Seamlessly Integrating Insurance into Vehicle Purchase Process
Rivian, Nationwide partnership reimagining the insurance/customer relationship
Traditionally electric vehicles (EVs) were seen as more of a novelty than a reliable means of transportation in the US.
But as the technology has improved, so to have attitudes. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2022 14% of global new car sales were EVs, a figure expected to reach 60% by 2030. In the U.S. alone, 750,000 EVs were sold in 2022 a figure expected to jump to 1 million in 2023.
This seismic shift in where people are choosing to spend their money is leading to new opportunities for both car manufacturers and insurance carriers.
“All major automakers are thinking about insurance in one way or another,” said Angie Klett, senior vice president of Nationwide Corporate Development. “It’s a very active space as people try to find the right fit for their customers. To make it work, you need to meet customers where they are, give them the best experience possible, and continue to meet their changing needs.”
The partnership between Nationwide and Rivian is proving to showcase a road map to success.
Two different companies, one common vision
The Rivian/Nationwide “carpool” began for Rivian customers in 2022, with Nationwide and Rivian teaming up to build a digital insurance platform for the EV company.
“When we started looking for partners to bring our embedded insurance vision to life, we needed a carrier that had the technological capabilities to deliver the best customer experience possible. Nationwide was way ahead of the curve in that area,” Mike Slattery, the Head of Rivian Insurance, told Nationwide associates in a recent summit between the two companies at Nationwide’s headquarters in Columbus Ohio.
The partnership has evolved during the past two years – beginning with the introduction of the Driver Assistance Discount in 2022, followed by the addition of new products into Rivian’s embedded insurance experience in 2023. Nationwide and Rivian expect to implement SmartRide connected car and other advanced telematics capabilities in the next two years.
“Every good partnership starts with an agreement of shared objectives and values but just as important is the understanding that the customer needs to be at the center of everything we do,” said Klett. “Rivian was in lockstep with all of those criteria.”
Customers are already seeing the partnership’s benefits – from both a safety and economic standpoint.
A world without auto accidents?
Roads that are 100% free from car crashes. It’s a nice sentiment but not one that’s ever been remotely possible. Emerging vehicle safety technologies though are bringing that goal closer to a reality, which is relief for customers and auto insurers alike.
Every Rivian vehicle comes equipped with Driver+, which includes state-of-the-art features like Lane Keep Assist and Driving Assist which are designed to make driving safer. Those technologies have enabled Nationwide to develop new, personalized insurance experiences for customers.
“The Driver Assistance Discount was developed specifically with OEMs like Rivian in mind,” said Sarah Jacobs, Nationwide’s Vice President of Personal Lines Product Development. “Because of the Rivian connected car experience, we know that the driver is using these safety features, which leads to safer driving, which means a lower insurance premium for the customer.”
Riding “shotgun” with drivers for the long haul
For consumers, Rivian and Nationwide alike, personalized auto insurance is the jumping-off point to a long, mutually beneficial relationship.
According to Rivian and Nationwide research, a quality embedded insurance program builds customers’ trust with insurance carriers that are part of the experience, which in turn increases the chance they’ll buy other insurance products. It’s that trust, leaders at both companies believe, that will provide both companies the means to develop life-long relationships with their customers.
“We don’t want a ‘1 and done’ with our customers,” said Klett. “We want to develop a relationship where we can protect their home, their families, their financial well-being as well as their new Rivian. Being integrated into the auto experience helps us do that. Nationwide and Rivian are committed to improve upon the experience we’ve built so we can quickly evolve to meet our customers’ needs.”
“We’re in the early innings of the embedded experience journey,” adds Claire McDonough, Rivian’s Chief Financial Officer. “There’s so much more we can be doing. It’s an exciting time for auto manufacturers and carriers alike.”