Progressive Insurance announced that it will be rolling out its MyRate plan nationally. You participate by plugging a monitoring device into the ODB-II port on your vehicle. Once every six months you upload the collected data from every trip you’ve made. You’ll receive at least a 5% discount and maybe more based on your driving habits. In some states though, you could actually have your rates raised. Progressive will show you the direct impact your driving behavior has on your rate.
[Aaron Landry] has been participating in the pilot program and points out that the sensor is actually a rebranded CarChip. The CarChip is a datalogging device that can record a number of parameters: trip time, length, distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, to name a few. 23 different engine parameters can also be made available. The MyRate device works with the same software as the CarChip. For the national rollout though, Progressive has a wireless device which is probably also manufactured by Davis.
While we’re not the types to expose our driving behavior-would you let your health insurance company monitor you? The MyRate device looks like juicy target for the unscrupulous and we wouldn’t be surprised to see someone exploit it. We’re wondering what sort of safeguards have been put in place. Any signal headed into the device could be modified. With the CarChip there’s no good reason to do that, but the MyRate is different because of potential monetary savings. It seems like far too much trust to put in a customer and we’re guessing Progressive has covered their bases either by securing the device or more likely: making it not worthwhile to the consumer to begin with.