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#1 2017-01-23 11:40:00

krazykarguy
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Insurance company driving monitors

So my wife recently tagged a mailbox backing out of a driveway and caused ~$1,750 in damage to our Kia Sorento (all paint and dents - no pieces were replaced, incurred a $500 deductible). Being the clod that I am, I filed a collision claim, and the car got repaired.

Fast forward to insurance renewal time, and Progressive bumped our 6-month, single car premium from $549 to $1150. Essentially, they would clear the payout for the 'incident' (a single car, 2mph accident) by August if we stayed with them, which rubbed me the wrong way, especially since neither driver has any at-fault claims, nor a single ding on our driving records.

We didn't renew with Progressive, after several fruitless calls to them to try to reduce the rate. We moved both the Kia and my bike to SafeCo, for barely more than we were paying with Progressive.

However, one of the caveats was that we would need to install a OBD-II driving monitor on the car, the upside being that we could 'earn' a safe driving discount if we drove safe, up to a maximum of 30% off. The device measures hard braking/acceleration, as well as vehicle usage from 12AM-4AM. These events are weighted against every 100 miles of driving.

I installed it on 1/15/2017, and immediately my wife racked up 5 'hard braking' events in four days.  facepalm  I managed to drive the car 5 times since 1/20, and many more miles than her, and managed to get none.

So even though we started at a 28% discount, her erratic driving reduced the discount to 13% by Friday (which I have managed to bump back up to 16% as of this morning).

I always said that I would never use one of these, it's a bit too 'big brother' for me, but a discount is a discount - up to 30% off your premium is nothing to scoff at. But what do you guys think? Have you used one? Do you have any tips for my wife to drive smoothly? I can't get past the "I didn't brake hard, that gizmo is a scam/broken/doesn't work/too sensitive/etc." with her...


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2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#2 2017-01-23 11:54:13

hammyt
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Get a dashcam, then you can have evidence of how she isn't paying attention/following too close and then having to brake hard.

Also, no I've never used one.  I don't think it would like by 3rd gear highway pulls too much.  cool


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5MT | 275whp/250wtq | 13.6@100 | SOLD
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#3 2017-01-23 11:58:51

hyperboarder
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From: Taterville
Registered: 2007-06-19
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Personally I don't trust them at all.  I drive how I want to and trust myself to not get in accidents.  100% success so far.  Knock on wood.

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#4 2017-01-23 12:55:46

krazykarguy
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Yeah, I was actually surprised for so many 'hits' while she was driving. I don't consider her to be a bad driver, however.

I also have noticed that I have avoided slowing for yellow lights recently - I don't want to slam on the brakes now. Kind of counter-intuitive - I don't want to stop for a yellow light to keep the insurance company from thinking I am following someone too closely - but might end up t-boning a car in the process... I am also grandma-driving everywhere, I am going for the highest discount possible.


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#5 2017-01-23 13:44:29

ikbrown
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From: Fair Oaks, CA
Registered: 2011-10-06
User Number: 6094
Posts: 4933

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

I think I trust the technology, not sure I trust what the company is doing with the data behind the scenes and if, like you say with the yellow lights, they account for a standard number of allowed hard braking incidents for those situations.

I got a driving monitoring thing last Christmas that plugs into the OBII port and gives you mpgs, trip duration, maps out your path, shows hard accel/hard braking etc (unrelated to insurance). Itís useful info and using it I could tell when I was going to get a ding for braking or accelerating too hard but I think Iím fairly aware of my driving. I could see my wife getting dinged for hard braking due to following someone too closely or stopping later than she should for a red light and not thinking much of it that she wouldnít expect it to be picked up.


2005 Saab 92x Aero 5MT | The basic mods, Stage 2.04
1968 Dodge Charger 383 | WIP, restored almost everything but body work
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#6 2017-01-23 14:13:24

krazykarguy
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Well, the mileage driven during the 90 day period can offset a certain amount of bad braking/acceleration events. That's why I've been able to undo some of the discount damage she caused in the very beginning.

The online app that they give you access to is both a blessing and a curse. It tracks EVERY trip you take and at what speed you were traveling when the data was recorded. If you're into big data and maps, it's pretty cool. However, you have no idea who is getting this information and what it's being used for besides monitoring your driving... If I start seeing weird e-mails and Viagra offers at my work e-mail (where the device is registered), SafeCo and I will be having words...


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#7 2017-01-23 15:05:43

racerjim
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From: Boulder CO
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

No effing way.  Besides, it won't fit under my tinfoil hat.


My Car:  2009 Mercedes Benz SLK55 AMG
SOLD August 2016:  2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5-Speed, Cold, Premium, Arctic Silver
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#8 2017-01-23 15:07:02

cjaama
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From: albany, ny
Registered: 2007-03-09
User Number: 1885
Posts: 965

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Do they track anything else besides hard braking/accelerating, like speed vs. speed limit?
My wife would destroy this thing, much like she destroyed my right front rim and says she never hit a curb.


'05 Desert Sand Aero> '96 Volvo 850> '13 Passat> '16 Chevy Volt/'97 Wrangler

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#9 2017-01-23 15:46:57

krazykarguy
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

The app is also reporting your speed vs. speed limit. It says it is not factoring into the rate decision, however...

I have noticed that the speed limits it shows are not always accurate - for example, it lists the speed on a local highway as 25 mph in some spots, which is totally bogus (it's 45 mph), and in some other areas I know are 35 mph are listed as 55 mph. So I think that because of these discrepancies, they cannot really use it against you. In addition, there are time-controlled speed areas (such as a school zone) where the speed limit varies dependent upon time of day, and even what day it is. As such, it could show you FLYING through a 25 mph school zone at 45 mph at 9PM - even though the school zone is only active during drop off/pick up times. So while it is tracked, I think that it is not as important to the insurance company as the hard brake/hard accel/12-4 AM usages.

racerjim wrote:

Besides, it won't fit under my tinfoil hat.

It's funny you should mention that - the device did not fit under the OBD-II/fuse access panel in our Kia. I had to unclip the actual OBD port itself, pull it back into the dash, and move it 90 degrees from normal to make the dongle fit AND close the panel door.

As far as savings are concerned, the initial discount just for signing up for the RightTrack program was 10% off. Even if you are a complete flunkie at driving, you can still get a nominal 5% savings, which is $63 a year for us. We have the opportunity to save up to 30% off, which is $375 a year. Not chump change, for sure - especially since if you play nice for a few months to get the full deal.

Exclusive of the 'Big Brother' aspect of it, the offer is difficult to turn down - especially if you are a recovering collision claim victim...

Last edited by krazykarguy (2017-01-23 15:51:23)


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#10 2017-01-23 19:53:16

bentmettle
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Progressive apparently (according to some random article I read and tended to believe) holds a number of patents related to the devices and licenses them out.

So let's say they create a randomized scoring and offer discounts for those random scored events (hard braking).  Even if the initial scoring is long, from an actuarial point of view, the discounts are in essence purchasing new driving data that allows them to create new risk models for their customers.

They can finally get real data on how customers drive.


I didn't get one with the new car primarily because driving in Michigan requires hard stops, despite my best intentions.

You can get an OBD extension cable, too, although maybe not worth the expense if there is a work around.

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#11 2017-01-24 09:12:41

Nightcrawler
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From: Speilgletown
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

I don't have one for insurance reasons, but I do have  OB2 monitor, I use it to run Torque while I am driving. Mainly because I have been pulled over before and they were off on my speed. So I log my OB2 speed, GPS speed and the diff between them. I have no idea if any of that info would hold up in court, but I use it anyway. I haven't been pulled over since I started using it 4 years ago. Which coincidentally I just had a reminder that I had my court date for my last ticket(s) just over 4 years ago.

I wish mine would log hard braking though. I used to map it over Google Earth so I could see how fast I took certain corners, but that got scary and stupid, so I stopped.


'05 92x Stage 2 181k miles lost to an old man and a Ram
VW Sandrail registered as a '71 Karmin Ghia Convertible
'17 FoST
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#12 2017-01-24 10:59:51

ERP
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From: Colorado Springs
Registered: 2011-12-08
User Number: 6585
Posts: 330

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

krazykarguy wrote:

immediately my wife racked up 5 'hard braking' events in four days.

I'd probably rack that up in one commute to work. After years of driving on race tracks I've become much more comfortable with hard braking. It doesn't mean that I'm distracted or close to rear ending someone. I'd hate to see what the scanner picks up when I bed new brake pads. I wonder what the g force threshold is to classify as 'hard braking'. Personally I think it is anything over 3/4 G.

It would be funny to 'borrow' someone's insurance scanner and put it on the track car for a session.

The data passing through the OBD2 is simple, the standard was implemented in 1996. I'm sure a savvy programmer/engineer could create a filter to install between the scanner and OBD2 port to trim data above certain values. So hard braking and high speeds are never seen by the scanner.

Last edited by ERP (2017-01-24 11:06:21)


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#13 2017-01-24 11:43:51

krazykarguy
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

So I got dinged TWICE yesterday. Once for a hard acceleration event IN THE PARKING LOT OF MY WORK, and a hard barking event, slowing down to the entrance of my neighborhood.

I can understand the braking event - I was coming in a bit hot and braked too late - but the sudden acceleration event has left me scratching my head. I couldn't have been traveling more than 10 mph at any time - I know when it 'recorded' it - but it must have been that I accelerated from 0-7mph (or 3-10mph) in less than a second. What modern vehicle CAN'T do that? And why is this a negative for me? I was trying to NOT get hit in a non-traffic-controlled parking lot!!


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2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#14 2017-01-24 12:06:10

hammyt
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Well that's why those things are flawed.  You will get flagged for avoiding an accident.


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5MT | 275whp/250wtq | 13.6@100 | SOLD
2014 Focus ST 6MT | Tuxedo Black

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#15 2017-01-25 16:15:34

Bryan
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From: Western WI
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

It's my understanding they are pretty sensitive, and don't take into account the "why" of an action.  I'm sure there's an algorithm that filters out the handful of legit hard stops/starts against the poor driver's actions, but that's just a guess and it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for an insurance co to *not* use it in order to get higher rates from people.

But you're touching on a rather sensitive topic, maybe unintentionally.

What are us "objectively good" drivers supposed to do about our significant others who are not "objectively good" drivers?

I ask because...as you can imagine...it's not like my partner is necessarily a bad driver, but...   facepalm  I often think she's too slow to react, freezes up when she has to make a decision, stops short/late, and doesn't assert her position on the road.  None of it is *unsafe* by any stretch, but there's a point where being too timid or cautious on the road is a detriment, and I struggle to think of a single time where she's gotten us somewhere in a reasonable (compared to mine) amount of time.  Like, it literally takes me 10 less minutes to get to the airport across town, and I'm not going more than 5 over.

I've suggested that one way to alleviate the stress of having me as a passenger, would be if she took the same Bondurant performance handling and HPDE classes...but no.

I kind of want one of those monitor things now, so we can compare.  But without hitting our insurance rates....


I'm cold, and there are wolves after me.

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#16 2017-01-25 16:24:48

hammyt
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Yeah that's a tough one.  My fiance is actually a decent driver she is just too aggressive/impatient at times, but it has gotten better since her commute got cut in half.

Both of us have only caused one accident and both times were us vs. stationary objects in bad weather.

Anyways, the reason I bring this shit up is I think I'm going to teach her to drive stick this spring.  She wants to learn and my car isn't a "racecar" anymore so I really have no excuse not to teach her.  Gonna have her watch a couple videos before we go out there, but it should prove interesting and I may just have to save the Dashcam footage.  cool


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5MT | 275whp/250wtq | 13.6@100 | SOLD
2014 Focus ST 6MT | Tuxedo Black

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#17 2017-01-25 16:37:30

drewsro
Why Am I Still Here?
From: NW Indiana
Registered: 2014-01-10
User Number: 13600
Posts: 1319

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

hammyt wrote:

Anyways, the reason I bring this shit up is I think I'm going to teach her to drive stick this spring.  She wants to learn and my car isn't a "racecar" anymore so I really have no excuse not to teach her.  Gonna have her watch a couple videos before we go out there, but it should prove interesting and I may just have to save the Dashcam footage.  cool

Ah, the good ol' teach the gf/fiance/wife stick shift.  I attempted to teach my now wife stick back when we first started dating.  We went to an open parking lot and used my sister's 2003 Eclipse GT (she was selling it and the car was a beater, so we didn't care if the clutch took a beating).  She caught on quick, but when it came time to try my Saabaru, she didn't do well.  She was too scared to do anything to my car since it was my "baby." She's never tried stick since that day.


2005 9-2x Aero 5MT- Stage 2
2007 Toyota Corolla CE
2016 VW GTI S 6MT
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#18 2017-01-25 16:40:52

krazykarguy
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

@Bryan -

By my understanding, a bad time with the monitor can only give you a 10% discount for signing up for the program. There are no penalties for bad driving as a result of participation in the program.

ATM, we are trending for a 15% discount, which added to the 10% program participation discount is a nice quarter off.

Is it too sensitive? Sure - but keep in mind that the company wants you to use it to determine if you are a safer risk. You are assumed to be high risk unless proven otherwise...


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#19 2017-01-25 17:11:19

hammyt
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

drewsro wrote:

She caught on quick, but when it came time to try my Saabaru, she didn't do well.  She was too scared to do anything to my car since it was my "baby." She's never tried stick since that day.

Yeah with my 9-2x in "racecar" mode (no cats, coilovers and 275whp) I was worried about way too many things going wrong and the fact she knew I loved that car almost as much as her.

Now that I have a stock FoST, that I feel like I won't have for more than another year or two, I think it is a good chance to teach her.  My next car will like 99% chance be stick as well, its just very likely it will have a 435hp v8  cool


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5MT | 275whp/250wtq | 13.6@100 | SOLD
2014 Focus ST 6MT | Tuxedo Black

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#20 2017-01-25 17:11:26

Bryan
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From: Western WI
Registered: 2007-01-14
User Number: 1768
Posts: 10180

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

krazykarguy wrote:

@Bryan -

By my understanding, a bad time with the monitor can only give you a 10% discount for signing up for the program. There are no penalties for bad driving as a result of participation in the program.

ATM, we are trending for a 15% discount, which added to the 10% program participation discount is a nice quarter off.

Is it too sensitive? Sure - but keep in mind that the company wants you to use it to determine if you are a safer risk. You are assumed to be high risk unless proven otherwise...

WELL HELL, I'LL SHOW THEM WHAT HIGH RISK LOOKS LIKE!!!!


I'm cold, and there are wolves after me.

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#21 2017-01-25 17:13:07

hammyt
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Is it in the terms (that I'm sure no one has read) that they can't eventually deny you insurance based on the OBDII readings alone?


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5MT | 275whp/250wtq | 13.6@100 | SOLD
2014 Focus ST 6MT | Tuxedo Black

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#22 2017-01-25 17:26:14

drewsro
Why Am I Still Here?
From: NW Indiana
Registered: 2014-01-10
User Number: 13600
Posts: 1319

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

Just curious, but did you check out GEICO when switching?  The insurance broker I went with for renter's insurance quoted me a big amount for combined mortgage and auto (that was for AAA).  I ended up going with GEICO for combined mortgage and auto and am saving a ton over what the broker wanted for me.  Even comparing my previous State Farm plan (I was still connected to my parent's account) to GEICO with the same car was a lot cheaper, and that was me going on my own.


2005 9-2x Aero 5MT- Stage 2
2007 Toyota Corolla CE
2016 VW GTI S 6MT
Need a CARFAX report? Message me.

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#23 2017-01-26 08:47:56

krazykarguy
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Re: Insurance company driving monitors

arrow-up I did check out GEICO, and they were the runner-up to SafeCo as far as rates were concerned. We could only really combine our bike/auto policies - ASI is our homeowner's insurance (that is the only thing they cover), and they are significantly cheaper than anyone else could give us in a 'bundled' policy.

We quoted SafeCo for homeowner's bundled with our bike/car policy - and it came back $220 higher than doing SafeCo/ASI together.


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#24 2017-01-26 10:41:20

cjaama
Member
From: albany, ny
Registered: 2007-03-09
User Number: 1885
Posts: 965

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

hammyt wrote:

Well that's why those things are flawed.  You will get flagged for avoiding an accident.

Well if that pisses you off, you'd hate to learn about comparative negligence (assuming you don't already).
Basically, if a car going in the opposite direction you are makes a left turn into your path and you brake and swerve left to avoid hitting them and just catch the ass-end of their vehicle, you'll get dinged and their insurance company will only pay about 70% of your claim because they will see that you hit the back of their vehicle and say that it was avoidable had you braked sooner.  So basically you're better off not braking or swerving and just catching the passenger front door with the kid sitting next to it.  Comparative negligence could be applied in just about any accident if the adjuster or the company they work for are dicks.
I used to be a claims adjuster and dreaded telling people this multiple times a day.  It never got easy trying to justify something you didn't agree with to someone.


'05 Desert Sand Aero> '96 Volvo 850> '13 Passat> '16 Chevy Volt/'97 Wrangler

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#25 2017-02-06 15:57:37

krazykarguy
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From: South Carolina
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User Number: 1944
Posts: 8147

Re: Insurance company driving monitors

I figured since I mentioned it in my car buying thread that I'd bump this one up, too.

We're almost at 1 month with the tracker in our Kia. Our current discount is up to 17% based on almost 1000 miles of driving.

The traffic in this area (Charlotte, NC) makes it really difficult to avoid hard braking. There are many roads marked for 50-55 mph, and if you leave a safe following distance, other dipshit drivers take this as an open invitation to put their car in front of yours. Plus, traffic can back up fast and you are forced to brake hard or hit the car in front of you.

There are also other instances where the device is really stupid and you are dinged for something really stupid - I got a hard braking event at the end of my neighborhood, where I couldn't have been going any more than 10 mph. Pretty sure that a Huffy can stop at a rate of 7 mph/second at 15 mph... So why is a 'hard brake' at 15 under the 25mph speed limit even something to be concerned about??


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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