Most insurance companies now offer discount programs for safe drivers. If you participate in one of these programs, you may be enjoying lower insurance premiums. However, did you know the insurance tracking device that determines your savings also monitors your driving habits?
Below, Jay Trucks discusses insurance tracking devices. Learn what data is collected and how your insurer could use it against you to deny a claim.
Injured in a car crash due to a careless or reckless driver? Before calling your insurer, you may want to first seek legal help. We are ready to fight for the maximum compensation you need.
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What Are Insurance Tracking Devices?
Insurance tracking devices let insurance companies monitor the driving habits of policyholders. Also called car monitoring or telematics devices, they connect to your vehicle in a couple of different ways:
- Connecting to a smartphone mobile app
- Plugging a device into your car’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) port
- Directly connecting to a device installed in most newer model cars
Similar to the “black box recorder” found on a plane, the device tracks your driving actions behind the wheel. If you use a smartphone app, it could also be tracking what you do when you are not in your car.
What Data is My Insurance Carrier Tracking About Me?
Each insurance tracking device collects different data. However, generally, the data tracked about you may include:
- Braking habits
- Time of day
- Sharp turns (taking corners too fast)
- Distracted driving habits – i.e. using cellphone hands-free or not
- Crash avoidance alerts
- Wi-fi usage
- GPS location
How Do I Know if My Driving Habits Are Being Tracked?
Your driving habits are likely being tracked if you are in a safe driver program. Insurers often call it a usage-based insurance (UBI) program.
Some of the best-known UBIs offered by insurance companies include:
- Drivewise (Allstate)
- Drive Safe and Save (State Farm)
- Drive Easy (GEICO)
- Safe Pilot (USAA)
- Right Track (Liberty Mutual)
- SmartRide (Nationwide)
- Snapshot (Progressive)
- Signal (Farmer’s Insurance)
- True Ride (Auto-Owners Insurance)
- KnowYourDrive (American Family)
What Do Insurers Do With the Data They Track?
The insurance company uses your data to determine if you are a safe driver. For instance, a policyholder who often speeds while using his or her cellphone has a much higher risk for a crash.
When your policy term ends and is up for renewal, your insurer will review your driving data. This helps them decide if you still qualify for their safe driver’s program. If they determine your driving habits are too risky, you could get booted from the program. Your premiums could also go up.
From the insurance company’s viewpoint, this data helps them to reduce the financial risk caused by poor drivers. However true, is it at the cost of your privacy?
Could My Driving Data Be Used Against Me in a Car Crash Claim?
In short, yes. Insurance tracking devices can cause problems for injured victims pursuing a car crash claim. In fact, the data from insurance tracking devices are already allowed in civil lawsuits. Once an attorney knows you participate in a UBI, he or she can subpoena the data. He or she will then search for any details that may help to shift the blame from his or her client.
Unfortunately, the data an attorney may find can easily be taken out of context and used against you. Here are some examples:
- Hard-braking: This could be a sign of a driver stopping in time to avoid a crash. However, in a claim, it would likely be used against you, regardless of the context. An attorney may say it shows a habit of tailgating, so you have to regularly brake hard to stop in time.
- Speeding: Say you testify that you are a safe driver and usually follow the speed limits, but your driver data says otherwise. Even a habit of going ten miles over the speed limit could make you seem dishonest.
In any injury claim, credibility is everything. Sometimes creating just enough doubt about your character is enough to cause a lot of damage. In an injury claim, you will still be eligible for your no-fault benefits. However, if your injuries meet the state threshold for impairment of a bodily function, you could recover a lot less excess damages, or none at all.
Questions After a Car Crash Claim? Our Firm Has Answers
At Jay Trucks, we have been helping injured victims for many years. We have a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation for clients, including crash victims.
When you work with our firm, you can count on the experience and knowledge of our car accident attorneys in Grand Rapids. We have the staff and resources to fully investigate your claim and fight for full and fair compensation.
If you have been injured in a crash caused by another’s negligence, we encourage you to seek legal help. Our staff are available 24/7 to take your call. Remember that there are deadlines for Michigan car crash claims. Waiting to call an attorney could hurt your ability to seek compensation. An initial consultation at our firm is completely free, and there are no upfront costs if we represent you.
Get answers to your legal questions. 989-244-0356