National General SmartDrive Review – How Much Can You Save?

Last Updated on September 11, 2023

National General offers a driver-tracking program called SmartDrive. By activating SmartDrive and downloading the Routely app, you could save money.

How does SmartDrive work? Should you enroll in SmartDrive? Find out everything you need to know about National General’s telematics driver tracking program today in our review.

About SmartDrive

National General SmartDrive ReviewNational General offers a telematics driver tracking program called SmartDrive.

Like other driving tracking programs, SmartDrive tracks your driving habits and then charges customized rates based on those habits.

Someone who drives safely could save money on National General car insurance by signing up for SmartDrive.

Someone with unsafe driving habits, meanwhile, could pay more after using SmartDrive. Most drivers, however, save money by activating SmartDrive.

How Does SmartDrive Work?

National General makes it easy to sign up for SmartDrive and get started. Here’s how it works.

  • Step 1) Reach out to your independent insurance agent or call the National General customer service department. Tell them you want to enroll in SmartDrive.
  • Step 2) You receive a number from National General or your independent agent with your personal activation code.
  • Step 3) Download the Routely app (available for iOS and Android). Use your activation code to install the app.
  • Step 4) Follow the in-app instructions to set up your phone.
  • Step 5) Drive safely and save money on your car insurance.

What Does SmartDrive’s Routely App Work?

National General’s SmartDrive program uses an app called Routely to track your driving data. Routely is a third-party driver tracking app.

Routely runs automatically in the background while you drive. You activate the app when you start driving, and the app tracks your driving behavior using the sensors on your phone.

If your phone detects sudden braking or acceleration, for example, then Routely will make a note.

Routely also tracks the total mileage traveled, time spent driving, times of day you drive, and other information.

After using Routely for a few weeks or months, National General has enough data to create a customized driver profile. National General assesses all of your driving history, checks average information across your trips, runs that data through its risk algorithms, then provides a customized quote.

After each trip, you can review a detailed map. Routely will track your average speed along the route. It will also make note of certain incidents – like places where you braked or accelerated suddenly.

Routely also tracks distracted driving. If you check your phone in the middle of a trip, for example, then Routely notes this behavior and sends it to your insurer as part of the report.

Routely’s battery usage is similar to other navigation apps.

If you’re a good driver, then Routely may award you with an “Ultimate Driver” award for completing a “perfect trip.” Routely defines a perfect trip as “a driving trip without speeding, distracted driving, or sudden braking events.”

What Does SmartDrive Track?

National General tracks all of the following aspects of your driving behavior through SmartDrive and the Routely app:

  • Sudden braking and acceleration
  • Speeding over 80mph
  • Mileage and distance traveled
  • Number of trips per day
  • Times of the day at which you drive
  • Average driving habits
  • Distracted driving habits

National General takes trip reports from Routely, then plugs these reports into its risk analysis algorithm. Like most insurers, National General keeps this algorithm secret. We don’t know specifically how SmartDrive works, but the app uses your driving habits to create customized rates.

How Much Can You Save with SmartDrive?

SmartDrive could lead to savings of anywhere from 5% to 30%, based on your driving habits.

National General does not disclose average savings upfront. However, similar driver tracking programs award discounts of anywhere from 10% to 30% for drivers with a proven history of safe driving.

National General, like other insurers, awards a discount just for signing up for SmartDrive. You can save up to 5% just for enrolling in SmartDrive – even if you have high-risk driving habits.

All drivers will save up to 5% just for signing up for SmartDrive. In exchange for providing customized driving data to National General, you receive a discount of 1% to 5% on your car insurance premiums.

If you are a safe driver, then you can save even more with SmartDrive. If you have good braking and acceleration habits, drive at safe speeds, and have low mileage, then you could save hundreds per year on car insurance by signing up for SmartDrive.

SmartDrive Could Increase Rates

Some drivers will pay higher rates for car insurance after using SmartDrive.

National General gives drivers a discount of up to 5% for signing up for SmartDrive. However, your bad driving habits could negate this discount.

If you have multiple distracted driving incidents, speeding incidents over 80mph, sudden braking and acceleration events, and other driving issues, then you could pay significantly higher rates for car insurance after signing up for SmartDrive.

If you have already used SmartDrive for 30 days, then you cannot opt-out of the program. If you gave the company 30 days of bad driving data and want to remove SmartDrive from your policy, for example, to avoid higher rates, then you cannot do that. You can opt-out within 30 days. After 30 days, National General has your data and will use that data to calculate customized rates.

Other Benefits of SmartDrive

You can save money on car insurance with SmartDrive. However, it’s not just about cost savings: some parents use SmartDrive to track the driving habits of teen drivers.

By adding SmartDrive to your account, you view monthly driving summaries, check trip times, and monitor distracted driving, speeding, and other events.

Some people use SmartDrive to track their own driving habits. You may be curious about how much you drive in an average week or month.

Others use SmartDrive to improve their driving habits. Maybe you struggle with distracted driving. Maybe you want to avoid sudden braking or acceleration. SmartDrive can motivate you to be a better driver.

How Many SmartDrive Trips Do I Need?

National General requires at least 30 days of driving and approximately 125 trips to collect enough customized data to calculate your driving score.

After collecting this data, National General will apply it to your next renewal period.

If you go 30 consecutive days without logging a trip, then National General could remove your participation discount. National General could also remove the discount if you fail to log a minimum of 10 trips in the policy term.

You can opt-out of SmartDrive at any point. If you opt-out within 30 days of signing up, then National General will remove the participation discount. If you opt-out after 30 days, then National General will continue to use your driving score to calculate customized rates.

Final Word on National General’s SmartDrive

National General’s SmartDrive is a driver tracking program that monitors your driving habits, then charges customized rates based on those habits.

Drivers with a proven history of safe driving will pay less for car insurance, while drivers with bad driving habits could pay more. SmartDrive tracks braking and acceleration, speeding, distracted driving, and other incidents.

To learn more about National General’s SmartDrive and how the driver tracking program works, visit today, or contact National General directly:

National General
Company AddressP.O. Box 3199
Winston-Salem, NC 27102
Phone Number1-800-847-2886
Website URL
James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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