Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Lower Your Car Insurance the 21st Century Way

Actress Stephanie Courtney appears as "Fl...Image via Wikipedia

Here's the problem, the cost of your car insurance is pretty steep these days. Your a careful driver, you have not gotten in any accidents and you have no tickets. For the insurance companies your the perfect customer. But why do you still have to pay these high insurance bills as if your a bad driver?

To solve this dilemma the car insurances companies have come up with a device to measure just how good a driver you really are. This device installs in your car and measures all the details of your driving. It measures the amount of miles you drive, how fast you go, how many times you use the brakes and the amount of time you drive your car.

GMAC Insurance’s low-mileage discount plan is a version for owners of General Motors cars who have OnStar service. OnStar, which also can alert an operator to call 911 in an emergency or remotely diagnose a car’s mechanical problems, reports actual miles driven for subscribers who sign up for the insurance plan. Discounts are based on how much less than 15,000 miles you drive in a year, though there is no penalty for driving more. For instance, if you drive between 7,501 and 10,000 miles annually, you would save 26% or $208 if the starting premium were $800. GMAC says it has 30,000 low-mileage customers so far.

The Snapshot program from Progressive Insurance has 100,000 customers and is available in 30 states. With Snapshot, you plug in a device about the size of a garage door opener into your car’s diagnostic port (often under the dash below the steering wheel). For 30 days, the gizmo sends data back to Progressive about how many miles you drive at what time of day and attempts to discern if you are an aggressive driver. (Lots of braking translates as aggressive since tailgaters hit their brakes a lot). After 30 days, Progressive will tell you, based on your mileage and driving habits, whether you qualify for a discount of up to 30%.

While other programs don’t measure your speed, Allstate’s DriveWise program doesn’t shy away from that. Now in effect in Illinois, the plan will be rolled out to other states during this year. The device installed for DriveWise will note any time you exceed 80 mph. In addition to your mileage and episodes of hard braking and aggressive acceleration, Allstate says such speeding could affect your rating and your premium.

Are you thinking about doing this than consider the issues:

  • Will you cut back your mileage during this period. Are you considering a road trip.
  • Will you really show up as a safe driver? You're going to reveal what kind of driver you really are. We all think we are great drivers. Do you change lanes a lot. Do you speed up quickly? All this will be revealed. 
  • Understand what discounts will arise with this examination. Also check out the penalties if your considered a bad driver.
  • Are you worried about your privacy? these devices could be used with your GPS revealing where your are going to and how long your there. 

This is definitely a win for people who drive very little or are good drivers. But if your a bad driver with a lot of claims are you going to add to the damage by attaching this device to your car revealing how bad a driver you really are?


  1. As technology improves, eventually this will become standard. Of course the privacy might interfere with laws, so some of it could be scaled back.

    But it is only a matter of time in my opinion!

  2. As with all privacy intrusions, at first it's innocent and sold as beneficial to the recipient. The data is always misused or made public. Take the airport scanners for example.

  3. Dave, I've been with Geico forever, have tons of discounts, good driving record, old cars AND REALLY LOW AUTO RATES!!! Plus, I don't drive much.I don't need any more intrusion in my life!!

  4. It’s actually not a very comfortable feeling knowing your driving skills are being assessed at all times. I would get very conscious behind the wheel if I knew all my data was being recorded by my auto insurance company.

  5. Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles.
    Car Insurance Seattle

  6. Thanks a lot for sharing such an detailed and informative post. The reading was definitely worth it.Good luck..


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