Would you share driving data with your insurance company for free stuff?

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Would you share driving data with your insurance company for free stuff?
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A major automaker is taking a novel approach to learn more information about your habits on the road. Mitsubishi Motors is giving motorists who are willing to share driving data with auto insurers shopping rewards like discounts on oil changes.

The rewards would come from downloading and signing up for the Mitsubishi Road Assist Plus app, developed by LexisNexis Risk Solutions. The program began last month with State Auto Insurance Companies, who is paying the automaker for driver data, according to a Mitsubishi press release.

Report: Mitsubishi app trades your data for freebies

By the end of 2018, participating drivers will be able to benefit from more freebies like gift cards and cups of coffee, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Motorists who use the app could theoretically see their insurance premiums fall if they are deemed to be safe drivers, but of course the opposite is true, as well: Your data could be used against you in determining future rates.

Using sensors in the vehicle, the Mitsubishi app will gauge a number of parameters related to driving and the road. Road Assist Plus is available this month in the Apple App Store. Android users will have to wait a bit, Mitsubishi said.

While this is the first known attempt by an automaker to share data with an insurance company, the car industry has gone full throttle into technology initiatives by equipping new models with the ability to pull reams of personal data from motorists, from knowing where you drive every day to your median speed to your favorite routes.

Money expert Clark Howard says he is all for technology, but he has some privacy concerns about the increased connectivity of cars these days.

Clark’s take on tech-connected cars

“It’s one of those areas, where it’s really positive and really bad at the same time,” Clark says. He says that his car manufacturer frequently sends data to his vehicle online. “When there’s an issue that they learn about from the data they collect, they send it right over the internet. Your car will tell you that it’s been updated.”

Clark says many automakers aren’t being transparent about what they’re doing with the data stream.

With the Mitsubishi program, though, drivers can opt-in to make their data available to insurance carriers through the LexisNexis Telematics Exchange.

Would you give insurers your driving data in exchange for rewards? Let us know in the comments.

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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who stills read paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer.
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