The Silicon Review
Octo is a leading global provider of telematics and data analytics solutions for the auto insurance industry. Founded in 2002, Octo is a pioneer in the insurance telematics industry. Today, Octo is one of the largest and most experienced insurance telematics companies in the world, transforming auto insurance through behavioral, contextual and driving analytics for more than 60 insurance partners. Octo has more than 4.9 million connected users and one of the largest global databases of telematics data, with over 155 billion miles of driving data collected and 397,000 crashes and insurance events analyzed (as of March 31, 2017).
Octo delivers end-to-end benefits across the insurance value chain, from pricing support, crash alerts and reconstruction, to web portals for customer engagement. They also work across the entire device spectrum from smartphone apps and aftermarket devices to connected cars, and their machine learning algorithms are perfectly placed to support the move towards autonomous vehicles.
Brewing conversation with Octo’s North America CEO, Nino Tarantino
Can you brief us about the history of your company?
Octo was the first telematics company to provide ad hoc solutions for the insurance and automotive market, and was founded on April 16, 2002 in Rome, Italy. Octo built the first dedicated insurance telematics platform, and it became a market innovator in Italy and across Europe. It entered the US market in 2011 and in May 2015 moved its headquarters to London.
Octo has a leading presence in the US, Italy and the UK, the three core markets currently representing 90% of insurance telematics globally. It powers other connected user services including vehicle diagnostics, fleet management, road tolling and real-time monitoring of traffic and environmental conditions.
In total, Octo has 90+ industry partners globally, including 60+ insurers, auto manufacturers, and fleet management companies.
Can you tell us about how your company is positioned in the recent Market scenario?
The number of connected vehicles is forecasted to rise around 90 million by 2020. The globally connected car market is growing at five year CAGR of 45%, i.e., 10 times as fast as the overall car market.
The scale of our dynamic database and predictive data analytics capabilities enables us to provide our insurance partners with ever more granular and accurate assessments of the underwriting risk represented by individual policyholders.
Our proprietary predictive algorithms order, prioritize, identify and analyze the underlying insurance risk across numerous variables, producing insights for insurers on the individual risk profile of a specific driver. This represents a paradigm shift compared to the historic method for analyzing risk, based on static risk category indicators such as age, location,vehicle type and accident history.
Octo has a 39% global insurance market share and has more than 90 industry partners in 25 countries, a global network of regional offices and market-leading positions in the three largest vehicle telematics markets in the world today (US, UK & Italy).
What is the target area of your clientele? Any specific sector you want to highlight?
We focus on helping automotive insurers to gather and analyze data to make important decisions around policies, policyholders, crash and claims and more. We provide a comprehensive suite of both in-vehicle and mobile insurance telematics solutions. We provide personal and commercial line insurers with innovative, low cost telematics offerings specifically designed to reduce risk and improve driving performance for their policyholders.
What differentiates you from others in the domain?
Octo’s depth of insight and breadth of experience sets us apart from our competitors. We have one of, if not the largest, telematics databases in the world and the longest history working within the insurance industry, so we understand not just the technical needs but the challenges in rolling out a program, the user interface needs, customer service needs, agent needs and more. Telematics is not a simple proposition to adopt. While insurers of any size can do so with the right technology partner, there are several considerations to understand before undertaking the commitment to a UBI program. The right telematics partner like Octo is crucial – we understand what insurers must do now to implement, and long term to successfully innovate and expand programs. We help in the decision making process beforehand as well as during the process.
Octo provides mission-critical insurance solutions to help insurers reduce costs, more accurately price risk, improve loyalty and retention, and broaden offerings through usage-based insurance, actuarial pricing, claim management, crash reconstruction and stolen vehicle recovery.
Policyholders using Octo solutions see insurance discounts of up to 30%, while improving safety through the incentive to drive better and continue to reduce premiums, as well as faster claims settlement.
Octo also helps automakers access, understand and monetize driving data. General Motors has selected Octo as its insurance telematics provider in a growing number of European markets for all new Opel and Vauxhall cars.
Can you say about the geographies of your company?
The company is headquartered in London, with North American headquarters in Boston, as well as offices in Rome, Stuttgart, Madrid, and Sao Paolo.
What are your present and future focus areas?
Our over-arching goal is to be the telematics solution and intelligence provider of choice for insurance companies of all sizes as they add telematics capabilities – an inevitable direction for all in the evolution of the IoT. We will continue to embed with OEMs to access and monetize driving data, as most of the major OEMs have added telematics to their offerings. Data being collected today could result in seeing traditional auto insurance companies competing with software and IT companies, as well as automakers themselves. We’re here to meet those demands and help our customers become cutting edge and stay competitive.
Our Technology Strategy team ensures the continued innovation of both our technology and platform, in addition to exploring adjacent market sectors where our data analytics capabilities can provide an advantage. Our long-term focus will be to provide IoT solutions and innovations for insurance companies across other industries as well, particularly in home and health, as telematics continues to be the core of the IoT evolution.
Roll out the red carpet for the North American CEO
Nino Tarantino is the CEO of Octo Telematics North America. Under his leadership, North American operations exceeded two million connected users just five years after its launch in 2011. Nino is also Board Director of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA) and is a frequent speaker at industry events on subjects such as usage based insurance, connected cars, telematics and crash and claims management. He was previously General Manager of Acotel USA, operating in the mobile premium content and value added services sector and VP of Business Development at Anoto Group AB, a global leader in digital writing solutions.