You’re a safe driver, and you want your insurer to know it. You also want to save money on your car insurance premium. One way to accomplish this might be to let your insurance company monitor your driving. But should you do it?
With modern telematics technology, an auto insurer can track your driving in exchange for discounts. It seems like a win-win situation, but there are concerns to consider. Here are the pros and cons.
Pro: You don’t pay more than you should.
For drivers who let their insurer monitor them, money is the main motivator. By letting your auto insurer track your driving habits, you can prove that you’re a safe driver. In exchange, the insurer will give you a discount.
This is very different from the traditional way of calculating premiums. Although insurers have always considered an individual’s driving record, many rate calculations are based on statistics related to things like your age, your gender and sometimes even your credit score. A 23-year-old man who is a very safe driver could end up paying a lot simply because other 23-year-old men tend to be risky drivers. With telematics, you get custom rates based on your driving ability, not on your demographic’s driving ability. This can result in major savings for safe drivers.
Con: You could pay more than you used to.
Telematics devices can track a range of driving habits, including speeding and sudden braking. If you avoid risky habits, you can get a discount. But what happens if you’re not a safe driver? Although many people who use telematics receive a discount because of it, a few drivers may actually see their rates increase once the insurance company finds out how dangerous their driving really is. That said, many insurers with telematics programs say that your rates will NOT go up based on what they discover.
Pro: Low-mileage drivers can save.
In addition to tracking how safely you drive, your auto insurer can also track how much you drive. If you don’t drive very much, this can result in big savings.
Con: The data might not always be accurate.
A telematics device can tell a lot about your driving, but it’s not the same as having another person in the car with you. The data collected might not give an accurate representation of your driving performance.
For example, sudden braking is considered a dangerous driving habit. But sometimes sudden braking is needed. If a kid runs out in front of your car, you’ll need to slam on the brakes.
Of course, this sort of situation is rare, but it does show how the data collected could be potentially misleading.
Pro: You can become a safer driver.
We tend to be on our best behavior when we know someone is watching. Just knowing that your driving is being monitored may be enough to motivate you to be a safer driver.
But let’s say you install a telematics device, and the data proves that you’re actually a pretty risky driver. Your insurance rates do not go down, and you’re not happy about that. This is bad, but it isn’t the end of the story. Now that you know what you’re doing wrong, you can make an effort to become a safer driver. As a result, you could qualify for telematics discounts in the future. Even better, you may learn how to avoid crashes and tickets. That will help you save even more money. It will also keep you, your passengers and the people who share the road with you safer.
Con: You give up some privacy.
Some people simply aren’t comfortable with the idea of a big company collecting data on them, even if they know the data is only being used to determine their insurance rates so they can get a discount.
However, this attitude may be changing. According to a study from Willis Towers Watson, only 7 percent of respondents disagree with the claim that usage-based insurance is a better way to calculate premiums than traditional methods. Younger drivers are especially likely to embrace telematics.
Pro: You can keep your teen drivers safe.
For parents, telematics technology may be especially attractive. When you send your teen drivers out on the road on their own, you want to know that they’re safe. Letting your car insurer monitor your teen’s driving is one way to do this. Telematics programs can also include roadside assistance options, so you can rest easy knowing that your teen will be able to get help if needed.
Want to give telematics a no-risk test drive?
Download the Jupiter App. In addition to telematics, it includes many helpful features and you don’t have to be a Jupiter Auto Insurance customer to use it. However, if you use it and it shows you are a safe driver, we’d love the opportunity to hook you up with some driving discounts! Learn more about the app here and get an instant car insurance quote too. Jupiter is here to help you save money!