Progressive drivers will have to clear the following hurdles to qualify:
- After you sign up for the Snapshot program, Progressive sends you a device that plugs into the on-board diagnostic (OBD) port of your vehicle. The device records and sends the driving data to Progressive. It won’t measure where you are like a GPS does, but will measure how often you drive the car, and how far you go.
- After 30 days, based on your driving habits, you will find out if you qualify for a discount. If you’re approved, you’ll immediately see that discount applied to your policy. In general, Progressive notes, people who drive less, drive safer, and drive during safer times of day are more likely to get a discount.
- At the end of the six-month policy term, Progressive determines the renewal discount and the customer returns the device to the insurer.
- You can’t play possum for a month and get the discount forever. After the trial period, Progressive reserves the right to periodically check in with customers to get an updated picture of their driving by asking them to once again plug in the “safe driving” device.
One consumer-friendly feature allows customers to use the plug-in device to check and see how they’re doing, safe driving-wise. Drivers can also measure their own progress during the 30-day trial period.
Call it a snapshot or a long shot, but at least auto insurers are putting more price controls into consumers’ hands.
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