Pros And Cons Of Car Tracking Devices From Insurers

If you are a careful driver who doesn't drive too much or too often, then use-based auto insurance may give you access to discounts not available to other motorists. Insurers who offer these services track different forms of data that allow them to gauge whether their clients are good drivers. If you want to enjoy the associated discounts, then you will first have to install the tracking device. Here are the pros and cons of these devices to help you make an informed decision:

The Advantages

  • Tracking lost vehicles – the trackers allow your car to be traced in case it is lost or you are involved in an accident in a remote location.
  • Improved driving – you can use these tracking devices to improve your driving. This is possible if your insurer gives you access to its web portal where you can see the data collected on your driving habits. For example, you may learn that you often brake hard and short, which may spur you to improve your braking habits.
  • Bundled packages – some insurers offer their tracking devices as part of other useful car services or products. They do this to encourage more motorists to start using use-based insurance. For example, it may be offered as part of a hands-free phone system or car entertainment system in the end, the package costs less than if you had to buy the individual products or services.

The Concerns

People have different concerns for these devices; here are some of the popular ones:

  • Privacy – this is one of the greatest concerns people have with these devices. This is especially the case in states that allow insurers to collect sensitive information such as where you drive and when you drive. The good news is that your state's laws restrict the type of data your insurer collects.
  • Installation fees – the installation fees range from relatively inexpensive to what you many drivers consider exorbitant ones. If you are interested in use-based insurance, then this is another factor to consider when shopping for coverage.
  • Flawed risk assessment – there are also fears that the data collected may not reflect the real facts on the ground. For example, you may be a cautious and safe motorist even though you tend to drive in "dangerous areas."

These are some of the factors to consider before delving into use-based insurance. In general, you stand to benefit more if your state has a tight regulation on what your insurer can do with the data and you are a careful driver who seldom drives.