Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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October 14, 2012 • Autos

1-800-How-Am-I-Driving – Part One – Progressive Snapshot

 

I’m coming up on my first year with the car I leased back in November 2011. That car reintroduced me to the joy of driving. Yes, driving a car that is smooth, fast, comfortable and has all the electronic bells and whistles is simply fun. Back in August we were contacted by Progressive Insurance and asked if we wanted to be part of a special SnapShot Test Drive promotion they were running. The SnapShot Test Drive involved driving, current technology, and saving money. What could be better?

 

The program itself is rather simple. Once I signed up with the program Progressive Insurance sent me a special dongle that was then attached to the diagnostic port on my car. The SnapShot website even offered a chart showing me where the port could be found on my specific car. I signed up, installed the dongle and, a short time later, received an email that the system was on line. It turns out the dongle has wireless connectivity that enables it to monitor driving and connect to the company’s servers.

That made me kind of nervous. 🙂

 

While driving with the dongle monitored specific aspects of my on-road habits in order to determine if I’m a safe driver who deserves lower insurance premiums. For someone who drives the speed limit, doesn’t do rapid breaking and rarely stomps on the gas it offers a great way to save a bit.

Initially I thought the dongle would assess the speeds at which I drove. That apparently isn’t the case. Instead, it monitored and noted those times when I would rapidly accelerate or deceleration. In other words, it tested the aggressiveness of my driving when starting and stopping. And when I did accelerate too quickly or stepped on the break a bit too hard the system took note of an “event – it even beeped three times.

 

During the month long SnapShot Test Drive I received a few emails from the system that told me how I was doing. I was also given some badges – think Foursquare but from an insurance company. 🙂

When the Test Drive came to an end I received a summary that graded by driving and indicated what, if any, insurance premium savings Progressive could offer me.

Unfortunately, during the assessment I heard those three beeps quite often and, when all was said and done, I received a grade of C and Progressive offered me zero percentage savings. (I suspect the computer noted- “Encourage him to stay with whatever insurance he has. Anything so long as it isn’t us.”)

Yes, apparently I enjoy driving my car a bit too much.

It’s an interesting program and one that may well be worth checking out if you are looking to reduce your automobile insurance premiums. If you are, and you tend to be a fairly conservative driver, check it out here. You might be able to save 30% on your premiums!

 

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