Here’s how we evaluate usage-based insurance discount programs like Allstate Drivewise.
We take a look at exactly what data the program uses to base discounts on. Typically, programs track braking, location, miles driven, phone use while driving, speed, acceleration and the time of day you’re driving. We prefer programs that detect trips automatically and crash detection is an extra feature we appreciate but is not a necessity. Ideally, the insurance company encrypts this data and doesn’t share it with third parties for marketing purposes.
We consider where the program is available, as not all programs are available in all states.
Whether the program should operate through a mobile app, a plug-in device or a combination of the two is a personal preference. While mobile apps are more straightforward, they may drain your phone battery, unlike a plug-in device. If the program uses an app, we check its ratings on the Google Play and Apple App stores.
We prefer programs that offer potential insurance discounts of up to 30 percent or higher, plus discounts just for signing up. Another essential feature we consider is whether the program could increase your insurance rate instead of reducing it. Some programs could increase your cost if you drive unsafely, so we prioritize programs that won’t do this regardless of driving data.