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Why insurers want your data

Many people have better things to do than fill in forms when they deal with the government, bank or their insurer. But what if you didn’t have to respond to questions because your insurer already knew the answer? Green slip insurers are proposing to get ready access to your up to date information.

Insurers are pushing for access to mental health data as well as driving records to help them better manage their risk. While better access to private information could potentially drive premiums down, it could also push premiums up for riskier drivers.

There are also privacy concerns. Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) knows when you get demerit points for speeding or drink driving, but does not give out that information to insurers. An RMS spokesperson said one unnamed insurer asks about demerit points but only receives a yes or no answer.

Insurers are currently in contact with the regulator to allow them more access to this type of personal information so you and your insurer are better informed.

Data analytics

Some motorists may be less concerned about privacy if they know their personal information is being collected for a good purpose.

For example, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has been using the government Data Analytics Centre since 2016 to pick up patterns in fraudulent green slip claims. SIRA looks for:

  • Lawyers who lodge lots of claims verified by the same medical professionals
  • Clusters of claimants in one area
  • Batches of claims lodged months or years after the accident
  • Several members of the same family making similar claims to different CTP providers.

As part of an ongoing fraud investigation, Strike Force Raven, police recently identified several sources of organised fraudulent CTP claims in Sydney. They are also asking the public for any information they might have about green slip fraud.

Telematics

Collection of data is becoming increasingly common among government departments but also within the vehicles you drive. For example, telematics is the science of gathering and passing on information from your car to the manufacturer, such as destination, speed, and engine performance.

Many motorists do not even realise this is happening.

Australian Automobile Association owns a website, My Car My Data, where 24 car manufacturers are invited to place their telematics policies. Only 8 carmakers have chosen to contribute so far, including GM Holden, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volkswagen.

Using your information

Thanks to these companies, you can find out how information collected by your vehicle will be handled. It is increasingly likely that insurers will also be allowed to collect more information about your driving to help them set fairer premiums.

Next time you need a green slip, go to the greenslips.com.au calculator to find the cheapest greenslip insurer for your vehicle and details.