I’m kind’ve annoyed about something, and I need to get it off my chest. Let me first say that I’ve had Allstate Auto Insurance for at least ten years. When I was rear-ended in a car accident a few years ago, they handled it fairly well. I’ve always been happy with the service I’ve gotten (for the most part), and I haven’t had any serious issues. However, with all that being said, I feel like they made a fairly skeevy move recenty. Let me explain.
The last time my car insurance rates were up for renewal, I noticed that my premiums went up quite a bit compared to the average. So, I called the office to see what my options were. Since I was already thinking about taking the full coverage off of my periwinkle minivan, I went ahead. That move, in itself, saved a ton. And, since I was already on the phone, they also told me about their Drivewise program. In case you don’t know what Allstate Drivewise is, here’s how they explain it on their website:
“Drivewise is a program that gives safe, low mileage drivers the opportunity to earn a discount for driving safely. Drivewise also provides feedback on your driving behavior that may help you reduce your risk of having an accident.”
Basically, they mail you a contraption that connects to the dashboard in your car. It monitors your speed and braking patterns and determines whether you’re a safe driver or not. And, in exchange for participating, my Allstate rep told me that I would save 30 percent….which is A LOT. I mean, I probably wouldn’t have done it to save 5 percent or 10 percent….but 30 percent? Count me in.
So, I hooked the thing up to my car and completely forgot about it. That was, until, I got an email from Allstate explaining that I could track my Drivewise discount on their website. And, that’s when things went downhill….
According to their website, there are three levels of risk within a 24 hour time frame:
- High Risk: 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
- Low Risk: 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Moderate Risk: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
And, although I have never driven during the high risk time zone, I often drive during moderate risk hours. You know, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. when almost everything in my life happens. So, I suppose if I want to save the full 30 percent, I can just avoid driving during the day. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, there’s more……
Apparently, I had a braking episode. You can see the alleged incident highlighted in red on the graph. I’m pretty sure the alleged incident took place in the Walmart parking lot, as a matter of fact, and the braking was entirely necessary compared to the alternative of running someone over. However, should I really be penalized for it? I mean, I’ve had Allstate Drivewise for three months now, and I’ve only had one braking incident. What if I slammed the brakes so I didn’t hit another car? Or, maybe a dog ran out in front of me. Who knows? Regardless, I’m not sure how they can count a single braking incident against someone when they have no idea why I was braking. It seems like the “why” part of the equation should matter, doesn’t it? It’s not like I had road rage or anything.
Regardless, although I’m happy to save 17 percent, I feel like the program is somewhat misleading. Maybe I’ll work on not driving from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. “Sorry kids….we’re walking to daycare today!” Oh, and next time a dog runs out in front of me, I’ll just run it over.
What do you think? Would you sign up for your company’s safe driver program to save money?
Unrelated question: Want to learn how I go on vacation for free? Check out these posts about credit card rewards: