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Brewing Battle over Vehicle Data Ownership Matters to Insurers

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The debate between the insurance industry and vehicle manufacturers over who owns data has intensified as collision claims are approaching “a new era” of data collection. Data generated in cars provide information including speed, traffic conditions, passenger info et al to insurance companies. Even though auto makers make sure to keep data a secret because having data only to themselves allows them to dictate the location where a vehicle can be repaired. Insurance companies can face higher repair bills if the manufacturer chooses where to repair the vehicle. Insurer then does not have the option of sending the vehicle to their preferred collision repair vendor.

Ryan Stein, executive director of auto insurance policy and innovation at IBC, says that they believe it should be upon the owner which collision center he wants to visit and where he wants to get the vehicle repaired. He further added that the new era will have more of connected and automated vehicles and the data will be more relevant now for claim purposes than it has been in the past. The automotive aftermarket has experienced this before. 10 years ago, the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard was put together giving consumer ‘right to repair’, meaning they could repair their vehicle at a shop of their choosing.

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada representing repair and collision centres has been at the centre of the ongoing right to repair debate. Jean-Francois Champagne, Ottawa-based president of the association says that the capacity to use technologies and all the things related to the car require a level of ownership and control of the data by car owners.

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