If you have looked online for auto insurance quotes recently, you may have noticed something new. More insurance companies are offering immediate discounts on policies if you are willing to install monitoring technology which lets the carrier know your driving habits. The result is a more personalized rate for you when it’s time to renew.

What is a Telematics Device?

These monitoring devices are often known as telematics devices. The insurance company sends one to you if you agree to use it. You install it on your vehicle where it will capture and record specific information. Some of the data collected includes the following:

  • Number of miles driven
  • Driving speed
  • How fast you brake
  • Time of day for driving
  • The information is submitted to the insurance provider where they will determine if you qualify for a discount. The device is connected to the diagnostic port on the vehicle, which is usually located on the steering wheel. Models made from the mid-1990s and newer have this port.

    The Benefits of Using a Telematics Device

    The main benefit of agreeing to installing this device on your vehicle is you can enjoy a safe driver discount. Statistics show that people who are safe drivers avoid certain behaviors, such as braking at the last minute, speeding or even driving after night. The risk of an accident goes down for those who drive fewer miles.

    The insurance carrier can offer a personalized rate based on your driving habits rather than just relying on standard data. You can get rewarded for being a good driver.

    Bad Drivers

    If you happen to not do so well out on the roadways, and you don’t qualify for discounts, you’re not supposed to get penalized. However, you can use this opportunity to improve your driving habits. Many insurance providers allow you to go online and see the same data they look at.

    You may learn something you didn’t know about your driving habits. You may not even realize you brake at the last minute or that you drive so much after dark. As you look at the data and analyze it, you can put this information to use and make changes that will help you become a better driver.

    The next time, you might qualify for a safe driving discount. Additionally, good driving habits can help you in other ways. You might avoid accidents even if they aren’t your fault. You could get improved fuel economy out of your vehicle if you don’t engage in fast acceleration or hard stopping.

    These devices can record any information which is accessible from the vehicle’s computer. The insurance provider tells it what to keep. This can vary from one insurance provider to another. Some providers disclose the information being gathered while others may not.
    A telematics device is a great way to save money. However, you should find out what information is being retrieved from your insurance company and how discounts are applied. With more insurance providers going digital, this technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.