It's inevitable. Insurance companies want to know more about how you really drive and they're willing to pay a premium for that information. And if it turns out that you're one of the few who drives smart and safely, they'll pay you more to keep you as a customer.
State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program has seen major expansion recently, with the usage-based program being introduced for the first time in 11 new states. It's being made available through new platforms in a handful of states that already had access to the program, reports Charles Nguyen of Onlineautoinsurance.com.
Drive Safe and Save is now available in various platforms in 27 states across the U.S. and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
The usage-based program links driving data to premium costs through telematics, a “very industry-trending” type of technology that allows insurers to measure policyholders’ habits behind the wheel and base discounts on those habits, according to Angela Thorpe, a State Farm spokeswoman.
Under most Drive Safe and Save platforms, driving less annually can net a policyholder lower premiums, which “gives customers even more control over their costs and insight into how they can cut costs,” according to Thorpe.
Thorpe said customers who opt into the program are often unaware of the driving factors that could bring them lower premiums.
State Farm, the largest auto insurance provider in the U.S., says
Oregon, Missouri, New Mexico, and South Dakota were among the states where none of the platforms were previously available, but all platforms opened up there in recent weeks. Other states saw an expansion of Drive Safe & Save platforms, including Illinois, which had offered the program’s OnStar and In-Drive platforms before the SYNC platform was made available to customers there this week.
Further expansion of various platforms is planned by the end of this year, according to Thorpe.
Drive Safe & Save is offered in three platforms, according to spokesman Dick Luedke, operating through OnStar, SYNC or In-Drive formats. Drive Safe & Save programs that are compatible with in-car OnStar systems are the most widely available and are offered in all 27 states.
The latest expansion of Drive Safe & Save adds to a competitive market of usage-based programs that use telematics, which also include Drive Wise from Allstate and Snapshot from Progressive, the latter of which was one of the first major programs in the U.S. and is currently the most widely available.
Drive Wise is available in 10 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Allstate’s latest expansion of Drive Wise was major, opening in seven states in just two months; the insurer said it was planning to open the program in more states in 2013.
Snapshot is available in 43 states in the U.S. The only states where it is not available is Alaska, California, Hawaii, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.
To see what's available where, click here:
Availability of Major U.S. Insurers' Telematics Programs
The most recent expansion of Snapshot brought the program to Illinois in November, the same month that Progressive CEO Glenn Renwick touted usage-based programs as the industry’s next innovative wave.
Are you seeing any of these programs deliver any reduction in your auto insurance premiums? Let us know.