Telematics insurance, besides known as usage-based policy ( UBI ), is the use of monitoring engineering to set or adjust car insurance rates. It comes in two forms : mileage-based car insurance, which sets rates based in depart on how far you drive your car, and behavior-based car policy, which offers discounts based on how well you drive your car .
policy companies track your driving via in-car technology, a circuit board device or mobile app, and use the data generated to calculate your car indemnity premiums. Read on to learn more about how these programs work and determine whether or not telematics indemnity is worth it for you .

What is telematics car insurance?

Telematics is the name for the technologies companies use to tailor car insurance rates based on your driving habits. There are two kinds of telematics car policy programs :

  • Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance programs base rates on the number of miles driven.
  • Behavior-based programs give discounts on your car insurance rates if you drive safely.

usage-based car insurance (UBI) Both of these telematics progams are known asor total darkness box insurance.

The key profit of telematics is that it allows your insurance company to tailor your rates to your particular hazard level. Without telematics, insurers calculate your indemnity rates based on a diverseness of factors. Some of these factors are beyond your control, such as your age or crime rates in the sphere where you live. By sharing your driving data with your insurance company via telematics engineering, you can prove that you ‘re a safe or low-mileage driver deserve of lower rates .
different insurers use different kinds of telematics technology. Some policy companies use a telematics monitoring app to track your drive, while others use a telematics device that you install in your car. Some combine these two, while others use in-car technology like OnStar to track driver behavior .

How telematics insurance works

Telematics insurance works differently depending on whether you opt for pay-per-use policy or a behavior-based program .

How pay-per-mile programs work

Pay-per-mile programs operate on the simple principle that if you drive less, you should pay less for car indemnity. alternatively of paying a coherent rate every month, pay-per-mile programs charge a base rate plus a per-mile fee. These insurance programs normally require drivers to plug a telematics device or “ total darkness corner ” into their car that monitors how many miles they drive .
The base rate is calculated similarly to a standard car policy policy, with insurers taking factors like your age, your drive phonograph record and the car you drive into report. While rates vary from person to person, they normally start at about $20 per month .
The per-mile rate besides varies, but is normally just a few cents .
For example : If your base rate was $ 20 and your per-mile pace was 4 cents, you would pay $ 28 if you drove 200 miles in one calendar month and $ 36 if you drove 400 miles the next calendar month. On the other hand, if you drive more than the standard 12,000 miles per year, you should avoid pay-per-mile insurance programs. You ‘ll probably wind up paying more than you would with a standard car policy policy .

How behavior-based telematics programs work

Behavior-based insurance programs use telematics to track how you drive and reward safe demeanor with discounts. alternatively of adding to your car indemnity premium based on how much you drive, as with pay-per-mile programs, they reduce your car insurance premium based on how well you drive .
Drivers download a telematics app and/or install a device in their centrifugal vehicle that scores their drive habits. Drivers can use this feedback to improve their drive and build better habits .

  • Late-night driving
  • Driving during rush hour
  • Hard braking
  • Cornering
  • Phone usage
  • Speeding

different insurers focus on unlike behaviors when using telematics to score your driving habits. common behaviors these programs aim to discourage admit : To incentivize engagement, some insurers offer a engagement dismiss that applies angstrom soon as a policyholder joins the plan. This discount rate varies, but is normally round 5 % .
At the end of a bent period of time — normally anywhere from 90 days to a full six-month policy condition — participants receive a discount based on how well they ‘ve driven. This performance discount replaces the original registration rebate .
Some indemnity companies allow drivers to retain their performance discount for the life of their policy ; others require drivers to undergo continuous monitor and adjust their discount at each reclamation .
indemnity companies advertise different maximal discounts, ranging from 25 % to 50 %. Be aware, however, that drug user reviews of these cable car insurance tracking devices and apps say that getting the utmost advertise dismiss is unmanageable, if not impossible .
The majority of insurers pledge that they will not raise your rates based on the data gathered via telematics app, and will use it entirely to determine your dismiss. however, they may raise your rates for reasons unrelated to your driving performance — such as a dip in credit score or a move to a more accident-heavy area — which could in turn limit how a lot you save .

Is telematics insurance worth it? Pros and cons

The biggest disadvantage of usage-based insurance is that you give up a good deal of data privacy. You can alone earn reduced premiums by sharing your driving data with your insurance company .
Most telematics cable car indemnity programs use a GPS tracker of some kind, so your insurance company will know not just how army for the liberation of rwanda you ‘re driving, but where. And many app-based insurance programs allow your insurance company to see where you are at all times — not equitable when you ‘re driving .
If you ‘re dainty about sharing location data and personal information, telematics programs are not a good fit for you. Try to reduce your premium with other car indemnity discounts .
On the other hand, if you ‘re comfortable sharing your personal data with your insurance company, telematics could be a bang-up suit. These programs allow you to demonstrate to your insurance company that you ‘re a safe driver deserving of lower rates .

Should I consider a mileage-tracking insurance program?

Pay-as-you-drive programs are a good fit for :

  • Retirees
  • Employees who work from home
  • City residents who mostly use public transit
  • Owners of a vehicle only driven occasionally
  • Anyone who drives less than 35 miles per day

however, if you drive more than 12,000 miles per year, you should avoid pay-per-mile insurance programs. You ‘ll likely wind up paying more than you would with a standard car policy policy .

Should I consider a behavior-based telematics program?

many drivers can benefit from a behavior-based telematics car policy program, provided they drive safely and avoid accidents. We particularly recommend it for demographic groups charged above-average premiums, such as :

  • Young drivers
  • Drivers with a low credit score
  • Drivers who live in an accident-prone or high-crime area
  • Those who want to drive more safely and welcome feedback

Drivers who fall into the be categories should avoid usage-based indemnity :

  • Those who must drive late at night or during rush hour
  • Drivers who struggle to stay phone-free
  • Drivers who struggle to avoid habits like hard braking and cornering

Different insurers monitor and penalize different habits .
Some programs ding you for call custom — tied hands-free calls. Others do not factor in phone use at all, but take the clock time of day you drive into account. Some require ongoing monitoring, while others give you a discount after precisely a few months of tracking your habits .
Given these differences, we recommend comparing programs to determine which one is the best fit for your habits and preferences.

Which company has the best telematics insurance?

There is no single best telematics program. Because these programs differ then widely in terms of which behaviors they track and how they calculate discounts, shoppers should reflect on their driving habits and select the course of study that best aligns with those habits .
That said, all shoppers should compare rates to determine which insurance company offers them the best consider before choosing a telematics program. Annual premiums vary significantly among insurers, and a telematics discount rate will not inevitably offset that deviation .
For exemplar, Nationwide SmartRide offers drivers a bigger discount than Liberty Mutual RightTrack. however, if your annual agio from Liberty Mutual is importantly cheaper than what Nationwide charges, you ‘re probable better off sticking with Liberty Mutual, since you ‘re improbable to get the maximum advertised deduction anyhow .
If you’re considering a mileage-based program, shop around and see which insurer offers you the most affordable base rate. Insurers adjust the base rate according to your demographic information and driving history, merely as they do with criterion car insurance. Once you know your base rate, you can use the per-mile rate to calculate approximately how much you would pay each calendar month .
The only behavior-based telematics programs we do not recommend are Geico DriveEasy and Progressive Snapshot. If you drive ill while being monitored by these insurers, your rates could increase. other programs use your driving data entirely to calculate a discount .

Best pay-as-you-drive insurance

Check out the table below to compare the handiness of mileage-based telematics programs :



Metromile AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Allstate MiIewise AZ, DE, ID, IL, IN, MD, NJ, OH, OR, TX, VA, WA, WV
Nationwide SmartMiles AZ, CO, CT, DC, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, ME, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WY
Mile Auto GA, IL, OR

Best behavior-based telematics program

The table below can help you compare the behavior-based telematics programs offered by major national insurers and decide which platform is the best for you :

Program name

Maximum discount

Review period length

Can premiums go up?

Phone usage impacts discount?

USAA SafePilot 10% participation discount, 30% performance discount Each policy renewal period No Yes, including hands-free usage
State Farm Drive Safe & Save 30%, 50% for some customers Each policy renewal period Discount may increase or decrease depending on driving performance Yes
Progressive Snapshot $37 average sign-up discount, $145 average final discount First policy period Yes Yes, if using mobile app
Allstate Drivewise No maximum; initial sign-up discount, followed by performance discount First 50 trips, then every six months Discount may increase or decrease depending on performance No
Liberty Mutual RightTrack 30% 90 days No No
Geico DriveEasy 25% First policy period Yes Yes
Nationwide SmartRide 40% Four to six months No No
Travelers IntelliDrive Varies, usually 10% performance discount and 30% 90 days Yes Yes, though not hands-free usage

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my car have telematics?

Some cars have telematics engineering as a standard separate of the car itself. Manufacturers that include telematics technology as part of the car include General Motors, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Toyota .
however, not all telematics technology is compatible with usage-based insurance programs. You may however need to install a device or download an app to snag insurance savings.

What are telematics devices?

Telematics devices monitor your car ‘s movements. While most are circuit board devices that you install in the on-board diagnostics ( OBD ) port of your car, others are beacons that you install on your windshield or another stable area of your vehicle. Different programs use different devices.

What is telematics data?

Telematics data is the information collected by a telematics system about your car ‘s movements. The datum collected varies, but normally includes time of day, sudden changes in accelerate, call usage, distance drive and location. We recommend reading the user agreement and privacy statements of whatever telematics program you use therefore you know how your insurance company uses the data it collects about you.

When did telematics start?

Telematics programs emerged more than 10 years ago. General Motors and Progressive first used GPS engineering to offer lower rates to low-mileage drivers. Since then, they have exploded in popularity, with most major insurers offering a telematics discount of some kind .

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