September 12, 2014

When an outfit called Wee Joe announced earlier this year that it was planning to launch a telematics aggregator, people fell about laughing.

“Does the world really need a way of comparing telematics providers?”, they asked incredulously. “Is that even possible in any meaningful sense?,” they also queried, following up mirthfully with “What are they going to call it, ha, ha, Compare the Box?”

But then someone explained that Wee Joe wasn’t actually planning anything so ridiculous as comparing telematics offerings. Oh no, Wee Joe wants to challenge the likes of Compare the Meerkat by allowing people who download the Wee Joe app (which combines telematics with geolocationated lifestyle-based consumer recommedationising) to compare quotes from a punnet of over 100 insurers, and much much more.

Frankly it doesn’t make much difference what Wee Joe is planning to do at this stage, since, according to this week’s Insurance Ties: “The launch of telematics price comparison site Wejo, which was due to go live this month, has been delayed with the company yet to announce a launch date.”

The postponement is apparently down to a new strategy on Wee Joe’s part that involves “making sure every element is fine-tuned before we launch to the general public” as well as “exploring some exciting new elements”.

Even prior to the above mentioned exploration of new elements, a short film on the Wee Joe website already suggests that the app, whenever it does finally show up to accomplish its promised “shake-up” of the world of motor insurance, will do everything from appraising your driving skills to “offering you last minute deals on hotels, shows and even concerts”, from giving you free coffee, cut price fuel, and discounts of up to 35% on your insurance to monitoring your every move and telling you where to go.

“If the consumer doesn’t mind giving us their data,” Wee Joe top man Dick Barlow says, he hopes the app will save them money as well as selling them things they didn’t even know they wanted.

With uncanny prescience Barlow was quoted back in May telling Insurance Ties that connected cars are “not going to happen next year, but in the next seven years your car will become a big determiner [sic] in how you get insurance.”

And, you know what, that one might actually turn out to be true.

nice one


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