Anthony Hilton: Aviva chief may have got out just in time


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The Independent Online

Andrew Moss of Aviva resigned on Tuesday, forced out by shareholders dissatisfied with the languid performance of the group. Coincidentally the next day I got sent a report produced by the Oliver Wyman Group about the future of motor insurance which suggested it might not have one.

Given that this is one of the biggest parts of Aviva's Norwich Union business, perhaps Mr Moss might one day be seen to be lucky to leave when he did.

The report is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but it is based on the argument that people buy motor insurance because accidents happen, and the technology already exists to cut the numbers drastically – so drastically, in fact, that the insurers would have no business.

If we actually insisted on installing in vehicles things like telematics, which records and predicts bad driving behaviour, automatic collision avoidance and automated traffic law enforcement, accidents would plunge in number and severity. Meanwhile, satellite tracking could virtually eliminate theft.

And much of the money spent on insurance premiums would be saved.