One of the most … intriguing … developments to watch in the motorcycle industry is the growing interest insurance companies have in onboard safety electronics. Since insurers end up paying out in crashes, they’re keen to prevent them. And one way to prevent them, in theory, is to add onboard electronic safety systems to motorcycles.
That’s why Italian insurer Sara Assicurazioni SpA is now teaming up with Ride Vision, an Israeli company, to offer policies that give discounts to safety tech users.
Ride Vision offers a camera-based safety system that warns riders of impending crashes. The company is in its infancy; basically, it’s offering a product that has been available for years, but on the automobile market, not for bikes (although we’ve seen prototypes developed by some manufacturers). You can see it explained below.
So, a possible step forward, and possibly not, as it’s not hard to foresee a future where insurers jack up rates on bikes that aren’t equipped with this tech, or other systems like leaning ABS or traction control, or even a speed limiter. Remember that as far back as 2013, Saskatchewan Government Insurance was talking about putting telematics on bikes. It was all part of a pilot program at that point, but it’s not difficult to see the writing on the wall, once you consider how punishing motorcycle insurance rates have become in most of Canada.
However, the Italian insurance company that’s working on this current program isn’t using it to raise the cost of business; instead, Calcalist says it’s offering lowered rates to motorcycles with the anti-crash technology installed. That’s a move in the right direction, for sure.