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US telematics technology provider CalAmp believes it can shake up Latin America's insurance market with a vehicle risk management system aimed at improving the precision of accident claims and mitigating fraud.
The company will launch the service with Car Security, the Argentine licensee for its LoJack stolen vehicle tracking system. Car Security also operates in Chile and Uruguay and plans to start the service there too.
The company is launching CrashBoxx, which consists of a device that is placed in the vehicle, coupled with software that sends detailed incident reporting, including instant crash alerts with details of severity, delivered via email or text.
Using GPS, Google maps and accelerometer technology, the system can give a detailed analysis of the collision, including speed, direction of the vehicles, location and time. The system can also send physical damage estimates that can help avoid towing fees.
According to Carl Burrow, CalAmp's SVP global sales, telematics systems exist with competitors in Latin America but not with the same level of precision.
According to Manlio Huacuja, VP International-Latin America, CalAmp/LoJack, will help reduce costs by avoiding "false positives" or alerting about an accident that does not necessarily merit a tow truck or to go to a repair shop. It could also help reduce fraud, which is high in the region.
"This system can significantly reduce fraud. You can tell whether the victim's car was genuinely crashed by a third party while parked at a grocery store or whether the driver was returning from a party at 2am and doing 60mph," Huacuja told BNamericas.
"The crash rate in Latin America is high, but the rate of non-reported crashes is even higher. This system provides reports of driving behavior that can be useful or insurance companies when setting premiums.
But why would anyone want a system that could actually drive up their premiums.
Burrow says the company will have several approaches.
"Some insurance companies will require you to get the device. Alternatively, they could encourage customers to get the device in return for a lower insurance premium, which could progressively fall depending on good driving behavior," Burrow told BNamericas.