Driving Trends: What’s Hot and What’s Not


Wondering what’s hot and what’s not? Here’s a quick round up of driving trends that may impact your insurance marketing and underwriting strategies.

Hot: Sharing a ride

According to the Census Bureau, the number of workers sharing a ride to the office is rising across major U.S. Cities, CityLab reported. Some cities are attempting to sweeten the allure of carpooling. For example, CityLab said that in Durham, NC, city planners are using behavioral science to nudge drivers to change their solo-driving ways, giving them personalized home-to-work route maps showing alternative modes of transportation (biking, walking, going by bus) with trip-time comparisons and a list of benefits for choosing not to drive (better health, less money spent on gas).

Not-So-Hot: Commercialized carpooling

In other news, UberPool and Lyft Line have been trying to commercialize carpooling with little success. “While these rides allow strangers to ride together for reduced price, they also involve picking people up from different parts of town, a model that isn’t exactly suited for the rush-hour race to work,” said Andrew Small at CityLab. But where they’ve struggled, Waze Carpool just might succeed: convincing Small’s own workplace to give it a try, using free lunch and swag to convince “just over a hundred mostly young professionals” to download the app.

Hot: Direct-to-Consumer Auto Insurance

Insurance News Net said recently that customers love the direct-to-consumer insurance. In fact, as much as one-fourth of the customer base is bypassing agents to adopt DIY distribution.

Not-So-Hot: Auto Loan Payments

But all is not well for insureds in America. “A record 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments,” the Washington Post reported. This points to a deeper economic issue: many Americans are hard-pressed to pay their bills. Unless the economy improves for the majority, the “number of distressed borrowers” will continue to grow.

Hot: Self-Driving Tech Advancements

The Next Web said that according to Bloomberg and Axios, Apple is in process of buying Drive.ai, a startup that provides AI software for autonomous vehicles: another step on the giant’s journey into the self-driving car market.

Not-So-Hot: Self-Driving Car Sales

For customers of self-driving cars, trust continues to be a major sticking point on the road to adoption. While standards and certifications do exist, today’s autonomous vehicles don’t fully comply, and testing procedures are still nascent, said Richard Wilhelm and Dickinson Wright at JDSupra.

That’s all for today. If the Direct-to-Consumer insurance trend sparks your interest, be sure to download our comprehensive Direct 2 Consumer Blueprint for Insurers.