Momentum Insurance set to steer young drivers to the safe side

By: Momentum Short Term Insurance 

While South Africa continues to face a challenge with young drivers who are notoriously recognised as ‘unsafe and aggressive’ on the roads, Momentum Short-term Insurance (MSTI) is determined to assist in curbing such behaviour by encouraging and rewarding safer driving habits through its Safe Dayz™ app feature.

The Safe Dayz™ feature – available on Android and iOS – was developed in 2017 as a means of tracing client driver behaviour. Users on the app are allocated a daily score based on each trip made the previous day. If clients’ daily score for trips in a day is 60% or more, the user will earn a safe day.

Short-term insurance clients can receive an annual cashback bonus of up to 30% on their car and home insurance premiums, even if they claim.

Innovatively, the app can also be used by passengers. Passengers’ scores are calculated based on their drivers’ behaviour. And, clients who use the Gautrain instead of their cars automatically score 100% for trips.

While always supporting people before assets, MSTI believes that to change poor road behaviour, it needs to focus on younger drivers with a view to reducing the number of high-risk road incidents.

Chief actuary at Momentum Short-Term Insurance (MSTI), Rudolf Britz says a recent review of two years’ worth of statistics indicate that 60% of Safe Dayz™ users are between 25 and 55 years. “Notably, the statistics show that clients younger than 35 years earn less safe day points than those over 35 years.

“There is no significant difference between males and females. However, younger females are slightly safer than their counterparts, but tend to behave similarly until the age of 55, when females become increasingly safer than males,” adds Britz.

These insights were derived from data logged between November 2017 and February 2019, when 19 214 462 million journeys were recorded, providing MSTI with 276 514 140 kilometers, 6 047 366 hours of travelling data into how South Africans behave on the roads.

“Notably, 1 686 801 non-travelling Safe Dayz™ (42%) and 2 352 679 travelling SafeDayz (58%), totaling 4 039 480 Safe Dayz™ were awarded. Of the 4 781 236 travelling days measured, 49% were safe, with young, married clients recorded as safer than young, single clients. This amounted to more than R4 million in rewards to clients over the past 12 months alone,” says Britz.

Britz adds that MSTI would like to see this figure improve, especially amongst the younger, tech-savvy generation, as poor road safety performance places an enormous burden on everyone, from individuals and communities, to businesses and government.

According to the 2017 International Transport Forum’s (ITF) Road Safety Annual Report, South Africa has one of the highest road crash rates in the world, with around 25% of those crashes triggered by the use of mobile phones while driving.

Britz says while government has various road safety programmes and law enforcement measures in place, such initiatives need the support of all South Africans if these initiatives are to work. 

He also clarified that behaviour tracked on a driving app does not and will not affect claim pay-outs during an incident or accident. 

“Safe Dayz™ was designed to improve the behaviour of road users and reward short-term insurance clients with cash every year, even if they claim. South Africans – especially our younger drivers – need to take accountability for their own behaviour on the roads. Rather than view driving apps with suspicion, they should harness them as a positive tool to improve their own and others’ safety on our roads.”