Choosing an insurance agency for your auto insurance needs can feel overwhelming, but the more you know, the more informed decision you can make about your agency, insurer, and coverage. In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about telematics, including what it is, the kind of data it gathers, how that data is used, and, most importantly, how it benefits you.
An Introduction to Telematics
You might have seen car insurance commercials that advertise a device that can be plugged into your car to provide discounted premiums for safe driving habits. That’s telematics.
Telematics is a science that relies on a device provided by your insurance company (but plugged in by you) to monitor and record important information about the way you drive and then transmit that information back to your insurance company.
In turn, they use the data to make decisions about your coverage, ideally saving you money in the end.
The Purpose of Telematics
The purpose is multifold and benefits nearly everybody, including those who don’t participate in telematics programs:
- insurance companies use information about the way you drive to calculate your auto insurance rates, which means responsible drivers often see reduced rates as a result
- telematics devices encourage drivers to make safe decisions on the road, reducing the likelihood of an accident and improving safety for all drivers, whether they participate or not
- the information gathered helps insurance companies decide when not to insure a high-risk driver, lowering risk for the company and in turn lowering rates for all drivers (those on telematics programs and those on traditional policies)
- telematics devices provide important information before, during, and immediately after an accident, protecting the driver by providing the facts
The Data Collected by Telematics Devices
Most drivers want to know what data their insurance company will collect before they commit to a policy that incorporates telematics. It’s a fair question, and we think every driver should know with full transparency of what data is transmitted.
The data might vary from one policy to another, which is why drivers are provided with detailed information specific to the policy they’re exploring, before committing. But generally, here’s what you can expect:
- how many miles, when, and in what zip codes you drive the most
- how often you brake hard, turn sharp, or exceed a certain speed (usually around 80mph)
- details surrounding the circumstances of an accident: other vehicles involved, the severity of impact, etc.
Companies Offering Telematics Programs
Quite a few auto insurance companies offer telematics for personal policies (and even more provide commercial telematics policies), including Nationwide, Safeco, Progressive, and Travelers. When you choose an independent insurance agency, they can provide you with detailed information and quotes for multiple different insurers, helping you get the best coverage and the best price.
The Cost of Telematics Programs
Most drivers find that telematics policies encourage them to make safer driving decisions and reduce their auto insurance rates. If you’d like to find out whether you’re a good candidate for a telematics program and start to explore quotes through different insurers, contact us at Mid-Rivers Insurance Group today. You can get a quote online or stop by one of our offices.