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Telematics for commercial insurance?

Source: Insurance Business Magazine

Date: 8/9/17

The technology behind motor telematics and smart-home systems could be applied to commercial insurance to help manage risks for some of the more dangerous trades, according to one insurer.

Business insurance broker Simply Business, which provides insurance to over 425,000 small businesses and landlords, including 100,000 tradespeople, revealed the 15 most dangerous trades in the UK in a report earlier this month.

Tree surgeons, roof tilers, and scaffolders ranked as the most likely tradespeople to experience an accident at work, based on analysis of customer injury and accident claims from 2012-2016.

“In terms of the trades that were highlighted there weren’t necessarily any surprises,” George Scarfe, trades insurance product manager at Simply Business, told Insurance Business. “If you look at tree surgeons for example… that’s always going to be more risky.”

However, there were some unusual results: hairdressers and beauticians were found to be seven times more likely to have an accident at work than carpenters, and fitness instructors are three times more likely to experience an event than bricklayers. “It’s not all about the construction trades, which often perhaps get a bit of a bad press. There are other trades out there that do similarly have a high claims frequency,” Scarfe commented.

When it comes to those risky trades, Scarfe said that the commercial sector could benefit from the types of technologies that have been introduced in home and auto. “I’m interested to know if there are ways we can use technology to manage the risk for these trades, and also to understand the nuances between different businesses,” he said.

For example, those working at a height could benefit from a phone-based app or some form of wearable tech that tracks the heights at which accidents are more likely to occur.

“In the same way that with cars we’re able to use telematics, and increasingly in the home we’re able to create smart, connected homes… There could be an opportunity to identify behavioural traits which could make claims more or less likely using technology,” Scarfe added.