I have to admit. I wasn’t always the best of drivers. The best thing that ever happened to me was moving within 5 miles of my job. It’s not that I don’t follow the rules of the road, I just thought I knew better. For example, when I first took my written driving test there was a question about what to do when pedestrians are in the crosswalk. I chose the answer that read, “Slow down and proceed with caution.” That seems like a reasonable answer right? I know it’s what most drivers do based on what I’ve seen. The correct answer was to come to a complete stop and wait until all pedestrians had exited the crosswalk. Talk about super cautious! But there is actually a program that taught me to be a better driver because it was going to allow me to save some money.
Progressive Auto Insurance started a new program called the Snapshot® Program. The idea behind the program is to allow Progressive to monitor drivers who sign up and give a customized insurance rate based on their habits on the road. Up until a few months ago this service was only extended to those who were already members of Progressive, but now they offer the service to consumers who are thinking about switching to Progressive. Along with an auto insurance quote, you can test the Snapshot program to see how much money you can save. I personally saved a ton! But everybody will be different.
How Does the Snapshot® Program Work?
If you sign up for the program you will receive a silver contraption in the mail that looks similar to a larger version of a thumb drive. The Snapshot tool is inserted in a spot under the steering wheel or dash and it will begin to store information as the you drive. The tool sends information electronically back to Progressive to ensure that the tool is plugged into the correct vehicle and then the process begins. When you use the tool, you will hear a strange beeping noise if you slam on the breaks too hard, or make other moves that Progressive may suggest as risky driving. (I didn’t hear any beeping, most likely because I don’t drive in silence.) This helps keep you aware of what not to do while driving with the device. After 30 days of driving with the Snapshot tool you can remove the device and send it back to Progressive. They will evaluate the date the tool has collected and then will determine if the your rates are to go down or stay the same. There is no need to become a super driver while using the device; it’s simply a way for Progressive to determine the your driving habits. Those who seem to be low risk drivers will in fact receive a pretty decent discount on their car insurance. There is nothing to lose in taking the challenge that Progressive has set in front of car drivers, especially if you don’t even need to switch insurance companies.
How Can I Save Money with the Snapshot® Program?
After checking my customized reports for a few days that suggested I was a risky driver I started to look up ways to reduce my risk. I read comments from other drivers who had used the program and successfully saved money. There are three major factors that affect your level of risk according to Progressive.
- How often you make hard brakes
As a reformed tailgater, I have to admit that this habit was the hardest to break. But after imagining how much money I could save, I began to back off other drivers to about two car lengths and give myself plenty of room to stop. It’s still a little frustrating when other cars cut in front of me and move into that space I’ve given myself, but I just back off more. This one factor could save a lot of money just in potential accidents alone.
- How many miles you drive each day
I was fortunate to start my Snapshot program right after I made the move to my new place. As I mentioned before it’s within 5 miles of my job so I was already pretty low risk on this. The idea is that the more miles you drive each day, the higher chance of an accident. If you can reduce your miles driven then you can save money here too.
- How often you drive between midnight and 4am
I guess I was pretty high risk on this one too because I tend to drive myself home after a night out. It’s pretty expensive to take cabs in Georgia and I’m only 15 minutes from downtown. I started to carpool with friends and spend the night instead of driving home right away. I think the idea here is that there are more drunk drivers on the road between these hours; either you or someone else. It’s typically best to stay off of the road around this time.
Would you try the Snapshot program? Have you tried it? Do you think this program will increase the number of safe drivers on the road or is it too easy to game the system?
By the way, I saved 21%! Click the picture to head over to G+ and add me to your circles while you’re there! Thank you