Telematics-powered auto insurance is a relatively new type of policy in which insurance companies rely on in-car tracking devices to monitor someone’s driving habits. Telematics policies can usually give good drivers and those who don’t drive frequently much cheaper rates.
However, in a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. drivers, The Zebra found that many drivers still don’t know what telematics is, yet 25% of people said they consider switching to telematics if it guaranteed financial savings.
So, should you look into a telematics policy? Could it save you money? To find out, use the infographic below to figure out if telematics could reduce your car insurance rate or if you should stick with a more traditional policy.
Telematics might not be for you.
If you drive a lot, tend to have unsafe driving habits or feel uneasy about your insurance company tracking your driving through your cell phone or another small device, then a telematics plan may not be the right choice for you. Typically, drivers with long commutes don’t enjoy the benefit of lower rates from usage-based insurance, and night drivers may see higher-than-expected insurance rates. However, that doesn’t mean you should write telematics off altogether. We recommend calling your insurance company to talk about if they offer a telematics program and, if so, which types of drivers see the most significant cost reduction.
Telematics might save you a lot of money!
If you don’t drive a lot (like maybe you work from home, bike or take public transit to work), telematics could potentially save you a lot of money on your car insurance policy — especially if you’re a generally safe driver. Usage-based plans like this can circumvent the potential unfairness of auto insurers pricing quotes based on non-driving factors like credit score or location by taking into consideration relevant driving-related data. Plus, you may be incentivized to use your car less frequently, alleviating wear and tear and reducing the likelihood of a collision.
You don’t need a telematics policy.
If you don’t drive but still own a car, ask your insurance company about “storage coverage” to save some extra money. With storage coverage, liability and collision coverages are dropped, leaving comprehensive-only coverage. Your car is protected against events like vandalism, theft, hail/lightning, damage caused by animals and damage caused by weather. This type of coverage reduces your premium without canceling your insurance, so you avoid a lapse.