Progressive has taken a new approach to car insurance, called the Snapshot program, that allows its policy holders to share their driving habit information for the opportunity to try to save money.
According to the general manager of usage-based insurance at Progressive, Richard Hutchinson, the program is completely voluntary, so drivers who are not interested in taking part are not required to do so.
Participating drivers have their cars fitted with a Snapshot transmitter device, which is compatible with most vehicles made in 1996 and afterward. The device monitors the vehicle’s speed, the time of day that it is driven, how often hard breaking occurs, and how many miles are driven. It can also detect whether or not it has been disconnected.
The key to saving money with Snapshot insurance is to drive less often, avoid driving between midnight and 4am (which is the window in which – according to Progressive – accidents are most likely to occur), and to drive more carefully. With Snapshot, drivers leave the device plugged in for a 6 month policy period to receive their discount. However, you can see if you’re on track for a discount after just 30 days. It is possible for the driver to save as much as thirty percent.
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Executive director, Marc Rotenberg, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) stated that the primary concern with this program is that the information collected about the customer could be revealed to third parties.
A primary customer concern is that they may experience higher rates instead of lower ones as a result of their driving behaviors in the program. That said, the Progressive website specifically states that “No, Snapshot won’t increase your rate.”