Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Telematics - What is it? How can it help me save money on my auto insurance?

Several of the insurance companies that we work with offer a potential discount for customers who sign-up for “usage-based insurance (UBI)” or “telematics”.  Customers can either plug a device into their vehicle or download an app to their Smartphone, and the insurance company will use data collected to offer their customers a discount based on their driving habits. 
This year, when our auto insurance policy with Safeco Insurance was renewed, our family signed up for their Telematics program called RightTrack.  Safeco’s RightTrack program gives an initial discount to all drivers who complete the 90-day review period, and the policy could receive a discount of up to 30% when the review period is over.  The discount will roll over at each renewal and stay on for the life of the policy. 
Safeco’s Right Track program looks at the information gathered by the device to calculate a discount based on your driving habits.  RightTrack looks at information including: 
  • Total number of miles driven 
  • Nighttime driving (between midnight and 4 am) 
  • Rapid Acceleration 
  • Hard Braking 
How did it work for my family to use RightTrack?   
We have 3 drivers in our household – myself, my husband, and my mother-in-law.  Once we registered for the program online, all 3 of us downloaded the apps to our smartphones using the activation code that Safeco emailed to us – this helped to connect the app to our insurance policy.   Once the app is installed, it lets you know how many days remaining in the review period, lists projected policy savings and shows your overall performance on braking, acceleration, and nighttime driving.  There is also a log of all the driver trips that you have taken.   Since the app would register any trip, you would need to go into the app within 7 days to mark any trips where you weren’t the driver.   
Overall, we found the RightTrack app easy to use – the app will automatically record a trip, so you don’t need to open the app each time you drive. The RightTrack app ranked the 3 drivers on our policy against each other so we had sort of a friendly banter going back and forth about who was the better driver.   
Currently Safeco, Progressive, and Nationwide offer a telematics program on their auto insurance policies.  Each company’s telematics program works differently so you would need to either read up on the specific program or ask your agent how your insurance company’s telematics program works, and whether the program might be a good fit for you and your family.  
~ Janna Dailey, Insurance Agent at Absolute Insurance Agency, LLC

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