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Simon Pressley is NIG’s Motor Trade Underwriting Manager. He has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. In the future Simon hopes the motor industry will continue to improve road safety for both drivers and the general public at large, as well as building on the work already being done to reduce cars’ environmental impact.
There’s no denying the motor industry will continue to undergo a significant transformation in the coming years thanks to technological advances and the changing role of cars in people’s lives.
Autonomous cars are expected to hit our roads in the not-so-distant future and the technology behind them is already having a huge impact on many areas, from car ownership models to the technology used in vehicles and the data cars can gather.
We take a closer look at three of the key changes we expect to see in the coming years, and how products like Motor Trade One can help meet the industry’s changing needs…
Change 1: Ownership models are shifting
While people love driving cars and it’s unlikely that will change, traditional models of ownership might shift towards communally-owned vehicles managed either by local authorities or private companies.
Owning a car is a huge capital expense, so perhaps in the future you’ll just use an app whenever you need a car and with a few swipes a car will arrive to take you to your destination. We’re already headed this way with services like Zipcar and Uber, although within a few years it may be that these cars are driving themselves to pick you up.
Change 2: Repairs will evolve
The vehicles of the future will not be made with ordinary parts and as the technology and software in cars progresses, we’ll be moving away from spanners and other tools and towards more tech-based solutions.
Repairs such as software updates could potentially be done by Wi-Fi, while vehicles are likely to come with their own self-diagnosing kit within the next 30 years.
Mechanics could even assess and fix minor problems remotely by appearing as a hologram, while 3D printers could make getting new parts much quicker and cheaper.
As a side effect of the increasingly advanced technology being used in cars, it is likely that the frequency of car repairs will fall, but, when fixes are needed, they’ll be more complicated and expensive.
Change 3: Data gathering will improve like never before
Today’s vehicles are already able to capture, analyse and share data in real time and as the technology evolves even further, the variety and quality of information will improve greatly, making the driving experience even safer – and the claims process much faster.
It’s not hard to imagine that soon even basic models will be ‘connected vehicles’ – fitted with cameras facing all directions and able to measure things such as speed, direction and the behaviour of the driver as well as vehicle health. This data will then be uploaded to the cloud to be used for a variety of purposes, from enabling insurance claims to be handled quicker and with greater accuracy to helping predict the impact of different driving styles on various car parts.
What do these changes mean for the motor trade?
The motor trade has already undergone something of a transformation in recent years and as technology continues to drive change at a faster pace, motor traders will need to keep up.
New types of vehicle, new repairing techniques and access to more information than ever before will all mean that investing in new tools and staff training is increasingly important. It’s also vital that business owners consider the new risks that technological advances can bring – for example, more expensive kit and cars being kept on their premises – and ensure they have adequate protection in place.
But above all, whatever changes occur in the industry, to thrive, motor traders will need to be flexible and focus on the future so they can adapt as needed.
How we’re preparing for the future
Here at NIG we’ve always got one eye on the future and developments within the industry, which is why we launched our new Motor Trade One policy in December, to help meet changing demands.
It’s designed to be flexible and offer one complete package to all motor trade customers. We’ve updated policy wording with a wider nature of cover and enhanced limits. All documents are instant, allowing brokers quick access to policy information as and when they need it, making life easier for everyone.
Our aim is to make the policy sustainable, so it can evolve with the needs of our customers and the industry.
For more information on Motor Trade One, visit the product page on nig.com to see all the benefits, features and exclusions. Alternatively contact your Senior Business Development Manager or Regional Manager at your local office.