INDIANAPOLIS — More Hoosiers are saying yes to a little “black box” that can help save money on your car insurance.
Telematics devices track your driving habits – speed, braking, acceleration – as well as the amount of time you spend sitting in traffic and driving at night.
Pamela Christianson of M.J. Schuetz Insurance Services said it can save you up to 50 percent on your car insurance.
“More people are doing it as their rates go up,” said Christianson. “They’re looking for more reasons to save. I think it’s picking up some momentum.”
Christianson offers it to new and existing clients.
“They’re looking for any way to save money and it is a good way to save money,” said Christianson. “I don’t pressure them in any way to enroll.”
Drivers typically have them in their vehicle for three months.
Scott Anderson of Mooresville wanted to cut his car insurance costs, so he had Progressive install a telematics device in his truck.
“I definitely forgot I had it at times,” said Anderson.
Anderson said he was surprised at how sensitive the device was, even picking up when he spun his wheels during a rain storm.
“It recorded it as an aggressive acceleration and dinged me on it, but I was able to go to my app on my phone and see how I did for the day and see my discount rise or fall,” said Anderson.
Anderson saved 20 percent on his car insurance just by installing the device.
Most insurance companies will not raise your rates if you’re a bad driver, but some can, so it’s a good idea to ask your provider what they will do with the information they gather from you and how it could impact your rates.
Christianson said a lot of people have misconceptions about the little spy devices.
“They think they’re going to get speeding tickets in the mail, or they’re going to report it to the police or something, but that does not happen,” said Christianson.
Most of Christianson’s customers still say no to the telematics device, like her client Dominic Yobbi who said it’s way too “big brother.”
“It feels a little new, and untested at this point,” said Yobbi.
At your next renewal, try contacting an independent insurance agent who can quote multiple companies.
Then, compare what your rate would be with a tiny spy attached to your vehicle.
“I can’t say I’m perfect. I would say I’m better,” said Anderson.