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The vast majority of insurance discounts are calculated using generic risk factors such as age, sex, and habits. With vehicle monitoring devices, the actual driver can earn discounts based on their individual habits and performance.
How it Works
Allstate’s Drivewise uses a small device that plugs into a car’s OBDII connector. (The same port that mechanics use to read diagnostics and system messages.) This information is then transferred back to Allstate via secure wireless transmissions and used to determine any discounts.
The information is also available to view by the customer. They can log into their Allstate web portal and see stats about their driving habits and how it is impacting their premium.
The device collects the following data points:
- Braking Intensity and Speed
- Acceleration Rate
- Miles Driven Over 80 MPH
- Total Miles
- Time of Driving
- 11pm-4am – High Risk
- 12pm-11pm – Moderate Risk
- 4am – 12pm – Low Risk
When calculating premium discounts, Allstate uses the following factors:
- Braking Habits
- Time of Driving
Eligibility / Availability
To be eligible for Drivewise, you must be an Allstate auto insurance customer and live in one of these states:
AL AK AZ AR CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY ND OH OK OR PA RI SD TN UT VT VA WA WV WI WY D.C.
By simply signing up for the program, you get a 10% enrollment discount off your major insurance coverage for the first billing cycle. This means the main parts of your policy, like collision and comprehensive receive a discount. Add-ons like roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement do not qualify.
The total savings could be up to 30%, but Allstate does not tell you how to achieve that. In fact, I found no reports of anyone actually getting the full 30% discount during my research. The average seemed to be about 10-15%.
In order to install the Drivewise device, the car must have an OBDII port, which nearly all vehicles built after 1995 have. The installation process is actually pretty easy, too. You simply plug it in, and the device does the rest.
If you are unclear where your OBDII port is, refer to this guide for help.
When researching Drivewise, I came across a few things that seem either troubling or were a reoccurring complaint by those who have used it:
- Braking Events – There were a number of complaints about drivers getting dinged for braking events. Apparently, Allstate considers slowing down faster than 8 MPH per second as an event, which means stopping quick for yellow lights or dogs running into the road can impact your score.
- Moderate Risk Drive Time – The mid-level risk driving time is weekdays from 12pm to 11pm, which for most people is just about their entire day.
Despite its limitations, the Allstate Drivewise program should be considered by just about anyone who already has Allstate car insurance. There is no risk of your premiums going up, but you may be able to save a little.
Even though the marketing material claims savings up to 30%, it appears most people can expect somewhere in the 10-15% range. If you work from home or do not drive much, you may even save more.
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