Are auto insurance companies secretly spying on drivers with their phones?

Auto Insurance - Spying

Common apps may be feeding insurers more info than motorists think

Auto insurance companies have been offering discounts to drivers who use their apps to track their habits behind the wheel and prove that they are safe while they’re on the road.

Other apps may also be feeding information to insurers

According to a recent Business Insider report, auto insurance companies are learning about drivers’ habits even if those motorists haven’t signed up to be tracked.  The report stated that there is a slew of commonly used applications installed on peoples’ phones that are quietly monitoring their driving habits and reporting to insurers.

Auto insurance data report - phone tracking

In this way, even drivers who have not signed up to be tracked may still be tracked indirectly.  This information is very valuable to insurers, which are always trying to find more accurate ways to understand the risk associated with a driver they cover.  Knowing a driver’s actual risk makes it easier for an insurer to calculate how much monthly premiums should be.

Auto insurance rates have been skyrocketing even faster than inflation

Drivers have been facing higher premiums and deductibles in order to make certain that they continue to be covered. While many people have chosen to use tracking apps to prove that they are safe behind the wheel and earn a discount, others are being monitored in other ways, of which they may not even be aware, said the report, which was originally published in the New York Times.

Using data collection technology from an insurer-owned company

It stated that commonly used background apps such as GasBuddy, Life360, and MyRadar, among others, collect driver data and hand it over to insurers.  Each of those applications relies on driving analysis tech used by Arity, which is a company owned by Allstate and that collects data about a driver’s habits in order to provide that individual with a score. 

That same score can be sold to auto insurance companies in order to “help create future transportation solutions that are smarter and safer,” says the Allstate website, which also reports that “more than a trillion miles of driving data,” has already been collected by Arity.

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