This car insurance monitors your driving and sets your premium accordingly

First person perspective of a person driving a car

R. Classen / Shutterstock

One of the nation’s largest insurers is beginning the rollout of a behavior-based driving insurance product. Dubbed IntelliDrive through Connected Car, Travelers believes the new product will benefit safe drivers, starting with customers in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

But will drivers accept that their driving behavior is monitored in real time?

IntelliDrive via Connected Car uses driving data related to factors such as braking, acceleration, speed and time of day to immediately calculate a customer’s IntelliDrive score, which is then used to develop their quote personalized insurance. Travelers has partnered with data analytics firm LexisNexis, which will provide driving data from cars enrolled in the program.

I contacted Joe Meisinger, vice president of personal insurance products at Travelers Insurance, who told me that the service would benefit conscientious drivers in several ways.

“With IntelliDrive via Connected Vehicles, customers who drive safely can benefit from savings immediately instead of waiting for renewal,” Meisinger says. “Safe driving habits can result in savings of up to 30%, while riskier driving habits can result in a higher premium, which encourages safe driving and provides savings for customers who do so. This program focuses on a more personalized rate based on users’ safe driving habits.”

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Travelers Insurance plans to continue to expand its telematics offerings – the technologies used to track and transmit driving data – in the future, leveraging advances in technology and customer insights. The reality is that this is undoubtedly the direction the insurance industry will take in the years to come. Insurers have long rewarded good driving histories, and with the prevalence of connected technologies, insurers have a strong incentive to seek a more detailed picture of each customer’s risk profiles.

For now, customers have the choice to enroll if their vehicle has built-in technology and the year, make and model are supported by IntelliDrive.

“IntelliDrive via Connected Vehicles makes telematics enrollment easier,” Meisinger points out. “If a customer signs up, travelers will simply use vehicle-level data to influence their insurance premium based on driving behaviors captured by the vehicle. If the data reflects safe driving performance, customers may be rewarded immediately.”

All of this underscores the moment of transition we find ourselves in within the personal transportation paradigm. The advent of self-driving cars introduces new complexities into the picture, though Travelers believes the current insurance infrastructure is well suited to deal with these changes.

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Meisinger adds, “As we move to higher levels of autonomy, the existing system will also help minimize consumer confusion, regulatory uncertainty and market disruption. And it will provide consistency for the period over which self-driving vehicles and driver-driven vehicles will share Keep in mind that car insurance is also the best way to protect against other issues associated with owning a vehicle, whether self-driving or not, including weather and theft issues.

For now, savvy customers with a history of safe driving should probably switch to behavior-based insurance, largely because the savings at this early stage make it a good deal. This may not be suitable for the finicky, who fear the ramifications of tracking.

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The reality, for better or (more likely) worse, is that we consent to a wide range of tracking and monitoring as it is, most of which does not come with a discount. So we can save some money in the process.


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