State Farm Using Ford Sync To Help Policy Holders To Lower Rates, A Look into the Future?
Vehicle owners are always looking for ways to lower their insurance rates. Insurers are using technology to help their policy holders to accomplish this goal. But with every effort to lower rates there is a tradeoff. In the case of auto insurance, policy holders are being asked to give up a little of their privacy for lower insurance rates.
In 2011, State Farm Insurance introduced a program called “Drive Safe & Save.” The program scores a policy holder’s driving skill and prices their policy according to the results. The premium could go down, but it also could go up. Progressive Insurance has a similar program called “Snapshot.”
As a new part of State Farm’s program, Ford owners with SYNC-equipped vehicles can go a step further. On an opt-in basis customers can allow State Farm to track their vehicles’ mileage. Drivers who do not put many miles on their vehicles could see rates fall. The opposite could happen to drivers with long daily commutes. The program will start in Utah before a nationwide rollout.
The tracking of miles driven is not unique to State Farm. A number of companies electronically track the mileage of company-owned vehicles. This service is available through a number of third-party providers. OnStar sends customers a monthly email detailing the odometer reading and several other vital vehicle statistics.
Most vehicles are now equipped with airplane-like black boxes. The Department of Transportation is considering mandating black boxes in all vehicles. The quiet and privacy of a Sunday ride in the country may be a thing of the distant past.