Big Brother is watching me…and I’m happy about it!
I spoke with enthusiasm about 5 years ago about an experiment from Progressive in Texas where drivers voluntarily agreed to let the auto insurer put devices in their cars to essentially spy on them as they drove. The idea was that safer drivers would get lower insurance rates.
Boy, did people on Clark Stinks hate what I had to say about that topic! But over the years, more and more insurers have been testing these voluntary devices to establish rates. Now Allstate is launching its own version of this “pay as you drive” idea called the Drive Wise program. It’s currently only available in Illinois, but is expected to be expanded to other states sometime in 2011, according to Insure.com.
Allstate puts a small device in the cars of drivers who sign up for the program that monitors how much they drive and how fast they drive, among other factors. Insurance rates can go down 30% as a result. The Drive Wise program seems to be unique in also tracking how hard you brake. By tracking aggressive drivers and tailgaters, Allstate is trying to prevent rear-end collisions.
I love it. It’s all voluntary. And I think people drive better when they’re tracked. In fact, Allstate has stats that confirm this: The percent of people who behaved behind the wheel tripled when they were being voluntarily monitored. Of course, it is unknown if those same drivers will fall back into old, bad driving habits at some point down the road. We’ll only know that over time.
As for me, I am willing if my insurer offers me a “pay as you drive” option to do it. I say bring it on!