What is telematics? Well, if we have quoted your auto insurance recently, we probably mentioned telematics. Most car insurance companies have their own spin on it, but at the end of the day, they are mostly similar. Telematics is a program that car insurance companies are using more and more to offer a discount of up to 30% (and sometimes a surcharge) based on your driving habits. The programs typically offer an initial discount for trying the program. Then, after 90 days of monitoring your driving, they offer a larger or smaller discount. Keep in mind that some companies may increase your rate, but that is a very small percentage of drivers.
How does it work? You register for the program and download an app on your phone. There is usually an email sent to you with a code to connect your phone to your telematics account. Then, you drive for 90 days. Many of the apps offer feedback after each drive so that you can improve your driving habits.
What are they looking for? Again, each company varies slightly, but they are all looking at the same things: hard stops (slamming on your brakes), fast starts (‘gunning it’ or jackrabbit starts), and driving late at night during the workweek. Most companies monitor phone use while the vehicle is in motion as well.
Did you know that your phone has a gyroscope in it? This gyroscope allows the phone to recognize how fast the phone is traveling and if it is being moved while the car is in motion. Your phone also has GPS tracking. This is how the phone is able to know where it is and where you have gone. Hint: Slow down and give yourself more time to get where your going. And put your phone down while you’re driving!
Who is the better driver? One of our agents turned her telematics program into a family challenge to see who could get the biggest discount. While the first week or two of the competition were really fun, the program lasts 90 days. And it became challenging to maintain the excitement. They found that keeping track of who was in the lead, like they do for fantasy football, made it more fun to keep the competition going. In the end, the winner got bragging rights. The best part, they keep their discounts on every single auto insurance renewal for the life of their policy. Who won? I did, of course! I am an Insurance Ninja after all.
Interested in more information for your carrier? Check out some of our most popular carrier programs below.