Increasing pressure on motor insurers to support improved driver safety and bring claims inflation, and prices under control will make technology increasingly central to competitiveness, according to Towers Watson.

Towers Watson DriveAbility UBI programme director of analytics Tony Lovick said that already, the recent expansion in companies offering usage-based insurance (UBI) policies, based on in-car telematics devices, is putting those companies without a UBI proposition at risk of eventually being left with the bad risks, particularly among younger drivers.

Lovick noted that UBI was just the beginning and outlined five priorities for the industry in 2012, including reducing young driver deaths, whiplash claims, fraud and uninsured driving.

"Existing technologies can certainly help towards these goals. As well as monitoring and providing feedback on driver behaviours, telematics devices can be used to record whiplash incidents. Other services such as automated emergency and breakdown calls are applications of the technology that would help customers and support safety objectives," added Lovick.

Towers Watson said mobile technologies are also increasingly likely to come into the competitive mix.

Lovick said the launch of price comparison apps by and are a sign of things to come but who says that, as vehicle wireless connectivity improves, they have to stop at pricing.