Who among wouldn’t want to pay less for their car insurance? Let me ask you this: how far are you willing to go to get that discount? Are you willing to let your insurance company plug a data transmitter into your diagnostic port, to gather data on when you drive, how often you drive, how far you drive and how hard you accelerate and brake? If you answered yes to those questions, chances are good you’ve stumbled on RideLust by accident, because I can’t think of a single driving enthusiast who’d be willing to blindly let an insurance company base their rates on driving habits.
If you did say yes, Progressive says that the cost savings could be as high as 30%. Part of the discount is calculated based on when you drive; if you spend most of your time behind the wheel during peak “accident hours”, your discount will be lowered. If you drive more miles than you told your insurance company you do, don’t expect a discount. If Progressive determines you’re an “aggressive” driver, based on acceleration and braking, well, you probably won’t qualify for a discount. On the other hand, if you’re one of the Toyota-Camry-driving-sheeple who see driving as a necessary chore, accelerate slowly, stop well in advance of traffic signals and spend mid-day hours clogging the roads, chances are good you’ll get the maximum discount.
Progressive says that the device, called “Snapshot”, won’t be used to raise your insurance rates, but that’s not exactly reassuring to me. It may not be used to raise your rates, but if the data retrieved pegs you as an aggressive driver, I’m guessing that Progressive may choose not to renew your policy when it comes due. Oddly enough, since the device doesn’t include GPS tracking, there’s no way of judging how safe you are behind the wheel. If you only accelerate to 25 miles per hour and run every red light, it may show that you’re eligible for the maximum discount. Spend your entire commute texting, but don’t brake abruptly? You’ll probably get a discount as well.
I’d be more than willing to take a “real world” driving test that would demonstrate practical skills like object avoidance, braking ability and car control. Base my insurance rates on my skill behind the wheel. and I can live with that. Accumulating data without the necessary background information seems like a really bad way to judge a driver’s risk factor, and I just hope we don’t see these devices mandated by insurance companies in the not-too-distant future.
Source: Florida Times Union