The simplest form of usage-based insurance bases the insurance costs simply on distance driven. However, the general concept of pay as you drive includes any scheme where the insurance costs may depend not just on how much you drive but how, where, and when one drives.

Pay as you drive (PAYD) means that the insurance premium is calculated dynamically, typically according to the amount driven. There are three types of usage-based insurance:

  1. Coverage is based on the odometer reading of the vehicle.
  2. Coverage is based on mileage aggregated from GPS data, or the number of minutes the vehicle is being used as recorded by a vehicle-independent module transmitting data via cell phone or RF technology
  3. Coverage is based on other data collected from the vehicle, including speed and time-of-day information, historic riskiness of the road, driving actions in addition to distance or time travelled.

The formula can be a simple function of the number of miles driven, or can vary according to the type of driving or the identity of the driver. Once the basic scheme is in place, it is possible to add further details, such as an extra risk premium if someone drives too long without a break, uses their mobile phone while driving, or travels at an excessive speed.

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