Does usage based insurance for your car risk your privacy?

Usage based insurance
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Usage based insurance

How much of your data is shared by your vehicle telematics?

Usage based insurance programs are being offered by a growing number of auto insurers, with the highly attractive benefit of potential savings on monthly premiums.

Consumers now wonder about the cost of these money saving devices.

The type of data that is transmitted through the telematics devices used for the usage based insurance programs depends on the insurer and the gadget itself. While some simply report very basic information such as the number of miles driven, others can report much more detailed info.

Collected data can share a great deal about a personal and private life, not just about driving habits.

This is because some of the details that could be transmitted can include location, time of day that a vehicle is being used, speed traveled, the number of right and left turns, hard braking, and other driver habits.

Some think usage based insurance is a great way to save, others wonder about the catch.

Today, most consumers feel that this information is a perfect way to demonstrate their good driving habits so that they can reduce their monthly premiums by 40 percent or more. However, others worry that usage based insurance data could later be used against them in other instances in the future. These could include anything from use by an angry spouse during a divorce proceeding to the government in a criminal trial.

A growing number of reports on usage based insurance are starting to include the “Big Brother” concern. Especially as a growing number of the largest auto insurers in the country start to offer their own programs. Many of them are using GPS and other devices under the premise of better and more accurate coverage pricing. However, while it may seem safe now, consumers are beginning to voice their worries about how this data could be used in the months or years to come.

The economics of usage based insurance programs are quite positive. Any good driver would jump at the opportunity to save 30 to 50 percent for coverage by driving the speed limit and travelling short distances. As this technology is used for the first time, though, it is important not to lose sight of what it could mean, and to pay attention to privacy policies.

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