The Contra Costa Times posed some good questions this week in an editorial about the "pay-as-you-drive" proposal making its way through the legislature. If it’s just about how far you drive, what’s with all the other information insurance companies want to collect?
Before drivers sign off on the black box and earn incentives, they need
to know what they are buying into. Huffman’s bill is too cloudy and
lacks safeguards when it comes to potential invasion of privacy.
Mileage "quality" also means insurance companies can be privy to
information such as where drivers go and at what time, and potentially
information can be used against people in court.
Progressive is already tracking when and "how aggressively" people drive in four other states.
Nighttime driving is discouraged – so those swing shift workers would be out of luck. This is Progressive’s chart.
They count up your "sudden" starts and stops too. Never mind if your frequent braking means safer driving because you’re successfully avoiding the various kids, pets and balls that find their way into your neighborhood streets.
The bottom line is this: Drivers can pay less for driving less without having to give up private details of their lives to an insurance company. Mileage-only tracking – whether through electronics or the good old-fashioned odometer – is all that’s needed to do the trick. Nothing’s stopping insurance companies from offering such programs now.