Telematics Auto Insurance: Save Money and Drive Safe

By: Ben Cavallo, CIC, AAI, CISR

Together with partner Keith Signoriello, Ben Cavallo is the principal and co-owner of C&S Insurance.

Car insurance may not be at the top of your mind when you start your morning commute, but safety should be. Creating safe driving habits is important, especially with new or teen drivers. Distracted driving is a serious problem, and was responsible for 3,132 deaths in 2020. To help reduce distracted driving, insurance carriers are offering telematics auto insurance, which tracks driving behavior and rewards safe drivers. Read on to learn more.

What Is Telematics in Auto Insurance?

Telematics is a type of technology that can track and transmit driver behavior. Insurance carriers can provide drivers with a telematics program that can give you discounts or other incentives for safe driving. Commercial fleets have been using telematics for years to track driver behavior, but it’s newer to personal drivers. We expect to see a rise in personal car insurance telematics over the next three to five years.

Car insurance telematics is designed to reduce distracted driving by tracking behaviors such as:

  • Hard braking
  • Speeding
  • Cornering (taking a corner too sharply or quickly)
  • Phone usage while driving
  • Mileage
  • Acceleration

In addition to these behaviors, insurance telematics also tracks mileage driven, acceleration and “dangerous time,” which spans from midnight to 4 a.m. Telematics auto insurance is popular with parents of teen drivers, but anyone can benefit.

How Does Telematics in Insurance Work?

Once the telematics program is set up with your carrier, the driver will download a phone application and allow it access to certain capabilities, such as GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth. The application will then collect driving data and rate the driver’s safety.

Telematics Insurance for Families

For families with multiple drivers or cars, it’s possible to set up multiple user accounts within a telematics program. Parents can track their kid’s driving habits, and some families may opt for a friendly competition to see who gets the best safe driving score.

Some of the telematics insurers in Massachusetts include Arbella, Mapfre, Plymouth Rock and Safety Insurance. If you’re interested in getting telematics insurance, please contact one of our experienced, local agents.

Benefits of Insurance Telematics

There are a variety of benefits available, including:

  • Personalized driver feedback and personal insights helps highlight driving behavior to improve.
  • Lower insurance premium up to 10%.
  • Rewards for safe driving, such as free movie tickets, discounted fuel and gift cards.

Can Using Telematics Increase My Rate?

In some instances rates might increase if you are deemed an unsafe driver. According to Chuck Quealy, COO of C&S Insurance, “It [telematics tracking software] isn’t for everybody. If you have young operators or think you are the safest driver on the road why not get credit for it.”.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I sign up for telematics auto insurance?
A: You can reach out to your insurance representatives and they can assist with easy online enrollment and app installation.

Q: Can multiple drivers use telematics in the same car?
A: Yes, since it’s phone app based, you can create multiple user accounts on one account. You can turn the app off if you’re a passenger.

Q: How does telematics auto insurance fit into regular auto insurance?
A: Insurance telematics included in your auto insurance policy. Since it’s so early in the adoption phase, you may get a credit or discount just for enrolling.

Q: How much does telematics auto insurance cost?
A: Nothing! It’s a free additional service offered by many carriers that can be included with your auto insurance policy.

Q: Can insurance carriers surcharge my policy?
A: Yes, in some instances. This program might not be for everyone.

Q: What if I don’t like my telematics program?
A: You can cancel the telematics program and delete your account with no penalty.

When Claims Arise, Your Insurance Agent Should Be Your Advocate

Today’s consumers are used to buying things online. So it’s not surprising that many of them go straight to a “direct writer” insurance company (all those big names that advertise during the Super Bowl) when they need home or auto insurance. The problem? When a claim arises, that direct writer agent is more loyal to his company than he is to you. Who’s going to ensure you get a fair and speedy resolution to repair your home or replace your car? An independent agent, that’s who.

Meet Your Advocate