You can’t flip on the news or pull up your favorite news aggregator website without seeing something about the next breakthrough alternative energy innovation or how the car of the future will get hundreds of miles to the gallon.
But, did you know that technology is helping drivers save money on their car insurance bills, too? Even if you drive an old beater or a junk heap, you can still save money on car insurance.
We’re all familiar with the promise of futuristic cars and new sources of energy that will save you money on transportation. When we think about innovative car technologies that save drivers dough, the first thought that comes to mind is often something eco-minded that saves money on gas. While improvements on gas mileage are obvious and heavily advertised, there are a whole lot of lesser-known technological solutions hitting the market that can help us save big on car insurance, too. The problem is that many drivers just don’t know about them. You may be aware of some of them – like comparison-shopping online – but others are lesser known, and savvy, frugal drivers need to learn about them. If you’re a savvy, frugal driver, just keep reading.
We’re going to outline how you can save money on car insurance using current technology that virtually anyone can access.
Your iPhone is a portal to savings. The App Store is a great place to start if you want to start saving money on car insurance.
Let’s take a look at some examples of great mobile apps.
- Mobile Phone Quoting – Progressive has an app that will make getting auto insurance quotes much easier, and it will also help the quote be more accurate. You can then make a smarter decision about which provider to go with. All you need to do is snap a picture of your driver’s license and the VIN of your vehicle, and the app does the rest.
- Steer Clear – The Steer Clear app from State Farm is for any driver between the ages of 16 to 24. It makes use of a number of learning devices, like videos, tests, and supervised driving practices. If you complete them, you qualify for a discount of up to 15%.
- DriveSharp – The DriveSharp from Posit Science gives you a number of brain-training exercises to work out. They’re designed to help elderly drivers stop sooner, respond faster and process a lot going on at once on the road. Apps like this could help you become a much safer driver.
You can now install tech in your car to save money. For instance, the Progressive Snapshot device keeps track of your driving history, including how fast and much you drive. You could save up to 30% on your insurance if you rarely crash and are a safe driver. This could be a good thing for drivers who are often overcharged, like younger drivers.
Allstate, State Farm, and National General have similar tech. They all do something a little different. Some use a piece of tech you plug into your steering column. Others operate like an on-board communications system.
Blind Spot Sensors
There is a plethora of cameras and sensors installed in newer model car to help you drive safer. Blind spot sensors offer an extra level of protection.
Electronic Stability Control
You could get a discount with this one. This already comes standard in many newer vehicles. It helps you maintain control of your vehicle in an extreme steering situation. It lowers the chance of your vehicle flipping over. Ask your insurance agent if you could get a discount for driving a vehicle outfitted with electronic stability control.
Drive Smart Pilot Program
This one is soon to come. The NYC Department of Transportation is partnering up with Allstate on the Drive Smart program. According to the official website for the program, 400 NYC drivers will have data-tracking devices put in their cars. The data tracking devices are similar to the devices in the Progressive Snapshot program. Drivers get full and open access to a whole bunch of services and mobile apps that reward environmentally friendly travel choices and safe driving habits – as well as enrollment in a usage-based insurance program. The program is due to be completed in August 2016. The people behind the program hope to broaden it, if the pilot program proves successful. Pilot programs like these are popping up more and more. Insurance companies are always looking for technologies and tricks that will help create win-win situations for everyone involved. Most people who get on the programs stay on them. The hard part is getting them to sign over their driving privacy in the first place.
For several years, drivers didn’t pay as much for auto insurance if they could prove low mileage. Now, insurers are utilizing new gadgets to track customers’ driving habits, and offering serious discounts to those people who aren’t only driving less, but also more safely.
There are lots of other ways you can save, too. If you weren’t optimizing your car insurance before, you should start now. Why pay more than you have to? A little effort here and there can pay off big later. Don’t be scared about joining a pilot program or asking your insurer how you can save money on car insurance. Take a chance, and you’ll be rewarded with a lower insurance rate.
Many big insurance companies – like Progressive, Geico, Allstate, Statefarm, and more – are setting up new programs to help their customers drive safer and save more money. In fact, it’s the wave of the future. Technology is changing the way we monitor driving behavior, and it is opening up new opportunities to insurance companies to help their customers save a lot of dough. Usage-based insurance pricing would likely lead to 67% of households paying less than they do now. Plus, these programs can help could help reduce carbon emissions and ease traffic congestion.