Telematics Inside Look: GEICO DriveEasy
What is DriveEasy?
The state of auto insurance looks a bit different in 2023, as companies work to deliver more personalized options to drivers. Telematics is one such technology that aims to provide more accurate coverage to drivers based on how they drive. GEICO’s new DriveEasy program, is one such coverage, giving drivers the potential to receive up to a 25% discount.
So, does GEICO DriveEasy deliver on its promise?
What’s inside the DriveEasy app
DriveEasy is only available for current GEICO customers. However, anyone on your policy can use it — though you’ll have to invite them to register.
The DriveEasy Dashboard gives you access to all kinds of information about your driving. After downloading the DriveEasy app, you can quickly view:
- Recent trips: DriveEasy will log all your trips — no need to open the app. You’ll find information on your trip, where changes could be made and tips for improving your driving.
- Driving score: DriveEasy calculates scores for driving behaviors like phone use, speed and hard braking. Your total score is based on how many times DriveEasy detects those actions during a trip.
- Driving streaks: DriveEasy will let you know how your score improves (or decreases) over time, so you can try and record a streak of safe driving.
While other telematics programs, like Progressive Snapshot, offer a device to attach to the inside of your car in addition to an app, DriveEasy calculates everything from your phone. GEICO provides a “set it and forget it” model, so once you’ve logged into the app and set up your permissions and notifications, you’ll never have to log out as DriveEasy collects information.
Where is DriveEasy available?
While GEICO hints that DriveEasy will be more widely available in the future, the DriveEasy program is currently available to eligible GEICO policyholders in the following states:
|Connecticut||District of Columbia|
Other DriveEasy features
Your score will be impacted by your driving behavior, such as quickly accelerating or braking. DriveEasy also measures your phone use, calculating two different types of distracted driving.
The first, “phone in hand,” consists of interacting with your phone for any reason when you’re driving faster than six miles per hour, whether you’re tapping your phone or holding it. This could be texting a friend, choosing a new song on your playlist or even updating your destination on a map. The second, “hand held calls,” includes any calls made without Bluetooth.
Both of those behaviors will impact your DriveEasy score, and ultimately, your premium. However, hands-free phone calls and passive phone use — on a mount with the screen on — won’t affect your score.
DriveEasy scores can take 24 to 48 hours to process and update. The app may also incorrectly calculate trips where you weren’t the driver or were on a bus or train. You can change any trips that need correcting directly within the app, which could help improve your score. You can also select individual events on each trip’s map, so you can see where things like phone usage started and ended.
How DriveEasy affects your phone and privacy
Once you’ve downloaded the app, completed your registration, and set up your phone’s permissions (including turning location services data on), DriveEasy will log your trips for as long as you’re logged into the app. When your trip ends, the app uploads data to the cloud, processes it and sends your trip information and scores back to your phone.
DriveEasy uses about as much data as other GPS apps, but since location and tracking services must always be on, it can zap your battery during longer trips. User feedback and interaction is used to make future improvements and offer safe driving tips.
DriveEasy’s impact on your premium
Will you save money with DriveEasy? That depends on how safely you drive, as well as where you live.
GEICO evaluates your score when it’s time to renew your policy. They claim most customers will receive a discount beyond their first term, assuming they show safe driving habits. However, if you’re a riskier driver, you may see your premium increase.
GEICO can also remove an individual from DriveEasy if they’re not “actively participating” in the program. For example, if you often carpool with another member of your policy, DriveEasy may remove the passenger from the program.
The final word
Whether you find DriveEasy worthwhile partly depends on how safely you drive, as well as how frequently you use your phone during a trip, even if it’s only to set and access a map.
Some reviewers complain about the accuracy of the DriveEasy app, and there’s also the issue of GEICO not being able to tell when someone else is using your phone. If you do sign up for DriveEasy, make sure to keep your phone either in a hands-free holder or completely out of view.
In the end, it’s your decision. Whether you sign up with DriveEasy or not, it's a good idea to reassess your car insurance situation once every six months to ensure you are receiving the best deal. Enter your ZIP code below to see what you could save.
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