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How can UK insurers obtain meaningful ADAS data?

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are anticipated to have a huge impact on how insurers price motor risk, with many of these technologies claiming to greatly improve passenger safety and reduce accidents—and therefore lower risk.

As more vehicles in the UK are fitted with ADAS features, insurers will need to be able to extract meaningful data from it to price more effectively.

While ADAS features are very common in newly built cars, they can function very differently, their perceived safety benefits and expenses to repair can vary, and the terminology used to describe them is often inconsistent or non-standardised.

For motor insurers, it can be very difficult to process the data around existing ADAS features in a vehicle and turn it into useful underwriting information. A great deal of time and effort can be spent trying to validate what ADAS features are present for a particular vehicle or fleet and to what degree they improve road safety.

As motor technology gets more sophisticated and ADAS features, telematics, and electric vehicles represent an increasing portion of the total licensed vehicles in the UK, insurers could find themselves at a significant disadvantage if their pricing practices aren’t accounting for these emerging trends.

What are ADAS features?

The majority of road accidents in the UK are due to human error, and many ADAS features are built to mitigate this risk by alerting the driver to danger, implementing safeguards or protections in response to hazards, or even taking control of the vehicle in anticipation of an accident.

Common types of ADAS include adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, anti-lock brakes or autonomous emergency braking, blind spot awareness, collision avoidance systems, lane departure warnings, parking assist, and traffic sign recognition. However, there are quite a few more sophisticated ADAS features that are starting to emerge, including driver fatigue systems or other various alerts linked to a car’s head-up display.

Some ADAS features are also being retrofitted to vehicles and are inherently easier to implement than others, such as forward collision or lane departure warnings which are built from sensors, or others such as speed limit information which can be gathered from GPS data. From an insurance perspective, it may be more difficult to obtain information on ADAS for a particular vehicle if it has not been fitted by the manufacturer.

Does improved safety always mean less risk?

Various studies have examined the safety benefits of the different ADAS technologies, and some have found more evidence of their effectiveness than others.

It may seem like conventional wisdom that ADAS features reduce the frequency and severity of claims, but the cost to replace ADAS technologies can offset the overall benefit in some instances. 

Verisk research of ADAS features in U.S. vehicles showed that lane departure warnings had little impact on reducing the frequency of accidents but can add 20 percent to the severity of claims due to the higher replacement costs. Anecdotally, this feature may have helped reduce accidents for some drivers, however the warning system may have also caused other drivers to overreact and swerve into other lanes in panic.

But, frontal collision detection systems—where the car will automatically brake itself in an emergency without a foot on the pedal—has been found to reduce the frequency of accidents by 15 percent and also reduce the severity by up to 20 percent. It should also be noted that the effectiveness of ADAS features can differ based on the manufacturer and model. 

Reliable ADAS data from Verisk

As more vehicles in the UK are fitted with ADAS features, insurers will need to be able to extract meaningful data from it to price more effectively.

Verisk provides accurate, real-time information on vehicles registered in the UK through Vehicle Intelligence. It provides insurers in the United Kingdom with on-demand, customised information about a vehicle’s physical attributes, ADAS features, current status, history of use, insurance rating codes, and other risk indicators.

To find out more about how Verisk serves the UK motor market with reliable ADAS data, please get in touch with Alex Croydon at

Learn more about Verisk’s UK motor underwriting solutions.

Alex Croydon

Alex Croydon is managing director, general insurance UK, at Verisk. She can be contacted at

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