January 2, 2020

Why auto insurance providers use the Smartcar VIN API

Charlotte Kosche

Sr. Content Writer

Auto insurance products are becoming increasingly digital and software-driven. For example, insurance providers offer dynamic premiums that vary based on a policy holder's monthly mileage and their driving behavior. Those products are incredibly successful, because they allow insurance companies to accurately assess risk, while policy holders pay a fairer price.

But all of these new insurance products need a reliable technology behind it. Without the perfect technology solution, insurance providers work with erroneous information and set their pricing either too low (resulting in losses for their business) or too high (resulting in customers leaving to the competition).

Products like the Smartcar API help auto insurance companies solve all their technology needs with a simple and powerful solution. Our platform allows policy holders to connect their vehicles with just a few clicks from any car insurance app. It then lets the insurance company access important information such as the vehicle's mileage, location, and tire pressure. Smartcar even handles less obvious tasks, such as knowing a vehicle's VIN.

The challenge of finding and entering a VIN

A vehicle's VIN is both crucial for every car insurance policy and at the same time challenging. In fact, it scares away many potential customers before they even sign a contract.

Every car owner who wants to take out insurance needs to provide their vehicle identification number to get a quote, let alone sign a policy. Unfortunately, the VIN can be located in different parts of the car, depending on its make, model, and year. Most vehicle owners don't know where to find their VIN. Even with detailed instructions, some car owners don't bother making the extra effort and prefer to look for a different product instead of finding their VIN.

Our solution: the Smartcar VIN API

Many insurance companies use the Smartcar API to solve the challenge of knowing a vehicle's VIN. Instead of facing customers with complicated instructions on how to find and enter a 17-character identification number, insurance providers use the Smartcar VIN API to automatically read and save a vehicle's VIN within seconds.

By eliminating the need for customers to find and enter their VIN, insurance providers are able to reduce friction in their onboarding process, increase the number of signed insurance contracts, and maximize customer satisfaction.

How to use the Smartcar VIN API

The Smartcar VIN API is compatible with more than a dozen vehicle makes and many more models in the United States. Our product is a pure software platform. It doesn't require you to use OBD-II dongles or other aftermarket hardware.

Here's how insurance businesses have been integrating and using the Smartcar API:

1. The insurance company integrates the Smartcar API into their mobile or web app. This takes only a few hours of engineering work.

2. The insurance app prompts the customer to connect their vehicle using Smartcar. We provide a short and friendly dialog for them to do so:

3. Among other information, the insurance company can now easily read a customer's VIN with a single API request:

By eliminating the need to look for and enter a vehicle's VIN, auto insurance providers make it easier for car owners to get a quote and to sign up for a policy.

This is not the only way in which the Smartcar API helps insurance companies build better products. Learn more about how car insurance businesses use our platform, and feel free to reach out to us for a product demo.

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