Your auto insurance company might have just mentioned “telematics” to you. It’s a complex term for a really simple system. “Telematics” is an automated system that tracks what type of driver you are. The safer you are when driving, the lower your auto insurance rates.
How Does Telematics Work?
Telematics is usually a phone app, but it can also be a device installed in your car. As you drive, it logs what speed you drive, how quickly you maneuver, and even where you’re driving. That may sound invasive, but it’s actually beneficial for you. The safer your driving is, the better your rates will be. Your insurance company will also get a better picture of your driving overall and will be able to extend discounts and services that you’re more likely to need. Example: You might actually drive in rural areas more than you think you do. If you do, you may need better towing coverage.
In the Twin Cities, the average commute can be up to 36.5 minutes. That’s a tremendous amount of time when driving. But your commute could be only five minutes — in which case the telematics system will determine that your rate should be lower. Otherwise, you’ll just get the average rates for a Twin Cities driver.
And if your commute is longer than you thought, you might need to consider more coverage. The longer your commute is, the more likely you are to get into an accident. It may not always be easy to estimate what your commute really is without real, raw data.
Can I Turn Off Telematics?
It’s important to note that while many national companies, such as Nationwide and Progressive, are currently using telematics, it’s generally optional. You don’t have to use telematics. It’s a system that’s intended to help you reduce your rate and get rewarded for driving safely. (It can even be a system to encourage you to drive safely, as you learn more about your habits!)
Are you wondering what could happen if telematics discovers that you’re a fast or risky driver?
Telematics doesn’t increase your rate. It reduces it based on factors such as safety. So, you shouldn’t be worried about telematics docking you points. But you should think about using a telematics system anyway because telematics could tell you things about your driving you don’t realize.
How Do I Find Telematics?
Most of the large insurance companies today are using telematics systems. Asking about telematics is a great way to distinguish insurance companies from each other if you’re trying to decide between multiple companies. As telematics becomes more advanced, it’s going to become more popular as well. Telematics may someday be something that is found with every auto insurance company.
For now, you might want to look into whether companies have “safe driver apps,” which is something that telematics is frequently called. And, of course, you shouldn’t use telematics as your only determining factor: It’s just something that’s nice to have.
Telematics is most useful for drivers who are low risk but are in high-risk categories. Young or old drivers who are very safe, for instance, are often classed as being less safe than they really are. Without telematics, there’s no way to tell that you’re above average!
Are you interested in finding out more about telematics? Or do you just want to know about how insurance companies are trying to deliver the best, most personalized rates? Contact Patriot Insurance today to find out more.