Hyundai Data Scheme May Save Customers Money on Insurance

The automaker is teaming up with a leading data analytics firm.

Bruce Benedict—© Bruce Benedict 2017

Hyundai is delving into the realm of big data. The Korean automaker is partnering with Verisk, a data analytics firm, to offer usage-based insurance to its customers. The scheme could help Hyundai owners save money on insurance, but only if they agree to share their data.

Vehicles equipped with Hyundai's BlueLink telematics platform will be able to send data to the Verisk Data Exchange, a massive automotive-data stockpile that insurance companies use to determine rates. Owners who opt into the program will get a Verisk Driving Score based on their driving behavior. If drivers demonstrate low-risk behavior, or just don't drive that much, they may get a lower insurance rate.

Some insurance companies already offer discounts for good driving habits, but they usually require plugging a physical dongle into a car's OBD-II port. So Hyundai's version streamlines the process a bit.

The Verisk Data Exchange is essentially a data clearinghouse for insurance companies. It currently includes data on 3.3 million cars which have driven combined 36.5 billion miles, according to Hyundai, and data are being added from 150,000 cars a month. Verisk also monitors data from smart homes.

While sharing data with Verisk is optional, all new Hyundais (beginning with the 2018 model year) come equipped with BlueLink, which enables features like remote start, remote door lock and unlock, remote climate control adjustment, a car finder, stolen vehicle tracking, and roadside assistance. New-car buyers get these services free for three years. BlueLink can be accessed by buttons on the rearview mirror, through smartphone and smartwatch apps, and with an Amazon Alexa skill.