Maybe you’ve heard the term and maybe you haven’t, but telematics is an important word to know. So what are telematics and why should you care? Simply put:
Telematics is technology that can directly reduce your car insurance premiums. Telematics is technology that can make you a better driver.
Until recently, insurance companies have only been able to use prior experience to determine what type of driver you are. By looking at your driving history, they can see if you have had any accidents, speeding tickets, or a DUI; however, that gives only a limited glimpse into how you actually drive your car.
If you’re a good driver and you think you’re paying too much for car insurance, now you can put your money where your mouth is.
Driving Behaviors in Real Time
In its current form, most insurance companies offer telematics as a downloadable app that in effect turns your smart phone into a sensor. The app can detect your rate of acceleration & braking, your speed, the distance you travel and the time of day (or night) you’re driving. It can also detect when you use your phone while driving.
Know that there are limitations to what these devises can do and your privacy is being protected. In addition, these programs tend to run for only a limited time only. You don’t usually have to keep the app installed for more than three or six months, and discounts earned can run for the life of the policy.
Helping You Be a Better Driver
An added benefit of telematics is that it can make you a better driver. It does this in a couple of ways. First, there’s gamification of your behaviors. You can check daily or after each trip to see how you scored; or if you’re in a competitive household, you can compete for the best rating.
Second, it holds you accountable. When you’re on your own, it can be easy to look down at your phone to see who texted you or speed up to make the light. But when you know something is keeping score, your behavior changes.
Habits can form after only 21 days of repetitious behavior. Good driving habits can absolutely be instilled over the three or six months that these apps require.
Why Haven’t I Heard of Telematics Before?
There are a few reasons. First, this is still relatively new for a lot of insurance companies. Some carriers have had programs for years, but within the last year or two it has become more commonplace.
Second, many agents are uncomfortable bringing it up. Every carrier’s system is a little different and it’s something that maybe isn’t easy for a lot of agents to talk about.
What You Can Do Now
If you’re interested in signing up for a telematics program, give us a call. We work with a number of carriers that offer the service and many will provide a discount upfront simply for signing up for it. If one of those carriers is the right fit for you and your family, we sign you up as part of the application process.
Please give us a call at 610-671-3500; or start your quote here.