Pretty much all insurance companies now offer discounts for using their smartphone tracking app. These “telematic” apps use your phone to develop an overall portrait of your driving habits, and then they use that portrait to set your rate. Travelers has IntelliDrive, Progressive has Snapshot, Safeco has RightTrack and so forth.
My take is that it is usually worth doing. All companies guarantee a discount initially and some companies guarantee a discount at renewal.
How much will I actually save? Although companies tout big numbers—UP TO 30%!—the reality is that most people will average between 5-15% savings. For all companies most people will continue to save some money; however, if the app demonstrates what the company considers to be riskier driving behaviors, the company may increase your rates some. If you feel that you can do better, you can switch companies or in some cases request a redo.
What about Big Brother!? This is the most common objection I hear from clients (and my wife). My approach is pretty pragmatic: if you have a smartphone that, let’s be honest, is already tracking much of this information through the navigation and sensors, why not just get a discount for it–especially if you only need to use the app for 90 days to get a discount.
What about the hassle? While these apps have gotten much easier to use, they typically do require a small bit of attention over several months. That may or may not be worth it to you.
Will the app get it right? On average! It’s important to remember that these apps, while not perfect, are designed to give an accurate portrait of how you drive on average. So for instance, when our family used one, we noticed that there would be an occasional trip that it got wrong; however, that was just one data point out of many. On average, it painted a fairly accurate picture—that I’m the best driver in the house!