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How Do Those Car Insurance Tracking Devices Work?
Car insurance rates are based on several factors, including how you drive. If you’re looking for the cheapest car insurance rates, you may have come across one of several usage-based insurance programs that utilize car tracking devices. These programs are becoming increasingly popular as they may translate to cheaper car insurance rates for safe drivers or drivers who aren’t on the road often. An insurance tracker is a telematics program that collects data about your driving habits.
What Data Is Tracked?
Most insurance companies that offer tracking programs disclose what data is collected. You can typically find the information on their website or by contacting an agent. Generally, they're looking for information that illustrates your usual driving habits, particularly habits that could lead to accidents or help you avoid them.
Typical data collected includes:
- How often you drive and for how long
- Hard braking
- Hard acceleration
- Fast cornering (quick, sharp turns)
- Time of day, especially nighttime driving
- Phone usage while driving
When the insurance company receives this data, they will use mapping data to see what kinds of traffic controls, such as stop signs and speed limits, are in place where you were driving. In doing so, they can determine if you’re a safe driver who follows the rules of the road, or if you frequently speed, run stop signs, or otherwise have poor driving habits. Depending on the program and tracking method (i.e., plug-in dongle or mobile app), they may also be able to tell if you were using your phone while driving, a habit that is generally labeled as “distracted driving.” Your insurer will use this data to set your rates.
Who Offers Insurance Trackers:
- Allstate: Drivewise
- American Family: KnowYourDrive
- Farmers: Signal
- Geico: DriveEasy
- Nationwide: SmartRide
- Progressive: Snapshot
- State Farm: Drive Safe and Save
- Travelers: IntelliDrive
- USAA: SafePilot