In an effort to combat the increasing number of accidents in Doha, Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) and the Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC) have teamed up to create an entirely new model of car insurance in Qatar.
The plan would involve giving drivers discounts and incentives based on their road habits.
Currently, car insurance premiums are based on factors like car model, age and mileage. But the new model would entail gauging a motorist’s speeding patterns, distance driven and other habits.
Speaking at a press conference today, the CEO of QMIC, Dr. Adnan Abu-Dayya, described the new insurance model as “timely and necessary,” saying:
“Through it, we aim to contribute to improving road safety in Qatar, to deliver innovative solutions and insurance to the public, and to use the technology created by QMIC to do so.”
No timeline has been set for the new project, which would use QMIC’s Masarak Intelligent Telematics System, a kind of “black box” that will be fitted inside each car to monitor select key driving habits such as acceleration, deceleration, speeding and the distance driven.
Data collected would be used by QMIC to create a driver scorecard or index, which would allow motorists to be ranked based on their behavior on the road.
QIC would use the data to create insurance packages unique to each driver, including adding incentives such as discounts on insurance plans and increased services for good drivers.
When asked whether people would be penalized with higher premiums for poor driving, officials did not clarify their position.
However, QMIC Chairman Abdullah Al Talib said:
“The future is security. We hope to use the data that we collect and co-operate with our stakeholders (i.e. drivers), to use this data to give them feedback about their driving, to incentivize better behavior on the road, and to improve road safety overall.”
Al Talib added that testing of the system will begin shortly and last a few months. Some 40 members of staff from both companies had signed up to be volunteers.
The pilot is expected to determine whether the black box would be a permanent installation in vehicles that provides constant feedback, or simply a short-term feature that covers a few months or weeks of drivers’ behavior.
The ultimate goal, according to Abu-Dayya, would be to use smartphones, which are present in 92 percent of all mainstream households locally, to provide constant feedback to QIC and QMIC about key driving habits.
Road safety woes
Qatar’s traffic problems have worsened over the years.
Accident statistics released as part of the government’s new monthly statistics bulletins over the past few months have demonstrated the extent of the problem.
For example, there were 436 road traffic accidents in April (down slightly from 443 in March) resulting in 24 deaths, and 48 casualties with major injuries. 355 people sustained minor injuries.
Additionally, the police also recorded 26,477 ‘simple accidents’ last month, the statistics show, although no detail about the definition for these incidents has been given.
Also in April, some 160,955 traffic violations were recorded, mainly for speeding, but also for not following road traffic signs and not renewing car registration or driver’s licenses.
That’s up significantly from the nearly 94,000 citations issued the previous month.
And according to a report released earlier this year by the Qatar Road Safety Studies Center (QRSSC), road accidents have cost Qatar more than $5 billion (QR17.6 billion) over the past six years.
If the insurance companies are really serious in rewarding good drivers, the easiest thing is to implement a NO CLAIM BONUS for drivers who do not make any claims during the previous year. As far as I know, it has been a common practice in some countries for a long time.
These insurance companies don’t have to go so high tech to achieve this.
What I thought. No need to spend so much money going all high tech.
Its quite simple really, those who claim on insurance (when its their fault) and collect traffic fines should have the highest premiums with the clean drivers having to pay the least. Make the difference in prices very big as well.
Apparently you can get insurance here through AXA, and they do a no-claims bonus. But try getting a letter from your current insurer stating you’ve had no accidents!
For the record, I’m not involved with AXA in any way and I discovered them too late to use them this year, but will use them next year for sure.
Islamic Insurance co already does this.
How about the traffic police, actually police? Innovative I know, but could work.
What is this jive-ass crazy talk?!
Sorry must have been smoking the wrong Shisha…how could I even think of asking the police to do their job…crazy stuff that sweet apple flavour sends me off into a different world….
No thanks, reducing premiums can be done much more easily without tracking my every movement
Actually.. even police are breaking the traffic rules.. I have seen number of police driving in their patrol cars using mobile phones while driving..
And since traffic accident is getting worse day by day in the streets of Doha, how about visibility of police in each major streets (not even in major) to how about rigorous patrolling instead of standing and listing down plate numbers of vehicles committing traffic violations. Instead I would suggest to stop the vehicles, explain them that this is your violation so I will issue you a traffic violation ticket.
But problem is communication.. some of the police doesn’t even understand English..
Another waste of money. Wonder if the consultants who are working on these have openings?
The problem is the worst drivers are probably the ones that care the least about money.
Does anyone know how many accidents are called by the speed humps, a so called road safety feature? Lost track of the number of damaged vehicles parked next to them where a vehicle went into the back of someone slowing down to a crawl to negotiate them. Thought that the idea of them was to slow you down to the road speed limit, which you could safely negotiate them at, not reduce all cars to a stop as too much of a risk damaging the vehicle underside.
Some of these so called speed bumps come out of nowhere, especially in the dark! No warning signs or any markings on them. Also not many of them are car friendly.
Agreed, the big problem is that they were designed with Land Cruisers in mind. They are very hard on standard saloons. I have gone over some that are like driving on and off the kerb. Also, as already said they are not painted in places or else the paint has worn off. I have hit a few without seeing them.
speedbumps are just a cop out for the inability to control or penalise excessive speed
Yes they should be marked, and sign posted, thats part of making them effective in reducing speed. Half done as usual…..
People should be driving at a safe distance and speed from the vehicle in front to be able to come to a complete stop in an emergency braking situation without colliding with the vehicle in front. Something not understood here, tailgating is a far more popular sport than the Qatar Stars League….
Couldn’t agree more!!!
All too often the problem is that people drive so close behind they could be in your back seat. Typical blame everythign else and not the shockingly bad car operating (can not call what most people so as driving as that involves knowing and understanding the road).
The black box is not about accidents, it’s about tracking individuals and their movements. Big brother is watching. When the Ritz had a masquede ball, the secret police went crazy and told everyone they had to remove their masks. Why? Because they are watching you all the time, in their paranoid way.
THEY are paranoid??
All governments and leaders are paranoid.
@CeePeeEm:disqus – QIC has had the NO CLAIM BONUS since many years now…
Where did my comment go about how about just getting the traffic police to police? Come on DH this is becoming a joke, are you being regulated and censored?
Hi there, no censorship, just that some comments are being flagged (in some cases because email addresses haven’t been verified) and we’re having to approve them manually.
More like there are too many trolls flagging away
Yet more comments have disappeared, I do not understand what is wrong in saying the authorities will track you through these devices? Is the government scard of people finding out?
Probably Disqus acting up or someone maliciously flagging posts rather than Doha News. Would prefer to have a confirmation that this is the case from Doha News staff though.
Hello, yes, please see my reply about this below.
Do you actually think the government has assigned agents to read through all the comments on here and selectively delete some…? Why would the government delete comments for fear of people finding out when the article (which is still there) clearly gives all the details
No not at all but then again they don’t have to. They can put pressure on the editors and they will censor on behalf of the state out of fear.
Still doesn’t make sense. If any pressure is exerted it would either be to not publish a story, publish it with deceptive info or to delete a story, which is not the case here. We’re just talking about a few comments disappearing and reappearing with a logical explanation. I don’t think the government cares about the comments
PLEASE – another effort to curb the blatant lawlessness that exists here – police with teeth is what is needed, police who can stop and act on lawlessness, or who even care to try and stop the wild driving habits of so many people who have no fear of being reprimanded, and even if caught use this wasda game to “fix” their finds or punishments. Until that happens NOTHING will curb the senseless driving that some here think is fun!! rant over…
I don’t think money is such a big incentive here. Especially when a lot of people rent cars, have company cars or have a lot of money. What needs changing is peoples mentality and stricter regulation of the streets. Its a small country, it shouldn’t take many police to be monitoring the roads for people to be pulled up for being maniacs. But generally i don’t know how the country will change the selfish and disrespectful driving to be honest. I’ve never seen such bull..only maybe from 16 year old’s.
If we were living in a society that was not based in lies, corruption, bribery and dishonor I would stand strongly against the black box. Living in Doha pushes me to feel that It will take more than one option to curb the reckless driving.
There a number of ideas here all of them worthy of consideration. Yet until Qatar places as much effort in to saving lives as it places on expat public dress, Qatar roads will remain a third world hazard.