Royal & SunAlliance announces revolutionary GPS-based eco car insurance
Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has joined Tony Blair in launching ‘We’re in this Together’ (WITT) – a new campaign aimed at encouraging individual action on climate change.
[ClickPress, Fri Apr 27 2007] Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has joined Tony Blair in launching ‘We’re in this Together’ (WITT) – a new campaign aimed at encouraging individual action on climate change. At the launch, the chief executives of eight leading UK companies, including R&SA, announced initiatives to help customers take action to reduce their personal impact on climate change1.
At the event MORE TH>N, the direct arm of R&SA, announced two new green insurance products:
1) A telematics car insurance policy which uses GPS technology to help people drive in a greener way and save money on fuel.
2) An eco car discount of up to 15 per cent and free carbon offsetting for first 3,000 miles.
The company also announced that they will shortly be offering a financial incentive to home insurance customers who have taken measures to reduce their energy usage.
Bridget McIntyre, UK chief executive of Royal & SunAlliance, said: “We’re absolutely committed to the We’re in this Together campaign. By offering consumers positive environmental choices, large companies can make a tangible difference in the fight against climate change. I believe it’s the right thing to do. Our customers want us to take action, and our people want to work for a company that’s taking its environmental responsibilities seriously.”
Customers buying car insurance via the ‘We’re In This Together’ website will be given a GPS telematics device for their cars. This ‘smart box’ will monitor how green their driving behaviour is and send them regular reports on how well they are doing and tips to help them drive more efficiently. The system will measure behaviours such as the number of short journeys taken, excessive speed, over-revving, over-acceleration, and idle time leaving the motor running.
As well as helping customers to help the environment by polluting less, the device should also save people money through lowering fuel costs and wear and tear on vehicles and tyres. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by driving in a greener way people can save an average of £120 per year in fuel costs. The new eco product will be launched as a pilot in the last quarter of this year with up to 1,000 free-of charge boxes available in 2007. If successful, MORE TH>N will look to expand the scheme in 2008.
Eco-car discount and 3,000 mile carbon offset
MORE TH>N was the first insurer to offer a discount of up to 15 per cent for hybrid cars. This has recently been extended to include all eco-cars such as hybrids, electric and alternative fuel vehicles like liquefied petroleum gas cars.
MORE TH>N is also encouraging drivers of non-eco cars to make a green choice as well. From May this year, customers buying MORE TH>N car insurance via the WITT website will be given the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions using an online tool. MORE TH>N will pay for the first 3,000 miles of each customer’s carbon offsetting.
MORE TH>N believes that the introduction of its eco-policies, along with the actions of the other WITT partners, will give consumers a variety of simple ways that they can reduce their own carbon footprints.
R&SA, including MORE TH>N, has a long-term environmental strategy and last year was the first insurer in the UK to become carbon neutral2. Recent research by the insurer reveals that over 75 per cent of consumers think insurers should take climate change into account in their operation, and the same number say that an insurer’s business practices, e.g. office energy efficiency and carbon offsetting, are important.3
Globally, R&SA has been reporting publicly on its impact on the environment since 1998, and has targets in each of its major operations for a variety of environmental measures. In the UK, R&SA’s carbon footprint is now 31,000 tonnes CO2 emissions, down from 63,000 tonnes CO2 emissions in 2000-2001. In addition to tracking CO2 emissions, R&SA also monitors a number of other environmental outputs, including waste, energy and water consumption, and employee travel.
R&SA’s UK environmental targets for 2007 are:
• Reduce air travel by 20 per cent
• Reduce travel emissions by 10 per cent
• Reduce electricity use by 5 per cent
• Reduce waste by 10 per cent and establish targets for recycling
• Reduce water use by 10 per cent
Dr Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group says, “Today marks an unprecedented commitment from some of the UK's favourite brands to help their customers tackle climate change. These brands have come up with new and innovative ways to make it easier to save energy, from watching TV, insulating roofs and insuring cars, to washing our clothes and lighting our homes."
Dr Howard continues, “People need to feel that these companies have developed solutions which allow consumers to make do their bit. It’s a case of leading by example and all our partners are committed to making dealing with climate change more accessible to their customers. The success of the campaign will rest on reaching as many people as possible, not just the usual audience for green initiatives.”
Anyone interested in the eco-policies should email MORE TH>N on email@example.com.
Jon Sellors / Rachael Shaw Simon Kutner
MORE TH>N Royal & SunAlliance
T: 020 7337 5405/5728 T: 020 7337 5385
M: 07711 701 806 M: 07787 174 913
E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com
Notes to Editors: to editors
Bridget McIntyre, UK chief executive and Dr Paul Pritchard, CR manager at Royal & SunAlliance, are available for media interviews.
1. The eight companies involved in the launch are: B&Q, Barclaycard, British Gas, Marks & Spencer, 02, Royal & SunAlliance, Sky and Tesco.
2. Carbon Neutrality represents the point at which greenhouse gas emissions have been assessed, reduced where possible, and the remaining carbon is offset through climate-friendly emission-reduction projects. Through these projects, for every tonne of carbon produced, one tonne is saved somewhere else in the world. R&SA purchases its offsets through The CarbonNeutral Company.
3. Source: MORE TH>N consumer panel, September 2006
R&SA’s last published carbon footprint was 31,000 tonnes in 2005. 2006’s footprint is due to be published shortly, and provisionally shows a further reduction.
Royal & SunAlliance is one of the world’s leading multinational quoted insurance groups, writing business in over 130 countries and with major operations in the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, Ireland, the Middle East and Latin America. Focusing on general insurance, it has around 24,000 employees and, in 2006, its net written premiums were £5.5bn. With an almost 300 year heritage Royal & SunAlliance is the oldest insurance company in the world still trading under its original name.
Within the UK, Royal & SunAlliance is the second largest commercial lines insurer, covering the insurance and risk management needs of a significant number of FTSE 100 companies. It has a full multi-distribution capability, writing business through brokers and corporate partners, direct and online. Royal & SunAlliance is also one of the UK’s top three personal motor and household insurers.
Royal & SunAlliance won General Insurer of the Year, Claims Initiative of the Year and International Initiative of the Year at the 2006 British Insurance Awards.
In December 2006 Royal &SunAlliance became the first insurer in the UK to be carbon neutral. The company has cut its carbon footprint by half since 2000 and has offset the remainder by purchasing voluntary carbon reductions through The CarbonNeutral Company.