Insurance Company Telematics Trade Perks for Privacy
When State Farm Insurance announced its telematics-based roadside assistance program, everyone said OnStar had gained a new competitor. What didn’t get as much attention, however, is that the insurance company also opened an electronic window into your driving habits.
The system, called In-Drive, is two small boxes — one that clips onto your visor, another that plugs into your car’s OBD II diagnostic port — that can summon a tow truck, alert the police and even locate a stolen vehicle or a teen who has missed curfew. It’s all very helpful, and quite innocuous. But In-Drive also lets drivers opt in to Drive Safe and Save, State Farm’s usage-based insurance program that calculates drivers’ premiums based on their recorded driving habits.