Car insurance company vehicle monitoring devices?
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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    Car insurance company vehicle monitoring devices?

    My insurance company is offering "up to a 30 Percent discount" if I install a vehicle monitoring device for 3 months. It supposedly monitors how far you drive, when you drive, and excessive acceleration and braking. It probably monitors a lot more, but that's all the offer list admits to.

    The device plugs into the OBD port and sends the data to the monitoring company.

    My concern with the insurance company monitor is that about half the time I drive the truck I am towing a trailer, and that the acceleration readings may be skewed towards "excessive" since more throttle is needed to get the trailer up to speed and maintain the speed on grades.

    Anyone with experince, advice, or opinions? Thanks.
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    Drifterbike's Avatar
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    They say that they will give you up to 30% discount but I know a guy his went up not down. I refuse to do it. One more intrusion into our lives.
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    It also probably depends on how far you drive because if you drive over average miles that’s more risk for them. They have many full time people just doing risk analysis so it probably depends as well and if you’re in traffic a lot or expressway or country roads and they can tell a lot from the information that it collects.

    In the end I don’t think they’re doing it to save you money unless you drive very few miles where and how they want you to.
    Last edited by Herminator; 06-11-2018 at 01:10 PM.
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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    They say that they will give you up to 30% discount but I know a guy his went up not down. I refuse to do it. One more intrusion into our lives.
    I completely agree about the intrusion factor.

    However, the truck has Onstar that tracks all this stuff and probably way more. GM sends me a monthly report and every time I get it I feel like big brother has been watching me.

    In fact, one of the things the GM salesman touted was the monitoring capabilities. He showed me on his computer how he was able to monitor his high school-age daughter's activities using the Onstar system. Where her car was then (in her high school parking lot), and where it had been driven, places she had stopped, how long she stayed, and whether she had been speeding. When I asked him if she was aware she was being monitored, the answer was "no." Scary, he could track her in real time just using the car's standard electronics.

    When I was in high school it was rare that I ever drove straight home after school. Thank goodness these systems didn't exist back then.
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    I am totally against these types of things. They tout them as a way to give you more discount but in reality they are trying to find ways to jack up your rates based on 'bad' things you do. I worry that in the not too distant future as more auto driving cars and nanny 'safety' features become standard they will pass a law requiring us 'manual' drivers to allow insurance companies direct access to your vehicle's computers to gather all that info. All in the name of safety but actually for their pocketbooks. The nannying never ends!

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    No insurance company has ever done anything to solely save the client money.

    Anything they do is too increase their profit margin.
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    I've heard to many horror stories about them to even bother considering it.

    I do know that the system Progressive Insurance uses doesn't care about your vehicle acceleration. The "big" numbers they look at are the ratio of "hard brakes to miles driven" and the time of day you operate your vehicle.

    I know several people that DID get bigger discount rates after using it for several months. The discounts paled in comparison to how much their base rates went up though.
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    Sure, I'll do it ... but only on my "old" snow day car that I drive in the winter when a storm is expected, and once in a while to the local trash compactor. That car's got 330K+ miles, so I don't push it anyway.

    But I wouldn't do it on any other car that I or my wife drives. Nothing to hide, just invasion of my privacy.

    2 cents.
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    Everything to lose and little to gain. I don't like the intrusion of privacy. You MIGHT get discounts, but you might not. I don't want any more monitoring of my activities than I absolutely have to. I won't have one of those devices you can have do all of your things in your house (such as ask it to play music, order things, answer questions, etc.) whatever they are called.

    In my opinion, you only stand to lose by having the data used against you. What happens if you have to suddenly aggressively brake for a very valid reason (dog in the road, etc)? The system doesn't know WHY you took that action nor does it care. It simply scores the activity against you.

    Plus, if you have one of those devices in your car and then remove it, especially if you have a less than stellar driving experience or demonstrate even one bad habit while the device was in use, you know it's going to result in your future rates being higher than had you never had it installed. I would also expect the insurance company will try and convince you to either extend the use of the device or to use it so many months per year to maintain any "discounts" you may have gotten as a result of it's use. I think its a door than once you open it, there is no way to ever close it fully again. It's like posting something on the internet, once you have done it, to some degree, the stuff that has been posted is out of your total control from that point forward.

    There is already far too much data about what we do, who we do it with and where we do it and I would NEVER allow such a device in any of my vehicles. Plus my car insurance rates are already very low. I pay less than $140 per month for full coverage on 3 vehicles.......

    One more thing, that Damn-Flo, the super annoying woman on the progressive commercials is nothing but offensive. And for some reason, Progressive likes to have neutered males on all their commercials who act like a bunch of effeminate, estrogen ruled males. Whatever happened to the strong silent type, you know, Gary Cooper in High Noon? Far too many sissified acting males as role models for boys and young men on TV and in the media these days.

    I am actually in a pretty good mood today, despite how cranky my answer might seem.......I just don't like to see the male image constantly torn down in commercials and on modern "entertainment". Men should act like men and not be skinny jeans wearing "shop-i-nistas's all excited when their Tiffany Blue "sneakers" from Ebay show up and he declares, like a 8 year old girl, "These are so my color" with giddy happiness which seems fairly disturbing..........At least the BUSCH beer commercials still show men camping and fishing and drinking beer. You know, wearing flannel shirts and doing guy stuff. Like getting their John Deere SCUTS and CUTS tractors stuck despite using tire chains all 12 months of the year.

    But there is, of course, the "Camp Song" commercial where the men are around a campfire and the one guy is playing a guitar and asking the other men about whether they have an "Innie or an Outie" and I hope he is asking about belly buttons........even that commercial is annoying.

    No activity monitoring devices for me without a court ordered search warrant.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredDoc View Post
    My insurance company is offering "up to a 30 Percent discount" if I install a vehicle monitoring device for 3 months. It supposedly monitors how far you drive, when you drive, and excessive acceleration and braking. It probably monitors a lot more, but that's all the offer list admits to.

    The device plugs into the OBD port and sends the data to the monitoring company.

    My concern with the insurance company monitor is that about half the time I drive the truck I am towing a trailer, and that the acceleration readings may be skewed towards "excessive" since more throttle is needed to get the trailer up to speed and maintain the speed on grades.

    Anyone with experince, advice, or opinions? Thanks.
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