Radical new group-based car insurance schemeWed, 02 Jul 2014
Innovation and car insurance aren’t entirely strange bedfellows. After all, the concept of ‘black box’ insurance that uses a device to monitor you as you drive has taken off so fast it could well become mandatory in the future. But it’s still unusual to come across something truly revolutionary.
Enter Guevara – yes, as in the Cuban revolutionary, Che – which is offering an entirely novel ‘peer-to-peer’ approach to car insurance by allowing groups of motorists to pool their premiums to save money.
Sounds simple enough: buy in bulk, you get a discount, right? Not quite. Instead, Guevara is encouraging drivers to play a longer-term game.
This means that you and your Group are in charge of the destiny of your discount
Join a Guevara ‘Group’ and your first year’s insurance premium is likely to be fairly unremarkable – which is to say about the same as you’ll pay with a conventional car insurance provider.
The difference is that every premium – minus Guevara’s fee – from everyone in the same Group is collected together into what the company is calling a Protection Pool.
The Protection Pool is the fund your Group draws upon for any claims between sign-up and renewal. The fewer the claims the more money left in the Protection Pool at the end of the year – money that is then taken off the insurance premium next time around.
Basically, this means that you and your Group are in charge of the destiny of your discount. If everyone drives safely and manages to avoid having accidents, the money off come renewal time is potentially huge.
Better yet, if the worst does happen, Guevara says you will never pay more than you did when first entering the Group, as premiums are calculated on the amount needed to top up the Protection Pool to its original level.
Fewer claims mean less money will have been taken from the Protection Pool, so therefore less money needs to go back in: potentially saving you up to 80%.
Guevara Groups can be established among a group of peers – hence the peer-to-peer connotations – which might include friends, family, colleagues or even a collection of people with similar enthusiasms.
Failing that, Guevara will aim to place you within a suitable existing Group, based on your driving record, experience, car, location and even your friends and social media profile.
If someone becomes a liability you can vote them out
A degree of similarity within the Group is important, otherwise people may find themselves carrying the financial weight of inappropriate drivers – such as those with cars that are expensive to insure, who live in higher risk locations or are simply more careless behind the wheel.
Guevara has pledged that your Entry Price – the first premium you pay when joining a Group – is the most you will ever pay, unless your circumstances change (if you change address or car, for example).
So even if there’s no money left in the Protection Pool at the end of the year, your insurance premium won’t go higher than this – but you won’t save any money, either. Hence the importance of having well-matched Group members.
If there’s an accident – or number of accidents – that cost more than the funds available in the Protection Pool, Guevara has what it calls a Waterloo Fund to cover the extra. So you won’t find yourself in a situation where you have to pay more.
There’s also the option to anonymously vote a driver out of a Group if enough other members agree. So if someone turns out to be a real liability, you aren’t stuck with them. Just make sure that someone doesn’t turn out to be you.
Since you can see exactly how you and your fellow Group members are influencing your insurance premium – you can check your Protection Pool status and your future renewal amount at any time – the motivation to drive safely will surely be increased.
Similarly, there’s also an extra impetus to find good deals on any repairs that need doing. It might even help crack down on fraudulent claims.
To find out more, visit the Guevara website (which is rather cutely found at heyguevara.com).
Do you think this new type of insurance scheme will catch on?
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