Sunday, June 2

AAA Drive, Allstate Drivewise, Progressive Snapshot, And So On

I wrote the main article on how to beat Progressive Snapshot. Now the other companies are doing the same thing, probably because Progressive actually saves itself money in identifying risky drivers. Sure, some of us do OK and get a discount, but the goal of these devices is really for all insurance companies to be allowed into our cars in order to spy on us and determine our rates based on very real statistics.

The sad fact is that when you allow certain apps to access just about every tool on your phone, the information collected could be sold to insurance companies. I'm not saying anyone has gone down this path yet, but it's coming (or could easily be coming). Right now, we have to agree to allow Progressive, AAA, State Farm, or Allstate to monitor our driving habits, but if you were to allow Facebook (to use an example of a company willing to sell your personal info) to access your GPS, then there's a lot of information that Facebook could sell to your own insurer as well as potential insurers that you might contact when you get dropped for too many 100mph adventures.

In some ways, it might be better to accept the future of auto insurance and LET them into your car before they find a way in later on. If these companies get access through another app (maybe even with you agreeing to it without knowing), you'll get a profile set when you're not on your best driving behavior. I chose to demonstrate how I drive to the insurance company before I was told how I drive by Google Maps. Progressive hooked right into my car, so I wasn't chided for using my smartphone for navigating, but most of the other products I've seen add that element to your driving profile.

In the end, I want everyone to be a safe driver. Maybe we're so used to being monitored in everything we do that the invasion of privacy is worth the rewards. The technology exists for us to be arrested by our phones when we speed, run a red, do a hit and run, and all kinds of other infractions on the road that could be monitored by the spy in our pockets (and in those of everyone else in our car with us).