Speeding or slamming on the brakes when you drive may bump up your insurance rates if Allstate rolls out a program it’s testing in Arizona.
The insurer is trying out a phone app that monitors how safely a motorist drives. Premiums may vary weekly based on the results — going down in the weeks in which they made safer choices and up in the weeks when they were more reckless, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported.
Insurers are already monitoring driving habits and for more than a decade have used apps and telematic devices connected to cars to send them data, the report said. But this personalized system currently being road-tested by customers goes further as the latest example of artificial intelligence in the automobile — an effort that has led investors to fund companies that develop chips for autonomous driving systems and odor sensors that alert drivers to problems.
“Insurance pricing has been fairly confusing and opaque to most consumers for a long time,” Glenn Shapiro, president of personal property-liability insurance at Allstate, told BusinessWeek. “This is less complicated than that.”
Allstate reports that two-thirds of the testers in Arizona saw their insurance premiums decline. And most telematic-data programs only apply to premiums when the policies are being renewed annually and semiannually, the report said.
Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Mike Zaremski told BusinessWeek that Allstate may have another motive: to encourage already-safe drivers to self-select into its policies and discourage reckless ones from signing up. Safe drivers generate revenue for insurance companies from premiums but are a low risk for the provider.
- The quest for the self-driving car has turned into a money pit, with a handful of companies investing $16 billion in recent years with very little so far to show for it, according to an investigation by The Information.
- Insurtechs — startups seeking to imagine how consumers get coverage — are sprouting up in the health-insurance industry. Their number has tripled since 2010 to more than 650, “posing a significant threat to incumbent players,” according to Bain & Co. last year.