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2019 Innovation Awards: Selective Drive

Business Insurance 2019 Innovation Awards

Selective Insurance Group Inc.

Selective Drive was the result of “two ideas that came together,” according to Bob Redden, vice president of agency development and insurance learning services for Selective Insurance Group Inc.

The Branchville, New Jersey-based insurer wanted to offer a value-added fleet management tool for its commercial lines customers, Mr. Redden said. But it was concerned about a separate issue: distracted driving.

“Distracted driving has been a growing problem on our roads.” Mr. Redden said “it’s becoming one of the biggest dangers on our roadways.”

The two ideas, he said “really kind of came together in Selective Drive.” Selective Drive is a fleet management tool that provides logistical information, such as vehicle location, but also has a distracted driving monitoring component, Mr. Redden said.

Comprising a sensor and accompanying technology application, the system provides feedback at the driver and fleet management level, Mr. Redden said.

The sensor itself is manufactured by Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH, part of German industrial giant Robert Bosch GmbH.

The application was built in partnership with Bosch and customized for Selective’s purposes, Mr. Redden said. Drivers can access the app on a mobile device, and the fleet management data is available via handheld application or desktop web portal.

Selective Drive was launched in December 2018 after a year’s development from concept to rollout, including the development of support infrastructure that features a help desk to assist with onboarding policyholders to the system and other concerns such as sensor maintenance, Mr. Redden said.

Selective used its own fleet of about 400 vehicles to test the system. “We were going to eat our own cooking before serving it to anybody,” Mr. Redden said.

One goal of the system is to make drivers more aware of their own driving habits, Mr. Redden said.

“Awareness of driving behaviors will change a behavior,” he said, using himself as an example. During the trial with the company’s fleet, he was made aware via the application that he tended to accelerate when on a hands-free call, something easily solved via cruise control.

Information from a given trip or driving interval is uploaded to the cloud and then pushed to the driver via the application, Mr. Redden said.

While the insurer was correct in assuming that the “sweet spot” for Selective Drive would be fleets of five to 50 vehicles and has seen substantial business in that group, operators of fleets from one and two vehicles to those with hundreds have used the system, Mr. Redden said.


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