How’s My Driving? Ask My Phone

Now that car insurance firms are no longer allowed to rob us blind for being male, it’s safe to assume that they will be looking for new ways to screw customers assess levels of risk.

One way that they could do so is to utilise data from your phone’s GPS and accelerometer, and we may have seen the first step down this road in the form of an iPhone app from State Farm Insurance.

The app, called Driver Feedback, is not intended to measure risk or to snitch on you to your insurer if you speed, instead it rates your driving skill based on your speed, acceleration and braking. The app takes data from your phone’s GPS and accelerometer to give you tips on how to be a safer driver. It gives you a score each time you make a journey and will even highlight on a map any points where you could have driven better.

This app and others like it could very easily allow insurers to base your premiums on how you actually drive, not on how often people in your demographic crash on average. No doubt many will disagree with me but I think this is a great idea. ┬áIt seems fairer to assess each driver’s chances of going sideways through a fence based on how they behave on the road rather than a few broad factors like age and gender.

With the coming together of computing, mobile data and cars that we’re seeing at the moment, it’s not too far fetched to imagine all cars coming with a black box style device that tells your insurer if you drive well or not. I suspect that insurers would have to make this kind of thing voluntary and offer a discount for using it – or a surcharge for not doing so – but I would sign up.

What do you think? Would you want your insurer to know how you really drive if it meant you got a discount?

Comments are closed.