An expanding sector of the car insurance market involves driver monitoring programs. Referred to as telematics, these programs use features such as time and date monitoring, the collection of driving habits, and GPS to monitor driving habits in order to adjust insurance rates from this data.
These programs offer some benefits to drivers in terms of price discounts, but there are some real concerns associated with sharing this data with insurers that consumers may want to consider.
The benefits of driver monitoring
- Enhanced safety. With the ability to monitor your driving habits, you may find motivation to continue driving safely on the road. Some drivers have reported changing their poor driving habits after reviewing their telematics data.
- Savings on premiums. Drivers who operate their vehicles according to the rules of the road may find significant savings available to them as a reward. Expect to save between 10 to 20 percent with an excellent driving record.
- Improved driving record. Drivers who have a previously poor driving record or teenagers who need to prove they can drive safely, consistently, can benefit from the ability to drive safely – and get rewarded for it.
- Receive additional benefits. Some of the auxiliary benefits include theft tracking and roadside assistance.
The disadvantages of driver monitoring
- Privacy issues. The insurance companies track your driving through your phone. They know where you are, which car you are in, and whether or not you are using your phone while you’re traveling. Many programs will ask for access to your contacts, photos, and other features that have nothing to do with your driving. All of this data is recorded somewhere, and it can be used against you later in a car accident claim.
- Potentially higher premiums. You may be subject to a significant rate hike if your driving habits are recorded as poor.
- Inability to transfer data. You will likely not be able to transfer your good driving data to another insurer if you switch providers. The new insurance company will have its own system, and you’ll be asked to use that, instead.
- Unintentional consequences. Some users of telematics have complained that the software falls short in how it penalizes drivers. For instance, the system will penalize you for sudden braking at a yellow light turning red. However, it may not penalize for barely making it through a yellow light before it turns red. Thus, the complaint has merit that the software may actually reward riskier driving in this case.
Insurers claim that hard braking is a driving characteristic that predicts future car accidents. But again, hard braking is sometimes a positive driving response. If a deer or a dog dashes in front of your vehicle without warning, the alert driver will brake hard to avoid a collision.
At Larson Law Firm, our Minot car crash attorneys understand how liability for accidents is assigned and the evidence needed to secure compensation for injuries sustained. If another driver acted in a negligent or reckless manner to cause your injury, our team can work aggressively on your behalf to help you obtain the financial recovery you deserve. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation about your case, give us a call today at 701.484.HURT or use our contact form to leave us a message. We serve clients from our offices in Minot and Bismarck, ND.
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