How Technology Can Help You Cut Down Your Car Insurance:

Car insurance is a legal requirement but, as many driver’s know, it is not always affordable.  When it comes to handling expensive rates, many people already know the oldest methods for reducing the costs. These include choosing a ‘safer’ car, changing where you park the car and even taking additional driving safety courses.

However, what if technology and other modern innovations offered additional ways to work around high insurance rates?

Fortunately, this is something that is becoming more and more common, yet many providers don’t like to advertise these facts loudly.  Drivers need to be aware “How Technology Can Help You Cut Down Your Car Insurance”.

Black Boxes

Traditionally, insurance rates are highly based on large amounts of statistical data. This includes driver age, profession and countless other factors that, in theory, help insurance providers calculate a statistical average profile of the applicants driving habits. Of course, this is only a statistical average, so many drivers find they are paying more, despite being a very safe motorist, due to information beyond their control.

Black box policies, on the other hand, change all of these. Telematic devices or mobile apps record real-time data from the car, giving the insurance agency or company direct information about driver behavior. A good provider will be willing to adapt their rates to meet the driving data and, if they don’t, there are other companies out there that will.

Dashboard Cameras

When it comes to making a claim, nothing helps determine fault then video proof. These days, dashboard cameras are cheap enough to pick up, easy to install and can record the owner’s point of view in any incident. This can help provide direct evidence when needed, which is ideal for proving fault and keeping a claims and driving record clean.

However, it can also help bring overall insurance costs down. After all, a driver that is willing to record their driving is not going to engage in reckless behavior. Many companies respect this decision and award their drivers accordingly.

Maintenance Logs

Many insurance agencies prefer cars that are well maintained. A car that is able to respond in time and act accordingly (as the driver expects it too) will fair much better on the road and, in some respects, be less likely to be involved in an incident. However, sometimes it can be difficult to regularly keep track of the car’s condition.

Fortunately, modern technology has made maintenance a little easier. A car owner can easily get the correct tire pressure values at home, thanks to sensors and pumps. Likewise, owners can use a digital camera and other recording devices to record/prove anything they do.  If drivers show how well they look after their car, this will be a strong negotiating chip for a better deal.

Speed Limiters

Aside from the driver history or behaviors, insurance plans often look to the specifications of the car.  Specifically, one of the biggest factors is the top speed of the vehicle. This represents what the options a driver readily has at their disposal – even if a driver has never committed a speeding violation in their life, they have the option to drive as fast as the vehicle allows.

That is, of course, unless the car has a speed limiter. As it suggests, this device restricts the speed of the vehicle, ensuring the driver can’t go past the national speed limit. This has been supported by both insurance companies and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as it has been linked with increased safety.

Automated Features

While an autonomous car is still some years away, there are many features which can be automated in modern vehicles.

If the car has any of these, it’s important for the insurance provider to be aware.  Collision detectors, for instance, can help drivers avoid an accident, especially if they are able to automatically apply the brakes. The same can be said for road sensor systems that help drivers stay in lane. While a good driver may never need to rely on these features, they are still beneficial to everyone on the road, so this technology may allow the insurance co. to be willing to reward the insured for having them.

Security Technology

Finally, as far as theft is concerned, there are numerous ways to protect the vehicle. People who park their car in a locked garage often get a better deal than a similar person parking their car on the street, as the former is arguably harder to steal. While many people simply don’t have a garage of their own, there are ways to protect the car, even when it is on the street. This includes car alarms, tracking devices and car wheel locks. The common argument here is that this makes it more difficult for a thief to take the particular vehicle, making it less of a target in the first place.

Finally, one thing readers should keep in mind, however, is that many of these advanced pieces of technology, such as telematic recorders and dashboard cameras, can also highlight the driving style. If the driver happens to be an aggressive dangerous driver, this may not give them the discounts they were hoping for.  It may actually work against them.  

While some technology, such as speed limiters, can reduce the car’s own capabilities, many other forms of technology only benefit the driver if they maintain safe driving methods.

About the Author:

Giles Kirkland is a professional mechanic with a passion for getting the most out of his car and his budget.  He is the author of “How Technology Can Help You Cut Down Your Car Insurance”  as well as other articles around budgets and reducing expenses.

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