Progressive Finds 40% of Drivers Say ‘No Way’ to Driver Tracking Product

By and | August 9, 2013

  • August 9, 2013 at 9:10 am
    wvagt says:
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    I generally can’t sell it, maybe one or two this year and only to clients who were already in premium “sticker shock.” Had one that didn’t qualify for a discount after the 6-month period. Safeco has a similar deal, can’t sell that one either – people just don’t like the idea of being tracked any more than they already are.

    • August 9, 2013 at 11:20 am
      Nebraskan says:
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      Hi wvat, do you think overall it’s hard to get a decent discount? I did Progressive’s Snapshot and felt like I would have to live in Antartica to get any “sizeable” discount. I think I ended up with 1% because I slowed down too quickly one too many times I guess. I actually like THE IDEA of the program but as it goes with everything else, the really bad drivers aren’t going to sign up for something like this. One of those, “it’s better on paper” ideas.

    • August 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hey wvagt, We have both Progressive and Safeco who just came out with their “Rewind” program which is very similar to Progressive. In fact, we just listened to their webinar on it this morning. Supposedly, if the customer accepts it and leaves it in the car for 4 months and passes on the driving stats, they get a violation forgiven and their rates could come down. It is a one time thing per driver. I suppose some would do it if they had a chargeable accident or a speeding violation that makes their premium high. My guess is that it won’t have a great impact in the immediate future.

    • August 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm
      Agent says:
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      This society is getting like Big Brother in too many ways. All one has to do is look at what the Federal Government is doing with their intrusive spying behavior. Now, the insurance industry wants to track where we drive, when we drive, whether we go too fast, stop too fast etc supposedly to get rid of a ticket or accident if we are good. Computer systems with companies are putting too many variables into the rating process and it is impossible to tell where they come up with their rates.

      • August 14, 2013 at 9:51 am
        Agent says:
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        I wonder if Snapshot will be further developed to pick up cell calls or texts and report that to the carrier. Rate increases are sure to follow if they rate for that.

  • August 9, 2013 at 9:23 am
    youngin' says:
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    The CEO’s comments show that he has already had too much of his own Kool Aid (the comment about intellectually not understanding why there isn’t 100% acceptance). The idea of a big corporation being able to track where you are at all times (for a big chunk of the population this is true) is not a comforting one.

    • August 9, 2013 at 11:22 am
      Nebraskan says:
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      I will say, when I would look at the reports from Progressive, which were pretty much realtime, they never said where I went, just the time, the distance, and how many hard stops I had.

      I’m know the device plugs into your car’s computer, but I am not sure how it would be able to tell where you go? I don’t have GPS in my car so how would the car know where you are?

      • August 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm
        Libby says:
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        It could have a GPS in it…

      • August 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm
        jw says:
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        I attended one of the dog & pony shows for this product last year. I think it has a gps and a special satelite internet connection. youngin’ I could have sworn the fancy power point presentation did say they could report locations. I’ve slept since then, so I may not remember correctly.

        I can see using it to track your teen driver, but it probably wouldn’t result in any discounts. ;)

      • August 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm
        wvagt says:
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        It doesn’t monitor where you are, just time of day
        (frequently drive between midnight & 4AM), miles driven (less than 15k per yr), and hard brakings. No gps, it uses cell phone towers to transmit the data.

        • September 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm
          onlooker4u says:
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          @wvagt

          http://www.progressive.com/auto/snapshot-common-questions/ this is directly from the link provided

          “What other information do you collect?

          Once you plug in the Snapshot device, we’ll collect your Vehicle Identification Number and take note of whether the device stays plugged in, so we can alert you if it gets disconnected. Some Snapshot devices record your location—this is only for research purposes. The device doesn’t track whether you’re exceeding the speed limit.”

          The only way to be able to record your location is by GPS. Of course they won’t say directly GPS because that will be a red-flag immediately, but there it is by their own website. “Some Snapshot devices record your location—this is only for research purposes. The device doesn’t track whether you’re exceeding the speed limit.” I highly doubt is for research purposes. I am sure is more for viewing what areas you frequent and to see if they are a high rate for crime. To RAISE your premium, of course.

    • August 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm
      Dave says:
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      “The idea of a big corporation being able to track where you are at all times (for a big chunk of the population this is true) is not a comforting one.”

      youngin’ I don’t believe these devices are GPS enabled. I don’t think they let the “big bad corporations” know where you are all the time, but instead can sense how hard you stop or how fast you acellerate or how many G’s you pull in turn or how many miles you drive or how fast you drive. I drive a Porsche 911S. State Farm has a similar program. I think they said it costs $10 per month to “rent” the device. Considering I drive the Porsche like it’s a Porsche I asked myself, what’s the point of spending $10 per month to prove I drive safely, but aggressively. So I took a pass on the program. If the “big bad corporations” wanted to know where I drive the Porsche, I think they would be pretty bored at where I go. Nothing really to hide there. But I guess there are people who don’t want people to know where they drive, especially cheating spouses.

      • August 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm
        SD Agent says:
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        For reference, the State Farm Telematics only inputs the mileage driven.

        There are analytics to assess driving but it is advisory in nature only (at this point – sure it would only take a proverbial “flip of the switch” to turn on with customer approval).

        I share the concerns about abuse/misuse of this data and understand that Insurance companies are looking to get accurate data for accurate/efficient ratings. I for one will pay a little more to keep my privacy…frankly, no electronic data is private.

    • August 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm
      Agent says:
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      Youngin, you did know that the CEO was a big Obama contributor, didn’t you? Their name fits right in with the agenda don’t you think? Progress here, Progress there is all you hear these days. Pretty soon, it morhps into Progressive.

      • August 12, 2013 at 8:47 am
        Ron says:
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        Agent,

        I believe you are the one who commented on the “Will Obamacare Really Hurt Workers?” thread that we are at each others’ throats. Yet you found a way to bring politics into this article. How is that even relevant to this conversation?

        Gee, I wonder where the vitriol stems from?

        By the way, I did respond to your reply in that thread. I will be very interested in reading your response, with requested evidence, if you are able.

  • August 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm
    Libby says:
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    I’m one that would say “Hell, no!” to this. I’d end up with a surcharge!

    • August 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm
      jw says:
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      You and me both. I am living proof that higher education should not correllate to lower premiums.

      • August 12, 2013 at 8:53 am
        Nebraskan says:
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        If they rated drivers on using the turn signal, not smoking, texting, nor using my phone while driving, keeping a safe distance from the car in front of me, and staying in my lane while driving on the interstate, I would get one big discount! But since it is based on who my friends on Facebook are and what I had last night for dinner…I don’t get much of a credit. :)

  • August 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm
    KB says:
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    Their timing couldn’t be worse with all of the government spying scandals. I wonder why the intellectual CEO didn’t reference that? It has to have occurred to them (intellectually).

  • August 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm
    Java Guy says:
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    As a software professional, once you get enough insurance companies on board with this, you start the see the very real potential for a data warehouse to eventually get created. The database could be farmed in any number of dubious ways outside original intent. Perhaps even a driving credit score of some kind could even get created. Where rates are determined based on your nebulous score. Thus, if you opted out of the spying device, you would be assumed to be a “bad” driver with something to hide and have to pay the very highest premiums along with the other baddies. I personally highly value my privacy and avoid giving persoanal information out to companies and the government whenever possible. I simply do not trust them.

  • August 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    No Doubt says:
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    It also could be a generaltional divide. The younger you are, the more attuned you are to social media and opening your life up to total strangers. Now there are a lot of young drivers, but not as many “good” young drivers as insurers define them to be. I think its inevitable, but I intend to resist as long as possible as I do appreciate my privacy

    • August 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm
      Ken says:
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      I am not sure that is the case. I have 3 grown sons in their mid to late 20’s and they all are very sensitive about the government or any other entity moving the line on privacy. The fact is once the line is moved no one will ever be able to move it back! They can keep their little tracker!

  • August 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm
    Patrick Butler says:
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    Contrast Snapshot with credit-score rating: Lots of customers, and agents, also said “no way” to cs rating, but got it anyway. My conclusion is that Snapshot is not able to measure claim frequency differences. If it could like cs rating, Snapshot would be adversely selecting against other carriers like Geico, which in short order would be forced to adopt a similar telematics device in defense. I expect Progressive to give up on Snapshot eventually, but time will tell.

  • August 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm
    Joe Actuary says:
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    FYI – Telematics is more predictive of auto claims than credit scores; drive behavior is more related to claims than paying bills on time. Progressive and others who use usage based data for risk segmentation will have a significant advantage in the market. The challenge is that unlike credit, the consumer controls whether their driving telematics information is shared versus credit where insurers can get a score without the policyholder understanding that. If the day comes when car manufactures build this technology into their cars and the right to the information, then track the data themselves and sell it to insurance companies… they’ll have a new, fat revenue stream.

    Interesting, using telematics for pricing insurance never really surfaces as a problem– it is mistrust causing people to balk. No one believes the data will ONLY be used to pricing insurance.

    • August 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm
      Doug Foulke says:
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      Do you? Actuarially, I’m sure the idea is sound, but, I’m quite certain that this tech will eventually be used for more than pricing insurance. By the way, I also have a STRONG distaste for red light cameras and speed cameras all over our streets and highways. It’s concerning to most Americans that our freedoms are slowly being eroded away. This program is another way to limit our freedom. It has Big Brother written ALL over it. So, the next move is that if you will get a break on your homeowners insurance if you let us put a video surveillance camera to make sure you do not engage in high hazard activities that could lead to a homeowners claim.

      • August 12, 2013 at 11:45 am
        An actuary says:
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        That’s a scary thought, Doug, and unfortunately, not too far a leap from Snapshot.

    • August 12, 2013 at 11:54 am
      An actuary says:
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      “Telematics is more predictive of auto claims than credit scores”

      Is that really known for sure? As you mention, only a portion of the driving population is included in the data for telematics, and it’s a relatively small and non-random portion at that.

      “No one believes the data will ONLY be used to pricing insurance.”

      Of course not, lawyers will be licking their chops to subpoena this info to use against Snapshot users.

      • August 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm
        youngin' says:
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        Exactly. And the precedent needs to be set only once.

  • August 12, 2013 at 10:24 am
    Chris says:
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    I have offered the snapshot and in my experience it works best for vehicles are simply are not driven all that much.

  • August 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm
    No Doubt says:
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    Never thought about the red light camera aspect but yeah it does feel like we have a little less privacy in our lives.
    I hate the red light cameras in our area even though some areas have turned them off as judges have punched some large holes in the enforcement, its interesting to me that they haven’t been dismantled, either.
    And there is some emerging evidence that the yellow lights are getting shorter in areas which are still using then which either forces a potential red light violation which otherwise might not have occured, or worse, a sudden stop leading to an increase in rear end collisions, which are not only expensive from a repair standpoint, but also can lead to an increase in soft tissue neck injuries.
    Just because we are bright enough to develop the technology, it doesn’t mean that we have developed the moral strength to decide whether or not it should be used at all.
    How is this better again????

  • August 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm
    Doctor J says:
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    I’d rather just watch the Russian Car Crash Compilation videos on YouTube.

  • August 13, 2013 at 12:04 am
    stupid here says:
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    Typical liberal elitist CEO who says – paraprasing of course – “I had no idea how hard it would be to educate you stupid minions about how this is good for you”.

    • August 13, 2013 at 9:01 am
      youngin' says:
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      Hi stupid.

    • August 13, 2013 at 9:28 am
      Libby says:
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      You are stupid. You shouldn’t use words you don’t understand. Please look up the definition of minion before you use it again.

  • August 13, 2013 at 12:05 am
    stupid here says:
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    h

  • August 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm
    not so stupid here says:
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    A minion – again paraphrasing (for the intelligent of you) – a “dumb underling”. That’s what Progressive was so surprised about…that they couldn’t get their dumb underling insured’s to “understand” how they know what’s best. Progressive just thinks their dumb insured’s are clueless and don’t know what’s best for themselves. That’s one of those big divides right now between liberals, who want someone to look out for their dumb minion selves, and conservatives, who want to look out for themselves.

  • August 14, 2013 at 10:49 am
    SWFL AGENT says:
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    Gosh Mr. Stupid, that’s a pretty big statement that Progressive’s customers are “dumb underlings”. Their mix of clients probably isn’t much different than that of other major insurance companies. With regards to the Snapshot program, it’s not for everybody and that’s okay. If someone truly believes they drive differently than other drivers then I guess this device is their way to prove it. Too my knowledge the device is only installed for one six month period and then removed. It’s not a lifetime of the watchful eye. There are a lot of reasons I could knock Progressive but I’ll give them credit for trying to build a better mouse trap.

    By the way, what’s so “liberal” about Progressive’s CEO? You’re not confusing him with the former CEO, Peter B Lewis, are you?

    • August 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm
      Agent says:
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      Flo’s commercials are pretty dumb. On one of them, she says to just pick your own price for your auto insurance. Does that sound right?

  • August 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    Wayne2 says:
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    I would think the date recorded would be able to be used against you in a lawsuit from an auto accident. Progressive would have to give it to the plantiff’s attorney. One more piece of evidence used against their own insured. That is something to consider. Even without a GPS the cell towers do show your general location as that signal has to go out. Just a little too much tracking for my tastes.

    • October 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm
      JP says:
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      Yes, if the device is “pinging” cell towers to transmit data, then the carrier knows which towers were pinged and when so that information could come into play, theoretically… However, your cell phone does the same thing even if you have location services turned off. The carrier can tell where you are. Just look at your bill for proof. It tells the city where the call was placed. So, either way, that information would already exist…

  • August 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    JDM says:
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    Progressive is a non-standard market for pieces of business that present themselves, but that I wouldn’t/couldn’t place with my preferred carriers. That being the case, my typical insured with Progressive almost always (95% of the time) have poor driving habits/records and in my opinion are cycnical about the program and their ability to navigate the process and gain a discount. Do executives at Progressive realize who their customers are?

    • August 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm
      Agent says:
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      We use them in the same way, but we do have some standard business with them that have cleaned up their act and on them, their rates are pretty good in some cases. The customers overall don’t want a company tracking them. It is a bit like Big Brother.



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