Would You Trade Your Privacy for Discounted Auto Insurance?

How much is your privacy worth? According to a new survey from Carinsurance.com, 64% of people polled said they'd allow the installation of a breathalyzer in their car if it meant getting a discount on auto insurance.

The auto insurance data company surveyed 500 licensed drivers older than 18 and found that most were willing to give up some privacy in return for an unspecified discount on their auto insurance.

According to Carinsurance.com:

  • 64% would let an insurance company install a breathalyzer in their cars.
  • 39% would let an insurance company install a data-monitoring device.
  • 37% would install a cellphone disabling device.
  • 28% would let an insurance company limit how fast their car can go.
  • 27% would severely restrict their driving miles.
  • 24% would severely restrict when they drive.
  • 20% would let an insurance company install an observation camera.

The company cautions that that this is a hypothetical situation; auto insurance companies don't currently provide discounts for the installation of breathalyzers, speed governors or cellphone disablers.

CarInsurance.com Managing Editor Des Toups says many companies offer discounts for good behavior, however. "Of course, a driving record that doesn't have a DUI [driving under the influence] or speeding ticket on it will mean cheaper insurance rates," he said in a statement.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 11, 2013 | Comments (13)
Tags: Safety



If it only meant it would lower my premiums and not increase them, I'd be game for a few of those things.

anonymous guy

It worries me that insurance companies are even thinking about such invasion of motorist's privacy. It used to be we bought insurance to protect us from monetary loss. Now, the government REQUIRES we are insured and the insurance companies are beginning to get too much control.


The thought of getting a new car that has the "black box" factory installed makes me want to keep the cars I have or buy used older ones. It's great for security, but when it switches over to surviellence, it bothers me. I have no cell phone, do not drink, do NO drugs of any kind, but still enjoy the freedom of being in my car and knowing every movement is not recorded. Reading this article makes me want to get my old truck from behind the barn running again (tomorrow). There is not one computer on it, and I LOVE IT!!


No way! Car insurance companies are such a rip off and I don't understand why anyone would allow themselves to he tracked!


If the insurance company is going to charge me $100 to insured my car annually, i might think about it. Otherwise, forget about it. We are losing our privacy slowly; do not blame government, blame the lobbyist for the insurance industries.

David Franks

Driving isn't really "private" behavior. What privacy is violated by a breathalyzer or by data monitoring? The only device mentioned in the article that violates any sort of privacy is the observation camera.


I think a lot of these ideas are great. The problem with insurance is that it encourages adverse selection - bad drivers likely don't pay any more than good drivers. Yes, if you get in an accident, your rates go up, but accidents are rare so any opportunity to better understand who is a good or bad driver would help shift costs to those who generate the most costs.


No, because the government allows collusion in the insurance 'industry'.

This is just dog training, with the naive leading the way.


Progressive's Snapshot program monitors your driving habits. As I understand it, the device records how far you drive, whether you drive on city streets or highways, and how often you jam on the brakes. Since I drive about 8 miles a week, I was happy to sign up for it. Cut my insurance bill in half.

Now, does the observation camera face the driver or the road in front of the driver? I was watching The Colbert Report, and he had a small story on how dash-mounted cameras are the latest rage in Russia. They've actually been useful in catching evidence of fights, insurance fraud (for people who throw themselves in front of your car), and accident fault. Of course, it was Colbert, so he spent most of the time showing ridiculous stuff. If you're willing to have it mounted in your car, I don't see any reason why I should tell you not to.

NO name

How about installing a monitoring device in your bedroom and toilet to monitor everything else. And one in the kitchen so see how much you eat!

I think the suggestions on that list are going too far. How many miles you drive okay that insurance companies will want to know but installing an observation camera?


I know of some people who were driving a vehicle that had an onstar type product or maybe onstar itself installed on it, and the people were unaware of it. Apparently, the police got a warrant and were able to listen in to the peoples conversation inside the car with out their knowledge and were then able to arrest them on smuggling charges. Wild stuff.

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