Telematics Inside Look: Allstate Drivewise

Learn more about Allstate's innovative program with our deep-dive analysis.

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The state of auto insurance looks a bit different in 2021, as companies work to deliver more personalized options to drivers. Allstate’s primary telematics program, Drivewise, provides feedback after every single drive you take. 

While some telematics use a tracking device, Allstate monitors driving entirely through your phone. The only requirements? You need to have your phone on, location services enabled, with a charge of at least 25% battery and travel at least 20 miles per hour during your trip.

 

What’s inside the Drivewise app

After signing up for the Drivewise app, either as the primary policyholder or an additional driver, you’ll see smart features tailored to your driving. You don’t need to be an Allstate customer to sign up, but either way, you’ll have to download the app to use Drivewise.

The main dashboard offers an overview of your recent trip info and your current cash rewards balance. Allstate Drivewise drivers earn cash back from three primary methods:

  • Safe speeds: Keeping your speed below 80 miles per hour.
  • Safe hours: Limiting the number of late-night trips you take.
  • Safe stops: Limiting the amount of times you slam on the brakes. Allstate defines “sudden braking” as slowing down more than eight miles per hour in one second.

You can also see information about your 50 most recent trips. This screen will show you things like your start and end time, total miles traveled and whether you did things like speed, brake suddenly or use your phone. A thumbs up and motivational “keep up the safe driving!” message provides a bit of additional inspiration.

You can take a deeper dive into your driving habits within the “My Driving” tab. Explore your sudden braking and speeding habits via a monthly view, and see what time of day you’re most regularly driving. 

Allstate Drivewise offers driving challenges, too, such as keeping your speed under 80 miles per hour or avoiding hard braking for three consecutive driving days. Completing these challenges earns you points, which can be redeemed through Allstate Rewards and exchanged for savings on daily deals, gift cards and sweepstakes. The “My Rewards” screen shows how many points you’ve earned to date.


Other Drivewise features

Simply by signing up for Drivewise, you receive a 3% discount off your auto policy. Florida and New Jersey Drivewise drivers get an immediate 7% and 5% discount, respectively, for their initial terms, which reverts to a 3% discount applied at renewal.

You can also earn cash back after your first 50 trips with safe driving. The cash back continues every six months, assuming you continue to drive safely. Again, there are a few restrictions to this offer. North Carolina residents can only receive a policy credit at renewal instead of cash back, while Washington, Indiana and Florida drivers may not receive rewards as a credit.

Drivewise offers a few other additional features that can help while you’re out on the road.

Real-time alerts monitor your driving and inform you of unsafe driving behaviors. Tailing too close to another driver? Drivewise will let you know.

  • A parking reminder will let you know where you parked, and when you need to feed the meter.
  • Should you need it, Good Hands Rescue gets you in touch with roadside assistance.
  • A Gas Finder function, highlighting nearby gas stations in the area.
  • The QuickFoto Claim screen, which allows you to take pictures when filing a claim. The app also stores a digital copy of your insurance information.

 

How Drivewise affects your phone

Drivewise is available for Apple and Android devices and only tracks drivers. If you have the app downloaded, Allstate can tell if you’re a passenger and not actually driving. 

Drivewise uses your cellular data to operate and collect information about your trip. However, it only does so after your trip ends and you’re connected to either cellular data or Wi-Fi. The battery usage is about on par with what other navigation apps use, though Allstate recommends charging your phone during the trip.

Allstate sends you a small device to plug into your dashboard. The device pairs with the mobile app to help monitor your car’s activity, check diagnostics, and set up an appointment to get your car looked at if it notices something’s awry.


Drivewise’s impact on your premium

Of course, perhaps the biggest question around telematics is whether it will save you any money. Participation in the Allstate Drivewise program is free, and the only thing you need to install is an app on your phone.

As for the amount you could save, that’s largely due to how safely you drive. The average annual premium for Allstate drivers is $1,011. For Allstate drivers with Drivewise, the average premium drops to $996. Those savings total only about a dollar a month, but if you’re a consistently safe driver, you could save much more.

Telematics savings can also vary by state. For example, Delaware drivers can save $157 annually with telematics, while California drivers likely won’t see a change in their premiums. And some telematics programs aren’t available in every state — contact your local Allstate agent to see if you can enroll in Drivewise in your state.


The final word

Drivewise is one of the few telematics offerings that don’t require you to be a customer of its parent insurance company (Allstate, in this case), and it’s nice that you only need to download an app to use it, rather than install another tracking device on your car.

So, is Drivewise worth it? That depends on a few factors. How safely you drive plays a major role. If you regularly speed on the highway or take a route that often requires slamming on the brakes — such as going around a school or park — you might not reap any benefits and could end up paying a higher premium.

Then again, if you routinely practice safe driving and normally have smooth routes, you could receive cash back and other rewards. Additionally, if you work remotely and don’t have a commute to a workplace, you can be more selective about your driving time and try to avoid densely populated areas with lots of traffic.

Ultimately, it’s your decision. Any discounted premiums will come from Allstate’s calculations and your driving performance. Whether or not you enroll in Drivewise, it's a good idea to reassess your car insurance situation once every six months to ensure your policy is the best fit for your budget and profile. Enter your ZIP code below to see what you could save. 

 

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