Ever heard of usage based insurance before? I hadn’t either until just recently.
Here’s a way you can save a quick $60/year on car insurance for less than 10 minutes of your time! Read on to find out how you can plug in one of these little widgets (pictured on the left) into your car and start saving money on your car insurance today!
Money Saving Breakdown – Save Money on Car Insurance – Progressive Snapshot Review
- Difficulty (Super Easy/Easy/Medium/Hard/Expert): Easy
- Average Savings per Year ($/year): 60
- Time Required (mins): 10
- Savings for your time ($/hr): 600
Progressive Snapshot Review – What is Usage Based Insurance?
With usage based insurance, you’re basically paying for how much and how aggressively you drive your vehicle. Insurance companies already try to determine how risky you are by looking at your past profile (accidents, age, marital status, etc.). With the advent of technology, insurance companies have devised a new way to assess what type of driver you are.
Progressive Snapshot Review – What is It?
Snapshot is a device offered by Progressive insurance that plugs into your cars data port (ODB-II) under the steering wheel. It’s about the size of a small tape measure and it tracks your miles driven, time of day driven, vehicle speed, and stopping force. The device has some type of wireless connection that “phones home” from time to time to upload your driving data to Progressive.
Progressive tells you that you can get anywhere from a 0% – 30% discount if you don’t slam on the brakes, drive low miles, and don’t drive between midnight and 4am. They also say that you will not be charged more if you are a horrible driver. See our results below to judge for yourself.
Progressive Snapshot Review – The Discount
My wife and I participated in the program to see how much we could save. We both took different approaches. My wife tried to drive exactly the same as she normally would. She has an extremely short commute, but we use her car almost exclusively on the weekend if we’re going somewhere. She got about a 7% discount ($8 every six months).
I drive ~40 miles during the workweek and leave my car parked during the weekend. I took a different approach and tried to drive like a grandpa (even more so than usual) to get the maximum discount. The little device will beep at you if you slam on the brakes, so it gives you real time feedback if you’re eating into your savings. The only bad thing with this is that it can kinda encourage you to run yellow/red lights vs. getting a beep. So, I’m not sure they’re actually making anyone drive safer with these things, but I digress… As a result of being super careful not to apply too much braking, I will get about a 30% discount ($22 every six months) as a reward for taking it easy.
Progressive Snapshot Review – The Downsides
Some people are kinda freaked out that the insurance company is tracking where they’re going like some kind of undercover GPS thing. This device doesn’t have GPS, and it doesn’t record where you’ve been. This isn’t a concern for me and I don’t think it should be for most people as their phones actually do track where they are and where they’ve been and store it in memory!
I do have three concerns with the Snapshot program, but in the end they weren’t enough to prevent me from enrolling in the program:
- If you’re trying to maximize your discount and avoid slamming on the brakes, it encourages you to run yellow/red lights. Please be careful if this is you!
- If you do get in an accident, police can use data from the device in the investigation. It is actually against the law to destroy the device if you’ve been involved in an accident. This is in the fine print documentation when you receive the device…
- If you forget to send back the device in the postage pre-paid box when requested (usually after six months), they will charge you $50. So, make sure you’re semi-organized and you won’t lose the box if you plan to participate.
Progressive Snapshot Review – The Alternatives
Other companies have similar usage based insurance programs. Here are just a couple of examples, check with your car insurance company to find out if they have something similar:
So based on this Progressive Snapshot review, (see other programs above if you have a different insurance carrier) would I recommend enrolling in the program? Yes!! – it is a simple way to save you ~$60/year on car insurance and takes less than 10 minutes to setup. Unless it freaks you out to have a company tracking the time you drive, miles your drive, or if you slam on the brakes, it is definitely worth your time to take a look!