One day when I was poking around the Internet, I ran across an article on auto insurance regarding rates linked to miles driven.
I was to discover that insurance rates could be lowered significantly by adding miles driven the way insurance rates are calculated. This made perfect sense to me—the more you drive the more risk you have in having a collision.
Looking at how much I drive my own vehicles, one is driven greater than 20,000 miles per year and one less than 2, 000 miles per year, yet I pay the same rates for both regardless of usage. This hardly seems fair.
I searched online and found an insurance company offering mileage-linked insurance rates.
I needed to install a telemetry device provided by them that communicates mileage and other vehicle -related information via cell phone towers. This device is installed in the OBD – 2 port. All autos 1996 or newer have this plug-in for trouble-shooting engine-related problems.
When I received the device, the instructions stated to plug it in for 30 days. It recorded not only miles driven but also vehicle motion, specifically acceleration and deceleration.
At the end of 30 days, I ended up with no savings because of being penalized by slowing down at rates determined excessive by the telemetry device.
Then, I went online and discovered lots of other people having similar experiences with these telemetry devices. One person noted that he was being penalized by the telemetry device when his car’s automatic transmission downshifted while going up a hill!
The auto insurance industry knows full well the effect of miles driven on insurance rates as articles about this have been around for many years, but have yet to offer policies with significant savings for miles driven.
Presently the auto insurance industry is doing nothing more than paying lip service to the new technology and new pricing methodologies by using the telemetry devices to subtract any usage-based savings by penalizing the customer for speeding up and slowing down at a rate they have deemed “unsafe”!
If this pattern is to change, the change will have to come from outside the industry.
INSURANCE RATES FOR YOUNG DRIVERS
I investigated further into the rates charged to drivers in various categories. One of the main categories is driver experience and age.
Young drivers pay very high rates, and for good reason as they have the most accidents.
COULD THESE MOTION-RELATED FEATURES IN THE TELEMETRY DEVICES BE PUT TO GOOD USE?
I thought they could. I imagined teenage drivers being held directly accountable for their driving behavior and having parents and/or insurance companies administering corrective action hopefully before a collision occurs. Speed, acceleration and deceleration information could be recorded and shared either with the insurance company, their parents, or both.
I have an 18-year-old son and would very much like to get him through his early driving years without a serious collision.
Monitoring vehicle motion and speed for young drivers would be very beneficial but I am not interested in having an insurance company watch my every move when I am driving. For this reason, I would make the type of information recorded by this telemetry device determined by me, the customer, not by the insurance company.
A policy like this must be created
The telemetry devices exist today but need to be changed.
Someone needs to do this.
The auto insurance biz likes things as they are, so don’t hold your breath waiting for them.