Today, our quick tip is all about a telematics device.
A What? Tela-who?
Telematic’s devices are typically an app on your phone that tracks driving habits. These days, , every single auto insurance carrier has an app that allows them to be able to track some of your driving habits.
What Driving Habits Does It Track?
What habits? Typically they track your acceleration, the speed in which you stop, time of day in which you drive most often, heavy traffic patterns and some apps even track how often you are using your phone during driving.
Can It Increase My Premiums?
A lot of people might not want to be tracked, but at the same time, it allows carriers to make sure that the policy premium is appropriate for your driving habits and traffic patterns you navigate on a regular basis. Carrier have recognized where for some drivers, their policy actually decreases in premium since good driving habits also allow for additional discount to your auto policy.
How Long Do I Have To Have It On My Phone?
So if this is something that you’re interested in, it usually lasts about 30 to 90 days. Some telematics devices have to be in your vehicle at all times, but most insurance carriers will have you use it for about 60 to 90 days.
Can I Stop It If I Want To?
Yep! Typically, the app will show you a score for each driving opportunity. If you see that your score is less than optimal, you can typically opt out within the first 30 days. Please remember, this will remove the discounts associated with the app overall.
What Type Of Discounts Should I Expect With It?
Most carrier will offer a 10% discount on your collision and liability premiums on your insurance immediately. After the 90 days is over, most will apply the changes in premium at the policies renewal and you can see the premium go up or down. Some carriers are applying the discounts immediately, but most are still applying it at the renewal.
What Benefits Are There For Me?
The app on your phone will let you see your driving habits in real time. If you have young drivers or even if you would benefit from adjusting your driving habits, you can use the app to learn the improved driving habits and decrease your premiums at the same time. We have had clients put their teenage drivers on the app and coached them through safe driving and some parents have made a game of it..the teenagers really got a kick out of that!
Some people like that they can get discounts if they work from home and don’t drive a lot or don’t drive long distances.
For commercial clients the telematic’s devices will allow them to see where their drivers/trucks are at and make sure the drivers are actively engaged in work activities and that they are driving the work vehicles in a safe manner.
What Are The Benefits For The Insurance Companies?
The carrier loves the telematic’s programs because it allows them to rate insurance premiums and develop safety programs in accordance to individual driving habits. People tell us all the time that they don’t want to be rated based on the “masses”…so the telematics devices allow carriers to tailor an auto policy premium to the cient’s driving habits.
Does Every Auto Carrier Offer Telematics?
Pretty much! Every carrier will call their program something different. They all have their own apps and their own measurements. You might hear the terms used like “right sizing” your auto policy…or “pay for what you use”…but they are are all determined by the telematic’s apps on your phone.
Here are some names of some of the devices that our carriers have:
State Auto: Safety360
How Long Do The Discounts Apply?
Right now, the carriers are telling us that the discounts never go away…BONUS!
Can We Do It More Than Once?
Most carriers will allow for someone to re-enroll more than once. BUT, the discounts and price adjustments won’t apply until the next renewal. If you have a new policy, you can get the 10% up front but if you want to apply this to a current policy, the 10% and driving discounts won’t apply until the renewal.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
Some of the telematics devices also track your cell phone usage during a drive. They say they know the difference between google maps usage and texting..but watch your app as you go to make sure your app is tracking your data usage during driving correctly.
Make sure to track your driving scores DURING the 90 day period. You can make adjustments during the 90 days to your driving hazings and get the scores you want..but if you just download it and ignore it, you may be charged for risky driving habits.
Reach out to us and we can provide information specifically for your carrier and what their devices will track. Give us a call at (972) 964-4825 so we can answer all your auto insurance questions!