Less stressful car crashes for drivers... and insurers
Motion Shield wants to make a difficult time easier
What keeps things interesting when writing this newsletter is the huge variety of startups we cover, and also the many different points the companies are at, even within the realm of ‘early stage’.
Today’s startup is certainly early, but they’ve got a strong idea and the beginnings of a compelling product and service. Scroll down to read all about Motion Shield.
Of all the startups we’ve covered so far this year, Mignon is among the ones that have got readers most excited.
You can read all about Mignon’s approach to A.I. edge processing here.
And if you want to meet them, they’ll be at Connected North–the North’s dedicated digital economy event–in Manchester on 17 and 18 April
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Motion Shield wants to take (some of) the stress out of car crashes
In a typical year, there are more than 100,000 collisions on the roads of Great Britain alone, according to government figures.
As I write this (and I hope I’m not tempting fate!), I’ve never been involved in a car crash. But I can imagine it’s often an incredibly stressful experience, especially as you need to remember exactly what to do and how to do it if you want to make sure the insurance will pay out.
Looking to make things easier for drivers and insurers alike is Motion Shield.
In its initial guise, this mobile app is designed for you to pop open when you get involved in a crash. It takes you through the steps you need to follow - collecting the details of the other driver(s) and car(s) involved, and saving photographs or video of the incident.
It even stores your driving licence and insurance documents to share with the other driver - something that’s particularly easy if the other driver is also a Motion Shield user.
While the London-based startup has a direct-to-consumer subscription offering, the far more promising avenue it’s taking is to develop commercial partnerships with insurers.
Once this is fully up and running, if you have a policy with a supported insurer, you will be able to submit your claim through Motion Shield and the startup will handle the claim for you.
“Rather than you having to engage directly with the insurance company, we will manage the claim with them and keep all parties involved so they know where the claim is, and what elements are required,” says founder Marcus Odubonojo.
“We want to empower the road user to have more control. But also at the same time, we're empowering insurers to have more visibility, control, and speed in processing the claim.”
Beyond this first offering, Motion Shield wants to expand to become a neat, easy to use UI on top of the driver support ecosystem. For example, it plans to integrate with breakdown companies after a crash to get someone out to you and keep you informed about your wait for them.
Ultimately, this is about making the whole experience a little less painful, says Odubonojo.
“I want to transform that pain and make it into a service so that people feel ‘I've had an incident but I feel good about it, because I've managed to control the escalation of the event, rather than sitting back and not knowing what to do, how bad it's going to be, or how long it's going to take.”
The road to Motion Shield
Odubonojo says he first had the idea for Motion Shield back in the summer of 2015, after noticing how many accidents he saw while driving, and realising that this was a pain point the tech industry was yet to address. Over time, that idea evolved into a startup based around the concept.
It’s early days for user adoption. Odubonojo says 300 people have downloaded the app and around 30 incidents have been reported through it, but then this is an early-stage startup and if Motion Shield can boost its insurance partnerships and marketing efforts, it’s clear there’s an interesting idea here.
But I do wonder if people–in the aftermath of a nasty crash–are going to have the presence of mind to remember the name of an app they downloaded maybe months or years previously so they can find it on their phone.
Motion Shield wants to counter that problem by becoming an everyday assistant app for drivers. Odubonojo says it could help by bringing together a driver’s MOT, insurance, and road tax in one app, meaning a driver only has to go to one place to manage them all.
Also on the roadmap is a driver behaviour monitoring feature, using your smartphone’s sensors to monitor how safely you’re driving.
This is something that some insurers already offer. You might have come across Aviva’s Journey app, for instance. But Odubonojo believes there’s room in the market for an offering separate from specific insurers. And he might just be right. More on this below.
Odubonojo has been working on Motion Shield while working as an engineer for Thames Water. He’s joined in the startup by a business acquisition manager and by his brother, who serves as CMO.
At present, the team are working part-time and unpaid, with the aim of becoming a full-time operation once they raise investment. Speaking of which… 👇
Go deeper on Motion Shield
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