Geico started using telematics to monitor participating customers’ driving habits electronically in 2019, when the company launched its DriveEasy program. Only policyholders in Pennsylvania and Connecticut are currently able to register in the app, but Geico will continue to expand access in the near future.
Geico is testing the smartphone app in certain markets first because telematics programs are still pretty new to consumers. Only 10% to 15% of U.S. drivers had tried one, as of mid-2019.
How does the Geico telematics app work?
The Geico telematics app, DriveEasy, automatically detects when you’re driving without you having to open and close the app during trips. DriveEasy provides feedback on your driving and scores your habits to determine your discount. Currently, the app monitors:
- Distracted driving
- Hard braking
- Time of day
- Miles logged
Some of these behaviors impact your score more than others. Distracted driving and total driving distance are given the most weight since they are the most likely to increase your risk of an accident. Although the app logs both handheld phone calls and active phone use, it won’t penalize you for hands-free calls or mounting your phone on the dashboard to use the GPS.
The app can tell if you’re the driver or passenger by using your phone’s sensors and GPS location, so you won’t have other people’s driving habits affecting your score. If DriveEasy incorrectly makes you a driver on a trip, you are able to correct it.
How much is the Geico DriveEasy discount?
Geico guarantees you’ll get the full discount just for participating, which could be as much as 20%. How much you’ll save for trying the app depends on your location. Feedback from the DriveEasy app won’t be used to increase your premiums, but your discount may be reduced based on your score. The user agreement does say that Geico can use information from the app as part of its investigation of a claim, though.
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