Cut Car Insurance Costs Technology

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New Technology Can Help You Cut Car Insurance Costs

It’s a well-known fact that drivers who put fewer miles on their cars pay less for car insurance. The less you drive, the less your chances of getting into an expensive accident that the insurance company pays for, so the lower the auto insurance rate that you pay.
The more cautiously you drive, especially if you do not have much experience on the road, the easier it can be to get cheap car insurance for young drivers. Now some insurance companies are using new technology to track not only how many miles you put on your car, but how safe you drive as well.
Progressive and GMAC Insurance are two companies that are currently using this technology in the United States and early results have helped consumers get very cheap car insurance. If you participate in this program, you have a device installed in your vehicle that tracks how many miles you drive, how fast you go, and even how often and how hard you use your brakes. All of these factors are put together to figure out whether you are a safe driver or a lead foot.
These plans are known as “usage-based insurance pricing” and it is estimated that two out of every three families would pay less in auto insurance than they do now. According to a report by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, the average driver would get a savings of $270 per car per year. Not bad for letting the insurance company keep tabs on your driving habits.
Usage based plans could also help reduce traffic congestion and could even lower carbon emissions by rewarding drivers who stay off the road. If customers have their driving tracked, the average person would reduce their annual mileage by approximately 8%, according to the Hamilton Project report. Lowering mileage by this amount would result in savings of $51.5 billion to the economy through reduced traffic tie-ups and fewer accidents.

The flip side to having a tracking device in your car is that it could raise rates for some drivers. In states where it would be permitted, auto insurance companies could levy up to a 9% surcharge on drivers who speed, slam on the brakes, or log excessive miles.
Most tracking devices relay your driving information back to the insurance company via a cellular phone network and do not track your whereabouts via GPS. GMAC Insurance uses the OnStar system that is installed in new GM vehicles to track drivers. At the moment, OnStar only transmits odometer readings to GMAC. The GPS system only transmits location if the car has been in an accident or is stolen.
Many consumers who have participated in these usage-based tests have experienced significant insurance savings. For example, a person who drives 2,500 miles or less per year could save more than 50% on his or her annual premium. Right now Progressive is offering its usage-based program – known as “MyPlan” – to its customers in Michigan, Minnesota and Oregon. However, the insurer plans to roll this out to more states soon.