Progressive Will Reduce Insurance Premiums if it Can Monitor Your Driving

Teendriver

Progressive Insurance has a new high-tech monitoring system that’s a gamble for drivers. Depending on how you drive, agreeing to install the device in your car could save you up to 60% on your insurance premiums — or cost you 9% more.

The device monitors driving habits including jackrabbit starts, sudden slamming on the brakes, fast acceleration and what time of day the individual is driving. All drivers who sign up for the program will be rewarded with an initial 10% reduction, with additional reductions (or increases) available depending on what the device tells Progressive about your driving habits.

A pilot program has been under way in Alabama, Oregon and Minnesota, with a nationwide launch rolling out throughout 2009. GMAC Insurance and OnStar vehicles offer a similar type of discount.

Programs like these still have their downsides and question marks. For instance, who decides what constitutes bad driving behavior? How many jackrabbit starts or sudden stops are you allowed before your premiums go up? After all, getting two speeding tickets doesn’t necessarily mean you're a bad driver, but it sure will cost you more in insurance.

Additionally, while the Environmental Defense Fund has praised the program on the basis that encouraging better driving habits can reduce traffic congestion, gas consumption and pollution, other groups have their doubts. Organizations that monitor civil liberty issues have concerns about motorists signing away personal information.

Although the monitoring system doesn’t track where you go in your car, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has warned drivers that once an insurance company has this information about you, it will own what is essentially a private record about you.

Insurer Offers Discounts to Drivers with Monitors (Detroit News)

By Stephen Markley | July 30, 2008 | Comments (10)
Tags: Car Gadgets

Comments 

freethinker

And tracking the location of the car would also allow for tweaking insurance rates, yes? A 20 mile commute might be to a quiet town, or might entail driving through an area known for high accident and/or crime rates.

J

Sudden stops increases the premium? Makes NO sense.
What should I do when someone decided to jump in front of me suddenly? Crash into it? Slamming the brakes?
An animal jumps across the road; hit it? Slam the brakes?
Another vehicle cuts in front and brakes to make a turn; hit it? Brake?

woogie

I doubt they are going to nail you for every sudden stop.

I'm sure there is a number at which sudden stops , stop being related to avoiding sudden obstacles and become an indicator of following too close and inattentive driving. Both of which are major causes of collisions.

J

Following closely will not lead to sudden stops, but constantly riding on the brakes.

Infosaur

I'd love to see their data matrix on pricing, and then use a data logger to check my own behavior. But I wouldn't want to join the program and THEN find out whether I'm going to SAVE 20% or LOSE 10%.

I tend to like to know the price of something BEFORE I buy.

Yeah, I'm funny like that.

ralphie

J,

Following too close does lead to sudden stops. It reduces the distance to react to the vehicle in front of you when they apply their brakes.

Your reaction time does not get quicker as you drive faster so you need more space between vehicles to be able to react without having to slam on the brakes.

Not sure why you would have to ride the brakes to follow too close. It's quite easy to tailgate a car by maintaining the same speed as that car.

J

ralphie,

Following too close will not lead to sudden "stops". Riding on the brakes is because they are either closing in too much and gets afraid, or the car in front does not have a steady right foot.
I don't do tailgating, but I do see them around a lot and they just always ride on the brakes and that aggrevates.

ralphie

J,

Following too close is a definite cause of sudden stops.

Hop on any interstate and watch what happens when the car in the front of a line of tailgaters hits the brakes for any reason. Everyone behind has to make a sudden deceleration because they are too close for their reaction time to allow them to make a normal stop.

Drive on any multi-lane surface street with stop lights during rush hour and what happens when the car at the front of the pack makes a normal stop for a red light, those following too close have to make sudden stops.

All due to following too close for the speed being traveled.

Do you even drive???? Aren't you the one who walks to work every day?? The one who promotes cycling? Works on campus???

You might want to leave academe once in a while and see what goes on in the real world.

J

ralphie,

a. Personal attacks are reserved for somewhere else.
b. When did deceleration become equaling to stop?
c. Yes, I do drive; however I wish I can have the luxury item called "time" to walk 20 miles to school and another 20 miles back home everyday while not risking to get run over by drivers.

How are you, I encountered this website by accident when I was searching on Google then I came onto your web site. Your reaction time does not get quicker as you drive faster so you need more space between vehicles to be able to react. I have to tell you that your site is interesting I just love the theme! At this moment I don

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