Slightly more than a year ago, AXA Affin General Insurance launched AXA FlexiDrive, a new kind of motor insurance that uses telematics to track driver habits, encouraging smooth and safe driving in return for discounts on one’s annual insurance premium. With a telematics device in the car, it also promises emergency and vehicle recovery services in the event of accident or theft.

One year on, there have been many cases where AXA FlexiDrive has made a difference in the motoring lives of its customers. Wong, who got into an accident, loves the fact that he’s never alone. “I never had an experience where I got a call from the insurance company immediately after an accident. It was very reassuring getting a call from someome to ask if you need help or is there anything they can do for you,” he said.

“It’s a very good tool. I always have it on my phone because it helps me with a lot of things – locate my car if anybody breaks in, and on top of that, when an accident happens, I feel so reassured. It’s very comforting, it’s very reliable and I feel very safe with it,” he said of the AXA FlexiDrive app.

While Camille had an incident-free year of motoring, she also appreciates the added security AXA FlexiDrive’s 24/7 Vehicle Security & Theft Recovery brings. “As a female driver, it’s always at the back of my mind if anything happens to me on the road. I feel protected 24/7 with AXA FlexiDrive – it ensures safety, security and it also helps me with my driving. I urge all females, you should sign up for AXA FlexiDrive,” she said.

If the telematics device detects a heavy impact, such as when an accident occurs, Automatic Accident Alerts & Assistance will be automatically triggered and the 24/7 Secure Operating Centre (SOC) will get in touch to ensure that you receive medical help as soon as possible.

The SOC receives real time alerts upon battery disconnection or device sabotage, and will obtain verification from customers. According to AXA, there have been several cases where stolen vehicles were successfully recovered in collaboration with the police. In one theft recovery case, the thieves were arrested.

Esther keeps track of her son’s driving habits via the AXA FlexiDrive app. “Safety is my biggest priority when it comes to my children and family. Young drivers tend to drive very fast on the highway when we’re not with them. With AXA FlexiDrive, I can know what’s their driving behaviour, I will be the first to know,” the protective mother said.

On her son’s driving, Esther said: “So far he improved la. He will try not to drive so fast. I think all parents should sign up for AXA FlexiDrive to instil good driving behaviour in their children.

AXA FlexiDrive tracks and scores your driving behaviour with the telematics device, which measures parameters such as speed, harsh acceleration and braking, as well as mileage. A smooth and measured approach will improve your score; conversely, full throttle traffic light getaways and heavy braking will pull it down. Moderate speeds and mileage will also improve scores.

A driver’s score will put him/her in one of three categories: Red (poor driver), Yellow (average) and Green (safe driver). No savings for those in Red, but Yellow and Green drivers get 10% and 20% Safe Driving Discount respectively. The savings will be on your following year’s premiums, on top of your no claims discount (NCD). The discount amount will be banked in to the customer 14 days after the completion of the policy period of 12 months.

How about “poor drivers” with “bad habits”? No penalties to the pocket, just personalised driving tips from the app to help you be a safer driver. So, while backroad burners aren’t likely to get much in savings, they won’t be punished either.

Rajendra loves the savings aspect of AXA FlexiDrive. “I believe in driving safe, I believe everyone should drive safe. It offers safe driving tips, it gives you feedback on how well you have been driving, or otherwise. I signed up for AXA Flexidrive a year ago and since then I’ve saved RM712. I’m very happy with that. It’s a great way to encourage drivers,” the economical driver said.

According to the insurer, AXA FlexiDrive customers are receiving 14% Safe Driving Discount on average. The company is happy that the incentives are helping motorists to be more prudent drivers. By encouraging good driving behaviour, it improves road safety in a country that ranks high in accident and fatality rates.

While it’s a new concept now, expect insurers to focus more on the risk profile of motorists moving forward. The phased liberalisation of motor insurance has already started, and in the near future, how much one pays for insurance will no longer be determined by fixed price lists, but by his or her risk profile. This risk-based assessment is already present in many countries, and it “rewards” those who are perceived to be low risk with lower premiums, vice versa. Incentivising consumers to improve their risk profile will also lead to lower claims for insurers, leading to a win-win situation for all.

Risk factors could include driving habits, age of the driver, and claims history. Also taken into account are the age and type of the insured vehicle, as well as its safety features. Transport minister Anthony Loke recently said that the ministry was considering a merit system to reward prudent drivers with discounts on vehicle insurance, another sign that usage-based insurance such as AXA FlexiDrive is the future of motor insurance.

Get a head-start by signing up for AXA FlexiDrive to enjoy Safe Driving Discount, Automatic Accident Alerts & Assistance and 24/7 Vehicle Security & Theft Recovery. Other benefits include six months repair warranty for all work done at panel workshops, and the ability to monitor your car’s battery status and odometer reading remotely via the AXA FlexiDrive app.

AXA FlexiDrive doesn’t cost more than the standard comprehensive motor insurance premium, just a refundable deposit of RM70 for the telematics device is all that’s required. Find out more here.