Like many drivers, you may be looking at ways to save money on car insurance. A call to your insurer will leave you with a few options to consider. One of those will be to install a driving monitor device in your vehicle, which can save you a lot of money with some tradeoffs.
These devices are supposedly intended to keep drivers in check to prevent car accidents, but is that the real purpose for recommending them? Sure, your monthly premiums will be lower in the short term but what if that information has a dual purpose and you suffer the consequences? Weighing the positives against the negatives can help you make the right decision.
How do insurance monitoring devices work?
These devices are basically small data transmitters that are hardwired into your vehicle and send information back to the insurance company about your driving habits. Information insurance carriers are interested in capturing includes:
- Speed, which can show you take risks.
- Hard breaking, which can indicate distracted driving.
- Time of day the car was used to determine if you do a lot of nighttime driving.
- GPS information, which tells the insurer if you enter high accident or vehicle theft areas.
- Mileage and time you spend driving, which can both be used to determine how much you’re on the road increasing the likelihood of an accident.
- Turning, which can be used with mapping systems to calculate whether you put yourself or others at risk.
- Phone usage, which can be used to label you high risk or prove a pattern of distracted driving.
- How often automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning has been activated.
The pros to using an insurance monitoring device
Insurance companies are more than happy to talk to insureds about the benefits of using these telematics devices. When you get down to it, they tend to benefit the insurance company more than the driver. But if you primarily work from home and don’t typically venture too far, these insurance programs might work for you.
- You’ll lower your monthly car insurance premium. There are very few ways to trim the fat these days without giving up something that has become a necessity. You could have given up a cell phone 15 years ago or maybe cut back on your grocery bill, but now these are almost impossible tasks. Car insurance is the one place you have a little wiggle room to save money.
- You may become a safer driver. These tools could make drivers using these tools alter their habits, which may reduce the risk for some accidents. It’s human nature for some people to naturally just follow the rules when they have the option. If you know certain driving behaviors will result in consequences, it might be very simple for you to just stick to the parameters for safer driving to maintain your discount.
What are the cons to having your driving monitored?
Insurers lure drivers into using these monitoring devices with the promise of lowering your rates by up to 30 percent. Most people resent paying for car insurance and are looking for any way to reduce their premiums, but these devices really aren’t for everyone. The negatives far exceed the positives for these monitoring devices because:
- You’ll have to limit your driving to a certain number of miles per month.
- You give up your privacy to do what you want in your vehicle without consequences.
- Insurance companies may sell your private data to third party companies for profit.
- You could lose your insurance coverage if you get into an accident.
- You may be left to pay for a car accident whether you caused it or you were the victim of someone else.
This information could be used against you if you have to file an insurance claim after an accident. Depending on the data that was collected on your driving habits, your own accident claim could be denied. If you were speeding at the time of a crash even though the other driver ran a red light, that’s all your insurance company needs to deny a claim. Not only that but your insurance rates could increase if you are deemed a risky driver as a result. All that money you saved on the front end may have cost you much more in the long run.
- You’re a teenager or elderly driver
- You’ve had tickets for DUI/DWI, excessive speeding or other major violations
- You have points on your driving record
- You’ve been uninsured for at least six months
- You’re deemed a credit risk
- You’re a renter rather than homeowner
Insurance driving monitoring devices really aren’t intended to reduce the number of accidents and make the roads safer. They’re designed to save the insurance companies money so that if a high risk driver hits you, it gives the insurer a leg to stand on to drop that driver’s coverage. The people it hurts most is injured drivers.
You need an experienced advocate to negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the full value of your claim. Schedule your free case consultation with one of our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP by calling our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page.
Steve Lowry is an award-winning litigator who has secured record-setting jury verdicts on behalf of his clients. A passionate advocate for individuals who have been harmed by the actions of others, Steve has won numerous top 10 verdicts in Georgia.
Read more about Stephen G. Lowry here.