Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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UPDATED: Sep 24, 2020

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The Hartford TrueLane Review Summary
The Hartford TrueLane SummaryDataFrom the Experts...
Usage-Based InsurancePrograms to track driving habits have been around for a decade in the United StatesNational Association of Insurance Commissioners
Insurance PremiumsAn accident or incident could raise rates as much as $1000 annuallyQuadrant Data
Telematics DevicesUsed in millions of cars in the US annually to track driving habitsThe Insurance Information Institute
TrueLane ProgramUses telematics device to track driving behaviors
and discount rates annually
The Hartford
TrueLane DiscountUp to 25% promised - actual discount ranges from 10%-15%Quadrant Data
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This The Hartford TrueLane review is for those interested in lowering their car insurance rates. The usage-based Hartford TrueLane program is one way you might save on your auto insurance.

TrueLane uses information about when and how far you drive as well as your speed and braking habits to determine your eligibility for a discount. If you have Hartford auto insurance, the program touts as much as a 25 percent discount on rates. There’s a lot of effort involved in researching the best car insurance companies and their programs, but we can help.

If you pay Hartford insurance rates that you’d like to lower, or are looking at The Hartford quotes and are interested in TrueLane, we will help you understand all of the details of this program to decide if it is right for you. From TrueLane app reviews to how to use it, we’ve got all the details.

To search for lower rates, you can begin with our FREE tool above to browse different insurance plans before jumping into our The Hartford TrueLane review.

Table of Contents

About The Hartford TrueLane

The Hartford has been in the usage-based auto insurance game since 2012 when they first introduced TrueLane. The program has not changed much over time. The Hartford continues to use the plug-in device that was once the only option for collecting data. Recently, an app has been introduced that also tracks trips and driving actions.

TrueLane collects several pieces of information, including the time of day of each of your trips and the distance traveled. It also collects data on incidents of hard braking and rate of acceleration. The data collected is fairly minimal for this type of program and similar to what other companies use.

The program collects data for 180 days of driving. This is longer than some companies that only collect for 90 days, but closer to the average. Many companies are choosing to collect data for a longer time frame to get a better picture of driving habits. To continually collect data and adjust rates, some companies have even taken the step of keeping the program going on an ongoing basis.

The chart below highlights the varying data collection times for different companies. The TrueLane program is in line with similar programs.

Usage-Based Car Insurance Program Evaluation Periods by Company
ProgramEvaluation Period
Allstate DriveWiseOngoing data collection
Esurance DriveSenseOngoing data collection - 50 trips each policy term
Liberty Mutual RightTrack90 days
Nationwide SmartRide6 months
Progressive Snapshot6 months
State Farm Drive SafeOngoing data collection
The Hartford TrueLane180 days
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Currently, Hartford TrueLane insurance is only available in select states, although expansion is planned in the future. The site promises discounts of up to 25 percent but is upfront about what drivers can realistically expect, stating that the average discount is between 10-12 percent. Upon enrolling and installing the device, drivers will get a 10 percent discount during the evaluation period.

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How TrueLane Works

So what does TrueLane do? There are a few types of telematics devices that can track your driving. TrueLane mostly relies on a plug-in device but has recently also introduced the use of an app to track driving habits. The plug-in and the app work to transmit the information as you drive.

When you receive the plug-in telematics device, you must install it in your car. After it’s plugged in and activated, it begins tracking all of your trips and driving habits. The information is sent back through a third-party system, Octo, Inc., which gathers data and sends it on to The Hartford.

Truelane has recently launched an app similar to other insurance programs that also tracks driving habits and logs trip data. The Hartford app operates similarly to that of other programs. Users can use your Hartford Truelane login on the website to see what data has been submitted and follow their progress in the program.

The device collects data for 180 days of actual driving, after which you can unplug it and send it back in a pre-paid envelope. The actual length of the program will be longer than 180 days if you do not drive every day. The device must record at least 180 days of driving before your discount is calculated.

Once the data collection period is over, The Hartford Truelane discount will be calculated to be applied on the next renewal. Like most insurance companies, they offer an initial discount just for enrolling. This 10 percent discount is then replaced by the calculated discount when the policy is renewed.

TrueLane can be added to each of the cars in your household as long as they meet the requirements. A discount will be calculated for each vehicle. The discount for one vehicle and driver does not apply to any other vehicle or driver.

What TrueLane Records

TrueLane records several data items. This data is transmitted back to The Hartford and is then used to impact discounts on your rate.

To learn more about how this device works, check out this brief video.

The Hartford’s program records information in a few categories. The plug-in device will record these four driving habits:

  • Time of Day: When you drive your vehicle
  • Distance: The total mileage you drive
  • Braking: Incidents of hard braking are recorded
  • Acceleration: The rate at which you accelerate
  • Location

Unlike some other systems, TrueLane does not record your actual speed. It only notes incidents of quick acceleration.

How TrueLane Information Is Used

The Hartford uses the information on the list to calculate your discount. The information is also used anonymously for research that is designed to help improve the program and create a database of driving habits.

Although the device uses GPS tracking to record location information for your car, that is not part of the discount calculation. Location information is intended only for the use of the driver, and it can be viewed on the website.

The Hartford does use a third-party service, as mentioned above, for device management, but this company does not use any of the collected information.

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TrueLane Discounts

The Hartford offers a 10 percent enrollment discount just for signing up for the TrueLane program. This discount stays on your policy throughout the program and until your next renewal unless you choose to opt-out of the program.

After the program term is over, a discount is calculated based on what was recorded. The website states that this discount could be as much as 25 percent.

The 25 percent discount is a more realistic promise than some programs that promise 30 percent or more in discounts. A survey of drivers notes that the actual discount seen for these programs is 10-15 percent.

The Hartford attempts to be straightforward and honest about how much of a discount you can hope to get. The average is about 10-12 percent according to their site, which is right in line with what drivers usually see from any usage-based program.

The chart below outlines The Hartford’s Average Premium savings you could see with TrueLane.

The Hartford Average Car Insurance Rate Savings with TrueLane

TureLane StatusThe Hartford Average 6-Month Rates
Average Rates without Truelane$1464
Average Premium with TrueLane $1317 - $1288
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Unlike some other programs, there is no chance of a rate increase from the TrueLane program. The Hartford does not penalize drivers with higher rates even if the data collected shows risky driving habits.

The hope with all of these programs is that being made aware of dangerous habits will result in efforts to improve. Drivers who do not meet the standards for a discount will not have their rates changed on renewal, for better or for worse.

The discounts, both for enrollment and earned, are only applicable to certain coverages. The site does not state which coverages those are, but generally, this means a discount on your liability coverage, but not optional coverages.

This is fairly standard for this type of program since it’s your liability rate that reflects how the insurance company has rated you based on several factors. The TrueLane data is added to those factors to determine the risk level you represent.

Wherever you live, your state will have a minimum required liability coverage. While the minimum requirements might be the cheapest option, it isn’t going to provide full protection. Full protection from any insurer could be a significant cost. Programs like TrueLane can help save you money. Looking for car insurance discounts through your insurer will help offset your premiums.

Eligibility for TrueLane

To be eligible for TrueLane, you must be a car insurance customer of The Hartford and have a vehicle that is from 1996 or newer.

The website also notes that electric, hybrid, and diesel vehicles are not eligible for the program due to difficulties with collecting accurate information.

TrueLane appears to be available to both new and existing customers, and it can be applied to any of the vehicles on the policy individually. Enrolling one vehicle doesn’t mean you have to enroll any others.

How to Install the TrueLane Device

After enrollment and acceptance of the terms of service, the TrueLane plug-in device will be sent to you through the mail.

The device is plugged into the OBD-II port in your vehicle, which is usually located under the dash. The device is shipped with installation instructions. CarMD offers a useful guide to finding the port located on your vehicle if you are having trouble.

The short video below gives you a brief example of installing one of these devices in your car. The limitation here is that the car must be the model year 1996 or later for these devices to plug in and work.

Once the device is properly installed and a few trips have been recorded, an email is sent out providing information on logging into the TrueLane website where you can view the information being collected and review your trip data.

The device should stay in place for the duration of the data collection period. After the program is complete, you can unplug the device and send it back in the postage-paid envelope.

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How TrueLane Stacks Up

TrueLane is a pretty basic and straightforward usage-based program.

With the introduction of the mobile app, The Hartford has updated its program to line up with competitors’ programs. That said, however, the reviews of The Hartford TrueLane app seem to show that it has some glitches and problems accurately recording trip data.

The Hartford has a website that will allow you to take care of your account as well. The Hartford change of address, Hartford insurance agents locator, Hartford provider portal, and The Hartford insurance cards can all be managed from the site. While the app is not yet as well developed as others, it will more than likely improve over time.

The table below shows where The Hartford’s program stacks up against the advertised discounts of similar programs from other companies.

Advertised Usage-Based Car Insurance Discounts by Company
ProgramDiscount
Allstate Drivewiseup to 25%
Geico DriveEasyup to 20%
Liberty Mutual RightTrackup to 30%
Nationwide SmartRideup to 40%
State Farm Drive Safeup to 30%
The Hartford TrueLaneup to 25%
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As there is no stated possibility of a rate increase, it generally appears that there is no real risk to using the TrueLane program. Even a small discount is better than no discount. It does appear that a small discount is what you will get with TrueLane.

TrueLane’s program length is a bit unusual, and it seems to make the program useless to some drivers, such as those that are retired and do not drive often. While most programs have a set length of time, TrueLane needs to record at least 180 driving days. There will be no discount calculated until you hit that milestone.

Hartford policies state that to get a discount on renewal, you would need to start the program right at your policy activation (or current renewal) date, and then drive your car every day for the full policy term.

This setup is a little strange considering one of the areas observed is driving mileage. Lower mileage drivers usually get lower rates. But with the 180-day requirement, it could take a low-mileage driver a long time to collect enough data. Some reviewers reported they gave up on the program because they do not drive enough.

Many of the customer Hartford Truelane reviews indicate they found the process frustrating. That seems to be common to most usage-based programs. Drivers generally disagree with the discount calculation and have difficulty understanding why their discount is so low. They also complain that the threshold for hard braking and quick acceleration is too stringent.

What is usage-based insurance?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says that Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) programs arrived around a decade ago as a mileage-based discount program linked to a GPS. These programs started as a discount program for good drivers. Telematics devices are plugged into cars and record driving information.

In 2018, the Insurance Information Institute estimated that there were 10 to 11 million telematics enabled insurance programs in place in the United States. That number has increased even more today as many consumers are looking for ways to save on insurance premiums.

With car accidents costing over $230 billion annually, Insurance companies are looking for ways to make America’s roads safer. Also, with accidents and other incidents, drivers are looking for ways to be safer drivers. Programs like TrueLane seek to accomplish both.

Tale a look at the following table that outlines how much an incident on your driving record can impact rates.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding ViolationAverage Annual Rates with One AccidentAverage Annual Rates with One DUI
USAA$1,933.68 $2,193.25 $2,516.24 $3,506.03
Geico$2,145.96 $2,645.43 $3,192.77 $4,875.87
American Family$2,693.61 $3,025.74 $3,722.75 $4,330.24
Nationwide$2,746.18 $3,113.68 $3,396.95 $4,543.20
State Farm$2,821.18 $3,186.01 $3,396.01 $3,636.80
Progressive$3,393.09 $4,002.28 $4,777.04 $3,969.65
Travelers$3,447.69 $4,260.80 $4,289.74 $5,741.40
Farmers$3,460.60 $4,079.01 $4,518.73 $4,718.75
Allstate$3,819.90 $4,483.51 $4,987.68 $6,260.73
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30 $5,701.26 $6,204.78 $7,613.48
Average Annual Rates$3,123.62 $3,669.10 $4,100.27 $4,919.62
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Filing The Hartford claims for just one accident could cost you over $1000 annually. Safe driving is in your best financial interest and a reason why TrueLane might be for you

The Hartford’s program operates similarly to other companies. This type of program has grown in popularity over the past few years, with most major insurance companies offering some form of discount for allowing them to monitor your driving habits.

It is an optional program aimed at giving good drivers a discount while also allowing drivers to track their habits and see what they can do to improve over time.

Take a look at the video below to understand how this trend has shaped insurance plans and drivers.

The Insurance Information Institute states that insurers are capturing data from millions of vehicles to create information profiles on driving behaviors to support UBI programs. These programs are saving drivers money all across America.

The Hartford TrueLane: The Bottom Line

TrueLane is not likely to save you a ton of money on your car insurance, but it may earn you a small discount. Considering that there isn’t a lot of effort involved, if you are already a customer of The Hartford it’s probably worth a try.

That said, it does not offer enough in the way of perks to make it worth switching insurance companies if you weren’t planning to already. You may well get a better rate elsewhere even without a usage-based discount. Still, it’s worth comparing The Hartford car insurance quotes to your existing policy to see if it might be worth a switch. To learn more about The Hartford, read our The Hartford review.

Now that you’ve read this TrueLane app review, use our free tool below to compare rates and plans.

References:

  1. https://content.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_telematicsusage_based_insurance.htm
  2. https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-telematics
  3. https://www.carmd.com/wp/locating-the-obd2-port-or-dlc-locator/