Usage-Based Auto Insurance: Pros And Cons

Usage-based auto insurance, also called telematics or pay-as-you-drive insurance, is a form of auto insurance that uses technology to track and monitor a driver's behavior. This information is then used to calculate insurance rates based on the driver's actual driving habits. Here are some pros and cons of usage-based auto insurance.

Pro: Customized Rates

One of the biggest benefits of usage-based auto insurance is that it allows drivers to be charged based on their actual driving habits. Drivers who are considered safe and low-risk get charged lower rates, while those who are considered high-risk pay higher rates. This can result in significant savings for safe drivers.

Pro: Incentives for Safe Driving

Many usage-based auto insurance programs offer discounts for safe driving habits. For example, if a driver is able to maintain a safe speed and avoid hard braking, they may be eligible for a discount on their insurance rates. 

This can be an excellent incentive for drivers to improve their driving habits and become safer on the road. Not only do safe drivers pay less, but all drivers are incentivized to be more conservative and cautious on the road.

Pro: Real-time Monitoring

Usage-based auto insurance also allows for real-time monitoring of a driver's behavior. If a driver is involved in an accident or receives a traffic violation, the insurance company will be able to see this immediately and adjust the driver's rates accordingly.

Real-time monitoring helps ensure that drivers are being charged accurately and fairly, given their actions on the road.

Con: Privacy Concerns

One of the biggest concerns with usage-based auto insurance is the issue of privacy. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of having their driving habits tracked and monitored, and they may not want to share this information with their insurance company.

However, privacy concerns are not usually something that specifically keeps people from getting usage-based insurance.

Con: Upfront Cost

A potential downside of usage-based auto insurance is the upfront cost. Many insurance companies will require drivers to purchase a device that can track their driving habits, which can be an additional cost for the driver. 

Drivers should save more in the long run, presuming they're safe and/or don't drive a lot. They still often have to pay the initial outlay for the tracking device, however.

Con: Technical Issues

Finally, there can be technical issues with usage-based auto insurance. For example, if the device used to track driving habits malfunctions or is not properly installed, it can lead to inaccurate readings and incorrect rates. Insurers have IT personnel to address technical problems promptly.

Contact an auto insurance agent to learn more.