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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Automakers are beginning to offer subscription packages that include insurance, typically via a third-party provider. Tesla has gone a step further, recently announcing it will offer its own policies, which may signal a larger shift in auto insurance.

Why it matters: The volume of vehicle behavioral data that connected vehicles will generate could be leveraged by automakers to edge into the insurance market, while enabling them to proactively protect drivers by recommending safer routes.

The big picture: Connected vehicles generate huge amounts of vehicle usage data. 

  • Real-time data is already becoming a new currency for insurers, impacting the way the $558 billion industry works.
  • But this change also creates opportunities for new insurance technology start ups and automakers to get into the insurance space.
  • Insurance tech companies raised $3 billion in investment in the first half of 2019, money that will likely advance in-house OEM insurance.

How it works: This influx of data creates a new era in insurance because, fundamentally, insurance extrapolates from historical data to create risk models.

  • Real-time data collection can accelerate the building of those risk models for emerging mobility technology, like AVs and electric scooters.
  • The breadth of data available also allows for more insightful risk modeling.

Between the lines: Tesla's move reinforces the idea that OEMs could begin providing their own insurance.

  • Yes, but: This could prove a challenge for companies long dedicated to "bending metal."

What we're watching: In addition to offering insurance, this influx of data could be leveraged by suppliers to protect users in new ways. 

  • Eventually, navigation guidance could recommend a route where accidents are less likely to occur during rush hour.
  • Leveraging traffic, weather, and other data can protect fleets, equipment, and especially people, which would reduce risk and lower insurance costs.

Ian Sweeney is the GM of Mobility at Trov, an insurance technology company.

Go deeper

28 mins ago - World

China's Xi swipes at U.S.: "Countries shouldn't impose rules on others"

China's President Xi Jinping during a video summit in Beijing on Friday. Photo: Li Xueren/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's President Xi Jinping on Tuesday warned against "bossing others around or meddling in others' internal affairs" and called for "more fair and equitable" global governance.

Why it matters: Xi's thinly veiled swipes at the U.S. during an online speech at the Boao Forum for Asia economic forum come at a time of heightened tension between Beijing and Washington over trade, human rights and China's strategic and economic ambitions.

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.