Telematics insurance is a type of car insurance that bases your insurance rate on how far and how safely you drive. Insurance companies use telematics to track your driving distances and behavior, and then use that data to assess how much risk the way you drive might pose. This risk assessment is then used to calculate your insurance premium.
Your insurance company will provide you a “black box” device that attaches to your car, or an app that you can download to your phone. Both the device and the app then track your driving behavior – including speed, breaking and acceleration, among other factors. The black box device has a SIM card that records your driving information and sends that data back to the insurance company. The phone app uses your car’s GPS capabilities to record data on your driving behavior and sends it back to your insurer.
The company then uses this data to analyze how safe your driving behavior is and calculates your insurance premium accordingly. The safer and less you drive, the more you save.
No, you can’t get weekend car insurance. There’s no way to buy coverage that only applies to Friday-through-Sunday driving because reputable insurers do not sell policies for less than six months.
State laws require drivers to have proof of financial responsibility, which is almost always met with minimum car insurance. A policy that covered a car only on certain days of the week would be illegal. There are still ways to save on car insurance if you’re a weekend driver, though.… read full answer
Pay-per-mile insurance has usage-based premiums for infrequent drivers
Pay-per-mile insurance policies price premiums based on how you drive. This model has become more popular as insurers have introduced telematics programs—electronic devices that attach to your car or operate through a phone app to track mileage and other driving behaviors.
Pay-per-mile insurance can be purchased through:
State Farm Drive Safe & Save
Liberty Mutual RightTrack
Metromile (available in CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, WA, VA)
Policies are cheaper when adjusted for infrequent drivers
Insurance premiums are related to your driving habits, which is why insurers want to know how you use your car and how often you drive. Here’s how being a weekend driver can save you money:
Non-owner car policy
If you don’t own a car but borrow or rent one frequently, a non-owner policy may be the coverage you need. It costs less than standard insurance because it works to supplement the car owner’s insurance policy if you get into an accident while driving someone else’s car.
Classic car policy
Car collectors may qualify for specialty coverage with a lower premium. Your car must not be used as a primary vehicle or driven more than 5,000 miles a year, and it has to be antique or exotic and secured in a garage.
Low mileage status
U.S. drivers average around 13,500 miles per year. If you drive less than the average person, you could get a lower premium—especially if you fall into the pleasure-driver bracket, driving between 0 and 5,000 miles per year.
If you really only need insurance for a weekend or two, you could always get coverage for a short time by purchasing a standard insurance policy and canceling it when you don’t need it anymore. If you cancel your policy, you’ll receive a prorated refund for the coverage you paid for but didn’t use. The downside is that your rates could go up the next time you need a policy, since insurers view lapses in coverage to be a greater risk.
Geico started using telematics to monitor participating customers’ driving habits electronically in 2019, when the company launched its DriveEasy program. Since then, Geico has expanded DiveEasy and its telematics program across 17 states and plans to offer access to more states 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.… read full answer
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:
Time of day
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.
States Where Geico's DriveEasy Program is Available
The best way to get cheaper car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple companies and then switch to whichever insurer offers the coverage you want at the cheapest rate. Other ways to get cheaper car insurance rates include taking advantage of discounts, improving your driving record and raising your credit score. Switching to a car that is cheaper to insure or even moving to an area where car insurance rates are lower, on average, could produce a lot of savings, too. … read full answer
Car insurance premiums are based on drivers’ individual risk factors as well as the coverage types and limits they choose. Changing these factors will therefore affect the price of your car insurance policy.
10 Ways to Get Cheaper Car Insurance
1. Compare quotes every 6-12 months.
Every car insurance company calculates premiums slightly differently, so the quote you get from one company can easily be hundreds of dollars more expensive than another company’s quote. Getting quotes from multiple insurers every time you need to renew your policy can help you realize if you’re overpaying for the same amount of coverage.
2. Take advantage of discounts.
All major car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts, which can save drivers as much as 35% in some cases. For instance, many insurers offer multi-policy and multi-car discounts, as well as good student and good driver discounts, and more.
3. Increase your deductible.
Raising your deductible will lower your premium, though it’s important to choose a deductible amount that you can afford in an emergency. A car insurance deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket before your insurer will cover the rest. Deductibles apply to several types of coverage, including collision and comprehensive insurance.
Usage-based insurance is a type of car insurance that calculates your premium based on your driving habits. Each company’s usage-based program varies, but most consider your total mileage, braking, acceleration, and speed. These programs are ideal for safe drivers, especially those who do not use their cars for long commutes or frequent trips.
6. Choose a car that is inexpensive to insure.
Cars that are particularly fast, powerful, and/or costly to repair are among the most expensive to insure. Insurers also charge higher premiums for cars that are more likely to be stolen. The next time you go car shopping, compare insurance quotes for different models in advance with this in mind. And if your premiums are prohibitively expensive now, consider trading in your vehicle for a car that is cheap to insure.
7. Take a defensive driving course.
In some states, insurance companies are required to give you a discount for completing a defensive driving course. Even where it isn't mandatory, insurers will sometimes provide a discount to encourage customers to improve their driving technique.
If your insurer does not lower your premium just for taking a course, working on your driving skills will still pay off in the long run and help you keep your record clean. On that note, certain states also allow you to take a course in order to prevent driver’s license points from affecting your car insurance rates.
8. Consider your coverage types and amounts.
All the different types of car insurance can make it difficult to determine what exactly is worth paying for. At a minimum, you need to fulfill your state’s requirements and also purchase any coverage your lender or lessor requires. But beyond that, you can weigh whether each add-on coverage option is worth the price.
Moving violations like speeding tickets signal to your insurer that you are a risky driver, as do serious convictions like reckless driving. By driving safely, you can keep yourself safe and your premium low. If you have tickets or at-fault accidents on your driving record already, work on driving carefully from now on, since they will only affect your rate for a few years.
10. Check out local and regional companies.
Large car insurance companies spend billions on advertising every year, but smaller insurers may be able to provide the cheapest premiums in some cases. So, when you’re shopping around, make sure to compare quotes from companies of all sizes. You can use WalletHub’s cheap car insurance guide as a starting point. Just click on your state to compare the cheapest insurers.
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