Historically, car insurance companies have used your driving record as a prime determinant in the costs of your car insurance premiums. New technology now allows insurance companies to follow along for your drive and capture driving data with the potential for premium reductions based on these habits. New driving apps and devices can track excessive speed, hard braking, the time of day you are driving and how long you drive for. The incentive is to make drivers more aware of their driving and assist in maintaining and cultivating safe driving habits. These habits include:
- being a low-mileage driver
- driving at safe speeds
- driving during safe hours (typically daytime hours)
- minimizing the frequency of hard corners and stops
Having the ability to collect and distribute driving habit information to both the insurance company and the driver, allows drivers the opportunity to change (or maintain) their driving behaviors.
Driving Tracking Devices
Several car insurance companies now offer driving tracking devices that can be physically installed in your vehicle. These devices track various traits of your driving and report them back to your insurance company. Drivers also have the ability to receive feedback from these devices. After reviewing the data, the driver may receive discounts on their car insurance premiums. Some of the tracking devices do not yet have the ability to differentiate between driver, so if you are teaching your teenager to drive a stick shift or are a commercial driver who co-shares a truck, you may want to discuss your options with your insurance company first.
Driving Tracking Apps
When you unlock your phone, your home screen is likely filled with various apps. Applications have become the social go to for connecting with friends and family, banking, tracking physical activity, music, entertainment and games. There is hardly a sector that is without an app and the auto insurance industry is no exception. As with the driving tracking device that is physically installed in your car, the driving tracking app records your driving data and sends it to your insurance company. These apps run through your smart phone and are capable of tracing your GPS location and also raise questions of battery and Wi-Fi usage.
Although this technology is new to Alberta, there are programs that have been running for a number of years in other provinces and states. If you are looking for further information about the drive tracking program or to see if you are eligible to enroll, please contact us at your convenience.
Do you have questions on this article or about car insurance in general?