Many insurance companies now offer lower rates for customers who basically give up personal information by installing “telematic devices” that track and monitor how the customer drives. If the customer is a safe and defensive driver, they are rewarded with lower insurance bills.
Telematic devices are installed diagnostic port which is usually located beneath the vehicle’s steering wheel. When a customer installs a telematic device in their vehicle, the device taps into the vehicle’s computer systems in order to capture, store, and transmit the data back to the company. Data includes the speeds at which the customer drivers, how quickly they brake, and the distances they travel. The high-tech safety features that newer vehicles have allow the devices to collect even more detailed information.
- What if the driver who hit me doesn’t have any insurance, or some insurance but not much?
- Why should I not talk to the other driver’s insurance company?
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For example, with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems now available, the devices can capture how many times these systems were activated. This information is then transmitted back to the insurance company. When this data is linked to mapping data, the insurance company can also see what the speed limit and traffic signals were on the road the driver was on when the safety system kicked in, as well as whether the driver came to a complete stop at a stop sign or was traveling over the speed limit. They can also determine if the driver is traveling through an area that has a statistically higher rate of crashes or vehicle theft.
Currently, these tracking devices are just options that customers can choose if they would like lower rates. Some companies offer the lower rate right away, while others do not offer it until they have six months’ worth of tracking history on the driver. Despite the discounts, however, many customers aren’t opting for these programs. One of the most common reasons cited for not participating is the concern about privacy, especially the location-tracking feature these devices have. Many consumers feel that this loss of privacy and allowing the insurance company to know where you are at any given time is not worth the limited discount on their insurance bills.
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If you have been injured in an accident, do not try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. Let a Virginia car accident injury attorney work on your behalf to get you the best possible financial outcome based on the circumstances of your case. We’ll focus on dealing with the insurance company while you focus on your recovery.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.