SAVING MONEY ON AUTO INSURANCE WITH TELEMATICS
COVID-19 personal auto premium refunds have highlighted that insurance companies charge a lower premium for driving less. Wouldn’t it be great to keep saving money once the pandemic ends? You’ll be glad to know that nearly all auto insurers now offer telematic programs that offer the opportunity to save money for driving less and being a good driver! Most companies even provide discounts of up to 10% just for enrolling and participating in telematics. You can even earn up to a 50% discount at each renewal with safe driving habits!!!
WHAT DO TELEMATIC PROGRAMS TRACK?
The driving data collected varies a little from company to company, but most insurers monitor your driving behavior to collect:
- Mileage (How many miles do you actually drive?)
- Time of Day (How often do you drive after midnight until 4am?)
- Hard Braking (Do you slam on the brakes to stop?)
- Acceleration/Fast Starts (Do you speed out of a stop?)
This collection doesn’t include personally identifiable information. Insurers will also agree not to sell the data collected by participating in telematics programs.
HOW DO TELEMATICS PROGRAMS WORK?
Most telematics programs are activated by downloading a mobile app for your smart phone. Once you’ve downloaded the mobile app and enrolled- the app is designed to automatically detect when you’re driving (you’ll want to review to confirm that you were a driver or passenger for a trip). Your driving data is only collected when your mobile app detects vehicle movement, and don’t allow access to your location at other times. Telematic program apps also allow you to check your performance, compare your driving score to others, and calculate your projected good driving savings.
Along with mobile app programs, some insurers offer a plug-in device or “dongle” program which can be chosen instead of the mobile app. Through this program, the company will mail you a plug-in device or “dongle” which is installed into your car to monitor results. Most plug-in devices capture how your vehicle moves: your driving speed, how hard you accelerate or brake, how sharp you make turns, as well as where, when, how far and how often you drive. These devices are not capable of recording you or identifying the actual driver or passengers of the vehicle. Most plug-in device programs offer you access to real time results with driving feedback you can access via website or mobile app. The length of time that the device must be installed varies from company to company- some require the device be plugged in for the full policy term while some only require a 90-day to 180-day monitoring period.
There is no cost to participate in telematics programs and you can choose to unenroll at any time, however your discounts will be removed. Some companies- such as Progressive- require you to return the plug-in device or be charged a fee. Most companies won’t increase your premium based on negative driving results monitored during your telematics program participation.
TELEMATICS PROGRAMS OFFERED BY SIA CARRIERS
Saunders Insurance Agency offers your choice of telematics programs from many of the industry’s best companies. Below is a snapshot of each company’s telematics program offerings:
RightTrack from Safeco
- Discount: Safeco customers receive an initial 10% discount for RightTrack enrollment. After just 90 days, drivers can earn a final discount of 5% to 30% that will roll over at each renewal and stay with you for the life of your policy. With RightTrack, you're guaranteed to get a discount at the end of the program no matter how well you drive.
- Enrollment: Safeco’s RightTrack offers enrollment via mobile app for Ohio policyholders and plug-in device for West Virginia policyholders
- Driving Period: 90 Days
- Results: The RightTrack discount is based on the following driving behaviors: total miles driven, nighttime driving, braking, and acceleration. Safeco customers will never be surcharged for the driving behaviors monitored during RightTrack participation.
SmartRide from Nationwide
- Discount: Nationwide customers receive up to a 10% discount for SmartRide participation. Drivers can earn up to a 40% discount at renewal based on driving performance. You’ll receive the discount for as long as you insure your vehicle with Nationwide. Nationwide will not penalize customers based on your driving behaviors.
- Enrollment: Nationwide’s SmartRide offers enrollment via mobile app or-in device
- Driving Period: 4-6 Months
- Results: The SmartRide discount is based on the following driving behaviors: total miles driven, nighttime driving, braking, acceleration, and idle time. Nationwide customers will never be surcharged for the driving behaviors monitored during SmartRide participation.
State Auto Safety 360 Telematics Program
- Discount: State Auto customers automatically receive a 10% participation discount for Safety 360 enrollment. Drivers can earn up to a 50% discount - among the highest in the industry - at renewal for scores reflecting safer habits. Renewal discounts can go up or down based on your driving habits.
- Quick Care Benefit: State Auto Safety 360 Telematics Program features an accident scene notification benefit. If you’re in an accident and it registers on your activated State Auto Safety 360® device, it’ll notify State Auto Claims and Risk Engineering (CARE) team to help you with towing and start your claim if you choose, saving you time and stress.
- Enrollment: State Auto Safety 360 Telematics Program offers a Mobile App + Tag enrollment. The Tag is a small device to be placed on your car’s windshield. Driving data is transferred via Bluetooth to the State Auto Safety 360 mobile app. State Auto Safety 360 also offers a Dongle Plug-In device enrollment option.
- Driving Period: The life of your policy with State Auto. Customers have a chance to earn larger discounts at each renewal. Customers can choose which vehicles to enroll in the program.
- Results: State Auto Safety 360 measures a variety of factors related to your driving, including the time of day you drive, hard acceleration, hard braking, cornering and the amount of driving you do.
Snapshot from Progressive
- Discount: Progressive customers receive up to a 10% discount for Snapshot participation. Drivers can earn up to a 20% discount at renewal based on driving performance. Only the riskiest drivers will see a rate increase at renewal.
- Enrollment: Progressive’s Snapshot offers enrollment via mobile app or plug-in device
- Driving Period: Your full policy period, which may be either 6 or 12 months
- Results: Snapshot uses hard braking, driving duration, time of day, acceleration, trip regularity, and distracted driving (for mobile app participants) to calculate results.
TrueRide from Auto-Owners
- Discount: Auto-Owners customers receive up to a 10% discount for TrueRide enrollment. Drivers can earn up to a 35% discount at renewal based on each enrolled driver’s score. Auto-Owners will not penalize customers based on your driving behaviors.
- Enrollment: Auto-Owners’ TrueRide offers enrollment via mobile app
- Driving Period: The life of your policy with Auto-Owners.
- Results: The TrueRide by Auto-Owners program measures your score ranging from 0-100 based on the following driving behaviors: mileage, time of day, and road type.
OnTrack from Grange
- Discount: New Grange customers receive a discount for OnTrack participation. Drivers may earn additional discounts based on the OnTrack data collected over the 90-day program. Grange will not penalize customers based on your driving behaviors.
- Enrollment: Grange’s OnTrack program offers enrollment via mobile app
- Driving Period: 90 Days
- Results: Grange’s OnTrack program measures your score ranging from 0-100 based on the following driving behaviors: mileage, time of day, road type, and smoothness. Grange customers will not be charged additional premium for driving habits monitored during OnTrack participation.
SMARTMILES: NATIONWIDE’S PAY-PER-MILE CAR INSURANCE PROGRAM
Nationwide now offers SmartMiles in Ohio, a Pay-per-Mile Car Insurance Program, for low-mileage drivers. SmartMiles offers the same coverage as a traditional Nationwide auto policy with a flexible monthly rate that's based on how many miles you drive. Your Nationwide SmartMiles rate consists of two parts: a base rate and a variable rate (cost per mile). Because the variable portion of your rate is based on mileage, it will vary month-to-month based on the number of miles you drive. To calculate your monthly payment, Nationwide combines the Base Premium, and the Cost Per Mile multiplied by the number of miles driven in the prior billing cycle (typically the prior month). Because the variable portion of your premium is based on mileage, it will vary month-to-month based on the number of miles you drive. SmartMiles is perfect for drivers who have an extra car you rarely drive or work from home without commute. SmartMiles also offers a Road Trip Exception- only the first 250 miles count on a single day. SmartMiles also offers up to a 10% discount for safe driving behaviors after your first renewal.