New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel today joined with major national auto insurance carriers Allstate and Progressive to announce that New York motorists now have the option of obtaining usage-based car insurance, an innovative program that uses in-car technology to save money for motorists who drive less and who drive safely. Allstate’s Drive Wise and Progressive’s Snapshot services provide discounts up to 30 percent for motorists who drive fewer miles, avoid short stops or drive at safe speeds and during daytime hours, using data collected by in-car devices provided by the insurance companies. This concept, which is expanding rapidly within the insurance industry, rewards good driving behavior and allows motorists who drive less frequently to pay rates appropriate to their road usage and safe driving practices. That could result in a break in insurance premiums for New Yorkers, who drive less than motorists in many other cities and parts of the state.
“Safety has always been the best practice, and now safety can be its own reward for potentially millions of New York motorists,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Giving safe-driving New Yorkers money-saving opportunities can make it even easier and safer for everyone to get around.”
“The Bloomberg Administration has made transportation safety a top priority, resulting in historic declines in automobile, cyclist and pedestrian fatalities and injuries in the last decade,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “We are proud to work with the insurance industry to incentivize even further safety gains that will benefit safe-driving New Yorkers.”
“The goal of Drivewise is to help create a safer, more self-aware driver,” said Allstate Auto Line Vice President Randy Birchfield. “And, when we do that, we’re able to pass along savings by rewarding those who drive safely with significant discounts on their premium, all while helping create safer drivers across the state and country.”
“More than one million drivers have participated in our program to get personalized car insurance discounts by sharing a picture of how they drive,” said Dave Pratt, Progressive’s general manager of usage-based insurance. “We have tested and refined our program for more than 15 years, creating a program that is unmatched in its advanced technology, security and ability to optimize discounts for customers. Snapshot has been available to Progressive customers in New York since December 2010.”
Usage-based insurance is now available in many states across the nation, though currently available to New York State residents only through Allstate and Progressive. Companies provide enrolled motorists with a small telematics device that they can easily plug into the vehicle’s electronics system under the dashboard. The device can collect data on mileage, speed and braking, and also the time of day when driving. The devices do not have GPS capability and cannot track a vehicle’s location. Findings from Progressive showed that drivers who got a discount with Snapshot saved an average of $150 per year off their policies. Allstate offers those who sign up a 10% enrollment discount for the first six months of use and also allows enrolled motorists to monitor their driving characteristics online and use the information to adopt safer driving practices and thus further lower their insurance rate.