New pay-as-you-drive car insurance policies are being offered in more than half of the states, despite concerns by some that the methods insurers use to track mileage warrant some privacy concerns, according to the New York Times.
The policies, which Progressive Insurance began offering a version of in 1998, allows consumers to receive discounts for driving less miles, which is tracked by a GPS system installed in their vehicle. When they began the program, Progressive intended to collect data on what streets the driver took, time of day they were on the road and how aggressively he or she drove to help determine policy rates.
Now, the company offers their plan in 27 states, known as the Snapshot Discount program, and removes the GPS device after six months of monitoring a driver and determining their discounted rate.
"Approximately one in four customers are choosing this,” said Richard Hutchinson, Progressive’s general manager for usage-based insurance.
While some may be concerned that monitoring driving may constitute an invasion of privacy, the article said the popularity of networking devices like Facebook and Twitter indicate that people are used to sharing information on the web and are more comfortable being tracked than they may have been in the past.
Insures like GMAC Insurance have found that collecting less information from drivers can also make them feel more comfortable with installing tracking devices in their cars. The company, which offers pay-as-you-drive insurance coverage in 35 states, only uses its GPS systems to confirm the number of miles driven.
“When you talk about time of day and speed, people become more concerned," Tim Hogan, vice president for national accounts, told the newspaper.
State Farm is launching their Drive Safe & Save program for California drivers in 2011, which the company said will save their customers an estimated $31 million.