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USAA acquires insurtech Noblr to launch new UBI product

USAA is acquiring the insurtech Noblr and will use the company's usage-based insurance platform for a new offering.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. USAA expects the deal to close before the end of 2021. All of Noblr's 50 employees will join USAA. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Noblr team to quickly and significantly expand the implementation of usage-based telematics to more states and to serve our military families, USAA members,” said Gary Tolman, Noblr CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “We look forward to being a part of the USAA team as they embark on their next century.”

In announcing the move, USAA drew a distinction between its current telematics-powered program, SafePilot, and its plans for the Noblr technology. SafePilot will be operated as a "behavior-based" insurance product, using primarily data about driving habits. The Noblr-powered program, which is not yet named, will primarily use data about trip frequency -- more "usage-based" in USAA's eyes.

“The acquisition of Noblr, Inc. increases our competitiveness in the marketplace and adds the choice of UBI capability for our members,” said Wayne Peacock, USAA president and CEO, in a statement. “Members will get personalized pricing that fits their risk and usage profile, better control over the cost of their auto policies and an exceptional end-to-end digital experience. SafePilot is currently available in four states and collects data via mobile app. USAA says that as many as half of its new signups in those states opt into the program. Frequency of use is part of its algorithm along with harsh braking and distracted driving, but with driving habits for some permanently changed by the pandemic, USAA sees increased value in usage-based pricing in addition to behavioral.

“What our members told us coming out of COVID is that they are cognizant of their insurance products and intently interested in where they can save money.” Jim Syring, USAA P&C president, told Digital Insurance in March.“For active duty military who are leaving their car on base in a garage, $50 a month matters a ton to those families. We feel very strongly that we can provide them with competitive products.”

Nathan Golia - Editor-In-Chief, Digital Insurance

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