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They are Watching You (Drive)

A while ago, I read about how GPS makers were selling your driving data, without telling you. It’s quite simple, each time you “update” your maps, your usage data gets downloaded. You most likely ticked a box saying that was OK, when you first installed the software. That’s easily remedied, find the “don’t send my data” box and tick it, and you are all good.

My guess is that the data on the GPS can actually show when you are speeding, and show where you visit, so the data has some value to a few folks, but I thought no more of this (as I had remedied the issue for my GPS).

Now my automobile insurance company is offering me a magical device that if I install in my car, could lower my insurance rates dramatically. Don’t we put electronic monitoring devices on pedophiles and dangerous criminals, why do I want that on my car?

I suspect my complete distrust of this technology is part of my general Luddite attitudes towards anything that might be used as a “watching the C8j live” device. Yes the cell phone is already doing that.

A Tracking Example

Let’s take as an example Hank and see how things might change for him with this new monitoring device:

  • Hank has a relatively spotless driving record, no speeding tickets in the past 5 years, and he gets a good driver discount thanks to his clear driving record.
  • Hank’s wife is also an excellent driver, and while his son costs a bloody fortune to insure, Hank Jr. has a clear record as well.
Hank's Car ?
Hank’s Car ?

Hank sees this wonderful tracking device, and decides that he’d like to have lower Car Insurance rates. He installs the device on his car.  What might this wonderful device tell his insurance company about Hank’s car ?

  • Someone likes to drive 120 km/hr on the 400 series highways (as do we all from what I can tell)
  • Someone also enjoys driving 102 km/hr on highway 7 .
  • The car seems to accelerate very quickly from stops, and tends to stop suddenly at stop signs and places where there are traffic lights.
  • One night the car drove down Hunt Club Road doing 110 km/hr for a long period.

What To Do With Data?

What do you think an Insurance company might do with this information?

  1. Since no charges have been laid or tickets written, the monitoring device must be faulty.
  2. Someone is driving Hank’s car in a high risk fashion, and the insurance rates for this car should reflect this risk.

If you ask my opinion I would say (2) is the more likely answer.

Has anyone got one of these “Wonder devices” for their car, and have their rates gone down?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I’m not sure if these are available in England yet. But I think it sounds like a great idea. Anything to save money on your insurance rates!

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