We’ve all heard of them, but what is a driving app and should you use it with your auto insurance company? Do they monitor your every move? Is it too much “big brother”? What are the pros and cons of using this new technology?
As I mentioned in our last article, this emerging technology has been in development and use for over a decade and has evolved from a device you physically place in your car, into a simple, user-friendly app.
Regardless of which insurance company currently insures your vehicles, it is very likely that they offer big discounts for using their driving app. In fact, most of the insurance companies that we represent offer at least a 10% discount automatically for using the app, right from the start. Then the discounts after completing the short trial period can increase up to 40%, depending on the company.
Here’s how it works…
Once you start your new auto policy with us you have the option to use the app. (Existing customers can also sign up for the discount) It’s as easy as downloading any other app from the app store. They’re very user friendly and every driver in your household can benefit.
How long do I have to use the app?
This varies by insurance company, but most of our carriers require use to be between 90 days and 6 months.
What is the app monitoring and not monitoring?
Typically the app strictly oversees your normal driving habits. Usually in 4 or 5 categories;
- How fast you accelerate?
- How hard you brake?
- How much nighttime driving?
- Total miles driven?
- Are you more apt to be a distracted driver?
The apps do not track your search history or where you are shopping. This isn’t meant to pry into your privacy. In fact the insurance companies have strict privacy standards to protect their clients information and driving habits.
What happens after this time period?
You’ll receive notice from the company that you can stop using and uninstall the app. It’s that simple.
What happens next and how is my discount calculated?
The insurance company will apply the appropriate discount to your policy. Some companies do this as soon as the app use period is completed, while others will do this upon renewal. As mentioned, the initial discount applied to your new policy is about 10% on average. Low risk household drivers can expect increased savings up to as much as 40%. Higher risk drivers can see a reduction in savings. Some companies will remove the discount all together, while a handful of companies may surcharge based on the worst offending drivers.
I can say that about 90% of our new clients take advantage of the driving app program and discount. My wife and I just completed the Safeco RightTrack program and will save an additional $117/year off of our auto insurance, thanks to the app.
The bottom line is rather than base your insurance rates strictly on your demographics and your zip code, the app is intended to give you discounts on an individual basis, giving good drivers the exceptional discounts they deserve. Bundle with your home insurance or renters insurance and save even more.
Call us today for more information and to see how much you can save!