Mayfield Village, Ohio-based vehicle insurer Progressive announced that it is offering a discount to 5,000 Minnesota drivers who agree to use a data-logging device in their cars. The discount—as much as 25 percent—is only available to customers who purchased their coverage directly from Progressive online or by phone.
The device, dubbed TripSensor by Progressive, measures how much, how fast and when drivers use their cars. Drivers receive an automatic 5 percent discount for each car in which they install the device—it plugs into a port—and could save up 20 percent more. Progressive briefly experimented with a similar device in Texas but found the technology was not cost-effective, and some were critical of its privacy implications.
The company also tested the program in Minnesota in early 2004 when it offered 250 drivers $25 to plug a data logging device into their vehicles to collect information for 30 days, upload their data to Progressive and complete a survey about the experience. In the test, a discount on future policy periods was not offered, but had it been, the average member of the test group would have been eligible for a 7.5 percent discount on the registered vehicle in the next policy period.
The device is about the size of a matchbox, and near the end of each policy period, customers use software provided by Progressive to download their driving data to a personal computer where they can view it to better understand the discounts they have earned and to upload the data to the company.
The company did not say when or whether the discount would be expanded to other states or be available to the insurer’s independent agent customers.
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