Over the past year, it’s not just prices at the gas pump that are making a beeline for your wallet, as auto insurance rates continue to rise nationwide as well. Now more than ever, drivers are looking for ways to save money on their premiums. Thankfully, there are many options available that utilize modern technology. Currently, most insurance companies offer  insurance tracking devices, which allow you to save under the company’s watchful eye. 

What is a car insurance tracker?

Insurance trackers are connected to your car or work through an app on your phone in order to constantly collect data about your driving habits. There are discounts available for safe drivers or for those who aren’t on the road as often and are willing to forgo just a bit of privacy. These devices can offer you up to 30% off your insurance rates and offer the benefit of usage-based premiums. One type of tracker plugs into the OBD-II port under the steering wheel, the same place that highly populated states monitor smog.

The other type is an app you install on your phone, then use your phone’s GPS, accelerometer, data, and other sensors to track your movement and driving. The current trend is usually in favor of this variety, which is a bit more modern and relies on a more reliable signal. Some of these include Drive Safe & Save, DriveEasy, and Progressive Snapshot

How do These Trackers Work?

This is a bit different from brand to brand, but the main objective is to track where you are, pertinent information about your vehicle, and what your driving habits are like from day to day. Providers offer the app as part of a program involving usage-based insurance. Once you get behind the wheel, it starts to gather valuable metrics such as mileage, speed, hard stops, and even time of day to come up with a reasonable insurance premium.

While this may feel somewhat invasive, these types of checks and balances can provide massive rewards for driving safely.

What are some of the factors to consider regarding tracking devices?

There are several different pros and cons that you encounter while using an insurance tracking program. One of the good things about doing this is that you could lower your insurance premium and save money, especially if you are safe or have cut down on the frequency of your driving. On the other hand, if you are someone who frequently speeds, ignores stop signs or drives erratically, you may see your rates rise.

All these insurance tracking devices use GPS technology which can be a huge advantage in other areas besides just lowering your rate. These trackers can also provide first responders with your precise accident location, or help retrieve your vehicle if it has been stolen. Many of these platforms allow parents to see where their kids are, how fast they are going, or if they are making any risky maneuvers. 

Are there privacy concerns to think about when using a tracking device?

As insurance trackers have become more and more popular, some states have begun to regulate the data that is gathered more than others. In a time where other nations such as China have enacted a “social score”, many Americans worry about technology like this becoming too invasive, especially concerning issues like pending divorces, political beliefs, or even habits like drinking.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that at this stage of the game, the tracker only is concerned with tracking data that is related to your insurance rates. While some believe that the time will come when these types of services intersect with others, such as private detectives and prosecuting attorneys, this is not the case. Even if these claims were valid, some of this information can already be tracked with a simple GPS nudge.

Is a car insurance tracking device right for me?

Much like any other decision in life, the majority of this is up to you. If you are a safe driver that displays good driving habits the benefits could be a real advantage. If you are known to not break the speed limit and drive predominantly during the day, or even go under 11,000 miles a year, you could have significant reductions in cost. One of the best recommendations for you is to complete a test drive with this option, as you can use it for a few days to see if it makes a difference in habits or the final cost. 

All of us here at the Alexander agency of Saint Charles can provide assistance and answer any questions you may have! We want to help keep you safe on the road throughout the holiday season and the new year, and we also want to help you cut costs and save money wherever possible!