In addition to being (very nearly) the name of the debut album by mildly eccentric Canadian songstress Nelly Farturdo, Wunelli is the name of a UK telematics solutions provider offering software and data analysis that allows insurers to launch telematics-based motor insurance products in a fast, efficient and cost effective way. What have they done to deserve featuring in Bankstone News, you may wonder.

How convenient that you should ask! They have teamed up with our friends at SSP to offer the UK’s first ever telematics-based private motor insurance product designed for smaller brokers. Not actually for smaller brokers, of course, but for smaller brokers to flog to their clients.

SSP/Keychoice top man Jonathan Davely says the product, named SoteriaDrive after an ancient greek divinity and the word for what people do when they pilot a motor vehicle (more on that crazy name below), reckons that breeding Wunnelli’s telematics expertise with SSP’s systems know-how and distribution power will give insurers “the confidence to provide policies to the brokers using this innovative solution.”

Essentially, it’s a smartphone app. But what an app! (Not to be confused, incidentally, with Soteria, India’s first free Android app for women’s personal safety and crime control.) It’s an app, which thanks to Wunelli’s “learnings”, has been tweaked to the point where it’s 99% as accurate as the infamous “black box” type telematics solutions, can tell if users are in a train rather than a car, and will even remind people to turn the app on if they start driving without having done so but, obviously, with their phone turned on.

BIBA’s Graeme Trudgel seems keen, and is not too shy to highlight his organisation’s pivotal role in the genesis of SoteriaDrive. “We have been campaigning for this option to be made available for some time,” he insists vaguely, adding: “This is a significant breakthrough for brokers, giving them access to a product that specifically addresses their needs and the needs of their clients as well as an opportunity to engage with policyholders on an on-going basis.”

But WHAT about that crazy name, you are probably demanding with ever increasing impatience. Bankstone News was just coming to that. SoteriaDrive takes its name from the Greek spirit (daimon) of safety, deliverance or salvation, Soteria, known by the Romans as Salus, in whose honour the people of ancient Aegium formerly gathered together on their craggy headlands upon certain holy days to fling home baked cakes into the wine dark seas below.

It is also said that Eurypylos, one of the Greek heroes of the Trojan wars, founded a shrine in her honour at Patrae in recognition of his deliverance from a protracted bout of madness suffered after he opened a cursed trunk he had carried off as part of his share of the spoils from the Sack of Troy (presumably a pretty big sack, given the amount of stuff that appears to have come out of it) and gazed upon a deeply disturbing statuette representing the god Dionysos.

So now you know!



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