizon's purchase of Hughes Telematics last month. Hughes' clients for usage-based insurance programs include State Farm.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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