Luring people with offers of 25 percent (potential) savings on their insurance premiums, Progressive will begin on Tuesday offering Texans a pay-as-you-drive tracking device that will record all of their driving habits and charge more for behavior deemed unsafe.
Progressive introduced MyRate to several states a few years ago, claiming savings of up to 60 percent. That number has since been adjusted on their Web site to the current 25 percent.
If you think you are the paragon of safety on the road and resent paying rates based on factors such as age and gender, you might be interested in the program.
Drivers who could benefit include those who: drive less than 30 miles a day, don’t drive after midnight, are defensive drivers or seasonal drivers, and do not make frequent and sudden starts and stops.
However, those who don’t think they live up to Progressive’s safety standards should perhaps steer clear. They can experience up to a nine percent increase in rates if the data does not come out in their favor.
Drivers must agree to install a small device in their cars in order for data related to their driving habits to be collected. They can then check up on their personal account on Progressive's Web site to see how they're doing.
Although Progressive vows absolute protection of the data, and will not use it in accident investigations, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has warned drivers that the device will allow insurance companies to own a private record about you.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.