Many insurance companies now offer GPS tracking devices to monitor drivers’ behaviors. They’re marketed as a way to reduce premiums and earn discounts. The flip side of driver tracking is that if you display any risky behaviors – as determined exclusively by the insurance company – you can also see an increase in your premiums.
Some drivers have reported reductions in premiums that resulted in a mere 1 percent over a six-month period. Before committing to a driver tracking device, you should be aware that the device monitors every single aspect of your driving habits. Some of the elements include speed, hard braking, time of day, and how fast you turn corners.
That can mean trouble in multi-driver households. The savings earned by a super vigilant driver can be wiped out through a couple of acts by another driver in the household. Depending on the insurance provider, discounts can be forfeited if you drive more than 7,500 miles each year, use your phone for mapping purposes, accelerate too quickly, or drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Many of the situations in which you’re penalized you have no control over.
Some insurance trackers provide you with a discount just for signing up to use the device, while others indicate you’ll earn a discount for the life of your policy. Other insurers promise they won’t increase your insurance rates, they just want the information they obtain for actuarial purposes.
Theoretically, drivers that know they’re being tracked will try harder to drive safer. According to Forbes, drivers with one of the devices experienced 20 percent fewer accidents. In the past, insurance companies had to rely on your driving record to determine rates. Technology now enables insurance companies to actually “see” into your driving practices.
Ultimately, the decision to use a driver tracking device is up to you. They may result in some savings. For others that must fight traffic on a daily basis or commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic, it could cost you money.
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The Sena Group
6501 Congress Ave., Ste. 100
Boca Raton, FL 33487