Don't Waste Your Money: Driving habits determine discounts - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: Driving habits determine discounts

Snapshot is how Progressive monitors its drivers to award discounts. Snapshot is how Progressive monitors its drivers to award discounts.

(Toledo News Now) - Do you like taking long road trips, driving overnight or hitting the gas pedal hard when the light turns green? If so, you may soon have to pay more for the privilege.

Insurers Want to Watch You

You may not love what's coming from your insurer in the next few years. Critics are calling it "Big Brother auto insurance."

The Wall Street Journal says more and more insurers are rolling out discounts for good drivers, if you agree to let them monitor your driving.

To get a discount with each, you need to install a device that monitors how much you drive, what time of day you drive, how fast you go and how hard you brake.

You install the device in your car's OBD-2 diagnostic port, under the steering wheel.

Doesn't That Stink?

But from the "doesn't that stink" file, you won't qualify for the best discounts if you like long road trips.
The Wall Street Journal says if you spend hours on the road, rack up lots of miles and drive in the wee hours of the night, these programs will notice and ding you. Instead of a 20 percent discount, it may be only 10 percent or none at all. Doesn't that stink?

Insurers say they won't raise your rates based on too much hard driving, but some bloggers who have used these devices claim they have a lot of downsides.

Some say they have been penalized for stopping at yellow lights because it's considered "hard braking." These bloggers claim that as a result, the devices may be encouraging drivers to run red lights because the device won't record a hard braking "event."

Slam on the brakes to avoid running over a cat? That counts against you. Keep going and flatten the cat? The device won't register anything.

That really stinks.

Critics claim Big Brother insurance programs may be best for retirees who drive to the grocery story and church on Sunday.

The good news? These programs are strictly voluntary, for now at least.

As always, don't waste your money.

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