Allstate Insurance has unleashed an insurance program app that determines your monthly payments based on your driving skills. Most insurance programs evaluate a series of demographic factors like age, income, marital status, gender, income, and education level to calculate your premiums. Of course, your driving skills cannot be accurately judged based on criteria such as a master’s degree or whether or not you’re divorced. These are arbitrary circumstances that end up forcing a driver to pay a high premium even if they’ve never so much as received a ticket. That’s why Allstate’s Drivewise and other insurance companies are rolling out performance-based insurance plans, so that that people can pay rates that are equivalent to their driving skills rather than their socio-economic background. However, there’s nothing simplistic about Allstate’s program. It requires diligent attention-to-detail, leaves no room for error, and is best used on an unlimited data plan. Still curious? Here’s how Drivewise works:
Drivers use Drivewise’s GPS monitor gadget or keep the Allstate app open on their phone while they’re on the road, so it can learn your driving habits, breaking patterns, average speeds, and typical driving times. It will aggregate all of this data to determine your premium. According to Allstate, you can save up to 30 percent on a typical payment. However, many users say this discount is mostly a myth, as drivers are required to only be on the road during “low risk hours” in order to qualify.
Here’s Allstate’s risk-level time frame:
Moderate risk: 11am to 10pm
High risk: 10pm to 4am
Low risk: 4am to 11am
Driving during ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ risk times will lower the discount. Same with moments of abrupt high speeds and acceleration when you drive over 80 mph or you accelerate faster than eight mph-per second; low battery levels; accelerometer events, which happens when your car pushes past the “At” trigger; and breaking events, which Allstate defines as “slowing down between 8 mph and 10 mph over a 1 second interval.” Of course, no one can stop those moments when you have to slam on the breaks to save a raccoon that just dashed across the highway. Unfortunately, there’s no exception for those.
One user blogged about his experience with Drivewise, and was only able to achieve a seven percent discount after being graded a “B-“ for mileage, “A” for breaking, “C” for time of day, and “A+” for speed.
With the app, Allstate pledges to not raise your pre-existing premium. The incentive to sign up are the performance-based discounts. The app will send text warnings if it senses unsafe driving, and will remember exactly where you parked and sends meter alerts. Drivers can also complete “challenges” to earn Allstate Reward Points and cash back through other services. Those with a strict cellular data plan should be wary, as the app claims to use around 9KB each trip. The app requires the phone’s battery life to be at least 25 percent, and you will probably want to buy a charger.
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