With insurance rates continuously going up each year, people are looking for ways to save money any way they can. One of the biggest discounts drivers can receive is by using telematics.
Telematics are an increasingly popular option that’s offered by most of the biggest car insurance companies. Allstate’s telematics program is called Drivewise, and drivers could save up to 30% off their car insurance premiums by using it.
But what is Drivewise exactly, and can drivers really save up to 30%? Learn more about this program, below.
What is Drivewise?
Drivewise is a telematics program offered through Allstate. Each insurance company has a different name for their telematics programs, and they do differ slightly in how they work, but for the most part, all telematics programs are similar.
The purpose of telematics is to allow drivers to have some control over their premiums. Similar to a safe driving discount, it realizes that each driver is unique and allows each person to have an impact and say on what their premiums are.
However, insurance, as part of its definition, is risk spread over a variety of people. So there is little personalization when it comes to insurance ratings, but telematics is one way that insurance companies are bridging the gap.
Telematics devices come in either a small device that is easily installed in your vehicle or through a mobile phone app. Telematics device track most aspects of your driving, but most insurance companies only score on a few aspects of your driving.
Allstate’s Drivewise program doesn’t use a device anymore, they only use the app. Allstate has one of the longer programs as well, with the Drivewise program lasting for an entire policy period.
Speed – Drivewise does look at your speed, which other telematics programs usually don’t. However, Allstate claims that they are mainly looking at safe speeds, which is defined as anything under 80mph. So as long as you keep it under 80, you should be able to get a good score in the speed category.
Acceleration/Deceleration – Drivewise also looks at how fast you accelerate and how fast you break. The reasons that speeding up quickly and braking hard are considered dangerous are because they can lead to more accidents. People braking too fast can cause the vehicle behind them to crash into them. Accelerating too fast can cause other vehicles to mistime intersection crossings, which also lead to accidents.
However, it is this particular section of Drivewise which seems to cause drivers the most grief. Sometimes, braking hard is unavoidable. This is particularly true while driving in cities, but can also be true if you must brake to avoid an accident.
It’s possible to call Allstate to explain a particular situation where you had a brake hard to avoid an accident, but their willingness to actually remove that hard brake from your driving tally will vary with the situation.
Time of Day – Allstate divides the day up into low, moderate, and high-risk periods of time. Low risk is defined as between 4 am and 11 am, Moderate risk is defined as 11 am to 10 pm, and High risk is between 10 pm and 4 am.
Some people have complaints about the moderate risk category since this is when most driving is done. However, that is precisely why it is labeled moderate risk. Between 11 am and 10 pm is when most people are out and about, picking up kids from school, running errands, and returning from work. This is the time that accidents are likely to happen to any type of driver, even good drivers, simply because that’s the time that most drivers are on the road.
How Much Can It Save?
Allstate claims that you could save up to 21% through Drivewise, with some states offering up to 30%. Just for signing up and successfully completing the program, you are guaranteed to receive a 3%. This means that no matter how bad you might score on the program, Allstate is guaranteeing a 3% discount off your premiums. They will not raise your rates as a result of your Drivewise score.
Does It Actually Save People Money?
Most people do save money by using Drivewise, although it is nearly impossible to save the full amount of 21-30%. To do this, you would need to drive only in the mornings, and never have a hard brake or quick acceleration.
City drivers tend to fare worse on Drivewise than people who drive more on highways and uncongested interstates, simply because of all of the stop/start traffic. A city driver might only be able to save 3-5%, but that could still have a significant impact on your premiums.
If you don’t live in a crowded city and have a regular driving schedule, you can realistically expect to save between 7-15% on your car insurance with Drivewise.
Allstate’s Drivewise might not be a perfect program for everyone, and it’s best to participate in the program without high expectations for getting that 20-30% discount.
However, it is a good program that enables drivers to control part of their auto insurance premiums. Ultimately, Drivewise rewards those Allstate customers who practice safe driving habits.