In just a few short years, Baseline Telematics has established itself as a high-quality provider of specialized services in a growing industry
Founder and CEO: Paul-Andre Savoie
I have been developing telematics solutions within the insurance industry for nearly 20 years. I launched my first telematics company, Boomerang Tracking Inc., in 1994, which developed Canada’s first stolen-vehicle tracking system. After selling that company, I founded DataCom Wireless, which developed and sold GPS tracking systems for fleet management.
I had been considering a new business for a number of years, which would use tracking systems to to help insurance companies mitigate risk, lower prices and offer better products for consumers. When I first developed the idea, the hardware costs were far too prohibitive. By late 2008, GPS technology had really evolved: the costs had come down significantly on the devices and the capability, stability and reliability had significantly increased. The time was right to launch Baseline Telematics.
We provide insurance companies with turnkey solutions, which allow them to go to market with usage-based-insurance programs. To accomplish that, we offer three key components: professional services, including actuaries, business process analysts, project managers and product managers; a pay-per-use web based policy administration system; and the GPS telematics devices, which are either installed directly into a vehicle or as an application on a smartphone.
Because we offer a standalone solution, the insurance companies we work with don’t need to integrate the product into their existing systems. Our software platform allows the insurance company to provide the product, manage the policy and follow through the entire customer cycle either directly or through a broker. We take care of handling the telematics data compilation, analysis and scoring—which drivers need to understand and be reminded of weekly—as well as the conversion of all that into a monthly-based, variably-rated, insurance premium.
We are currently working on several programs that will allow brokerages to get in and benefit from this insurance-pricing model. Through close partnerships with several Canadian insurance companies, we will soon be packaging usage-based insurance in a way that is beneficial for the brokers, and their clients. Our goal is to ensure that brokers, who may have been fearful about what usage-based insurance would mean for their line of business, will now realize they, too, can benefit from this revolutionary evolution in insurance.
Going forward, we are looking to continue expanding, both nationally and worldwide, with the help of global scale technology partners. Having worked with CGI, SAP and IBM previously, we are in the process of expanding these relationships in order to continue to leverage our product. This kind of expansion cannot be done on its own; it must be done with established partners, and to be working with three of the top names in IT in Canada is an incredible achievement. The challenge for us right now—and will be for some time—is to manage that growth properly to ensure we are meeting expectations and delivering on our commitment.
Usage-based insurance is a wonderful opportunity for those who wish to think outside the box and take a proactive role in designing future products that are possible with this technology. I would encourage brokers to take the step to becoming change agents and to be at the forefront of telematics. We are very happy to talk to interested brokers, to see how we can help build specific programs for markets they know and understand that would have a need for this type of product.
~ as told to Laura Kupcis
Copyright 2013 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the October 2013 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine