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Insight: Auto insurers' driver tracking hits wall in California

Reuters -- California is turning into a battleground for technology that allows auto insurers to track their customers' driving behavior and offer them lower premiums, but that privacy advocates reject as an excessive intrusion with serious consequences.

Insurance companies are increasingly installing small boxes in clients' cars that monitor everything from how much customers drive to their average speeds to where they drive.

But privacy advocates say the lower premiums are not worth the tradeoffs, because the data could be used for unexpected purposes like penalizing drivers who visit unsafe neighborhoods. That argument holds sway with the California Department of Insurance, which is opposed to expanding the technology.



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Submitted Aug 18, 2012 By: doeslayersr
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Insight: Auto insurers' driver tracking hits wall in California Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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StArrow68
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: May 1, 2014 1:38:27 AM

The devil is always in the details and how they interpret the data. Still not to my liking.
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YodaON
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Apr 30, 2014 8:36:14 PM

hard to argue
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2012 4:10:49 AM

bicycle: I've read it and not just in high school (in fact, it wasn't required back then). And I still use the term b/c it is such an intrusion. Lots of little intrusions that most people never notice (and some folks even embrace). Me, I don't. Maybe I'm old school. Stay out of my business and leave me alone!
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2012 4:08:42 AM

LEC: let's talk about who was the bad apple and who is the better one?

That might be good to share on such public forums and help others.
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LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 9:32:51 PM

Very good points Bicycle1966! The insurance companies are pushing, pushing hard for the black box because they know these drivers who do get a discount is where their big profits are....

What P###es me off is the moment I turned 65 and retired my rate went up significantly. Same company for years, no accidents, tickets, or claims in over 20 years....just magically I was an old fogy! Well there are companies out there who do value a good driving record over old fogies of 65!

My former company ask WHY I was canceling in mid stream so I told them. So bottom line, shop around, there are better deals to be found! Always tell your old company why you cancelled....and why they are A-holes.



[Edited by: LetemEatCake at 8/19/2012 11:34:53 PM EST]
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jrs4125
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 4:45:01 PM

Insurance companies are always right. They know best.
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1WI
All-Star Author Appleton

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 2:37:54 PM

Drive Safer.
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PatAZ
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 8:39:09 AM

California drivers don't want anyone spying on them, can't say i blame them.
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bicycle1966
All-Star Author Akron

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 8:19:28 AM

I'm guessing most of the people commenting "big brother" probably haven't read 1984, or at least not since high school how many years or decades ago.

I hate insurance companies. Despite whatever selfless and caring image they might want to portray in their ads, the fact is they are in business for one thing and one thing only -- for a profit. They are in business for their own benefit, not yours or mine. And I am rarely in a position to "defend" the insurance companies.

That said, I think people are way off base on this. Most people pay way more for car insurance than they really need/deserve to, because they end up subsidizing the insurance rates of the minority of drivers who cause the most losses for the companies. Insurers already use all kinds of data and statistics to predict losses, and they base their rates on that. Obviously, if you have speeding tickets or accidents, you pay more than someone with a clean record. But also, they consider age and gender, and even education and employment. People with college degrees in "professional" kinds of careers often pay less than part time workers with a HS diploma. Students with good grades pay less than those with poor grades. Your rates are affected by where you live and the crime rates in that area. Your rate can be higher or lower based on the kind of car you drive.
They already do all of this. But all of the data is incomplete when it comes to determining who the higher risk drivers are because it is all based on statistical generalities. Kids with good grades might be statistically a better risk, but what about the kid who's a great driver but just honestly struggles in school? A person could be an aggressive-driving moron but have a clean record. The recording device tries to get a picture of what kind of driver YOU are, without the generalities. It records driving time, distance, speed, and hard braking. It has no GPS. It doesn't know where you drive or where you park. It knows your speed, but doesn't know if you're speeding. But if you brake hard frequently, they can infer that you probably drive too fast for the conditions regardless of the speed limit -- or you drive too aggressively, and are therefore a higher risk. You only use the thing for a few months, then return it. And it's optional. The fact that most people who use it qualify for a discount tells you that most people are being overcharged for insurance. And people willing to opt into the program are most likely NOT the ones who cause the most losses for the insurers.
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GOBUTLER
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 7:04:10 AM

Interesting...
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tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 1:29:10 AM

Data Collection! Observe, monitor and collect information! To Box or Not To Box?
Monitor your driving and 'maybe' get cheaper insurance rates or Not! Data collection on How fast you drive, Where you go, at What time and Why? Credit card use, grocery store and gas station reward/club card purchases and internet use/sites visited are more things they get to watch about you also. Highway, street, business and parking lot cameras are being monitored too.
There is too much Big Brother and it's going to get worse and more, more, more! The government and big business will know more about you and your habits than you do yourself.
Whatever the size or shape of the vehicle, Produce and ‘Drive’ vehicles with high MPG, are very safe, reliable, have a ‘reasonable’ cost and a good ‘value’ for the money.
Consider using other forms of less expensive transportation to lower your cost.
The price of fuel at the pump is too high!
12/22/2012!
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ExplorerWA
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 12:05:46 AM

I with them. I don't want it and it is an invasion of privacy. Who owns the data and who will have access to it.
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Blismo
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 12:05:44 AM

ok
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Bill68Prius
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 11:03:26 PM

What if every car in the Washington DC area had monitoring equipment installed? Would the legislative branch of government be forced to raise the speed limit to 80 mph or would the drivers be issued multiple speeding tickets per day.
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MrPony
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:53:59 PM

I think it should be my option.
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LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:51:11 PM


California sound right on track with me....no cute little Black Boxes from Geico for me. FLO can stick it!
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boatfloyd
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:47:54 PM

California is moving on.
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jtfftj
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:46:12 PM

More old news.
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mfeldstein
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:45:28 PM

Please leave me some place to hide.
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ghmortensen
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:45:23 PM

I say NO!
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TheeRedRam
Champion Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:43:47 PM

.
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miser709
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:41:34 PM

This has so many negative consequences. Not good.
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cloud23465
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:41:30 PM

These are probably the same people that are for wire tapping?
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ShadowACE
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:40:59 PM

Wow. I didn't expect that from the People's Republic of Kalifornia. I'm substantially impressed. God Bless America!
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JPGASMAN
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:40:46 PM

k
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autohio
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:37:14 PM

Okay
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Dailyrun
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:36:53 PM

Good.
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batman2010
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:36:37 PM

hmmm
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yvonneIL
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:34:16 PM

ok
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mrbee
Champion Author Little Rock

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:32:25 PM

Leave us alone.
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liao
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:31:29 PM

Another big brother.
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vibdata
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:31:20 PM

Big Brother is here. And he took over without even a whimper from anyone. How could people let this happen? I guess 1984 is so far past no one even knows what that means anymore.
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txkrb
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:27:42 PM

Most insurance companies which offer this have it as optional, if you do not want the possible discounts for being a safe driver do not opt in to the device
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crreed1
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:17:55 PM

ok
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us4usa
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:17:06 PM

And next life insurers' will want to track your every move???
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dongo50
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:13:37 PM

oh my goodness!
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millerin
Champion Author Orlando

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:10:55 PM

hmm...
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rawdog1313
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:10:09 PM

I hope it's a Brick Wall.......
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:09:46 PM


If it is a voluntary system, why not? Careful drivers would probably save a little on insurance while less-careful drivers would opt out to avoid the tracking.
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Jarol
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:08:20 PM

... and ... California is bankrupt.
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NorthglennBill
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:05:55 PM

Big brother is always trying to grow.
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farn1958
All-Star Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:05:54 PM

there are some things insurance companies do not need to know about.
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Jeffro61
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:05:41 PM

Big brother BS
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SteelPenny
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:05:05 PM

Big Brother is watching YOU.
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jimedB
Champion Author Riverside

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:05:02 PM

This will probably wind up being used to jack up the premiums for those they consider to be driving unsafely not to lower anyones premiums. And how secure will the information be? You can bet some hacker will be able to get the info and use it to wreak havoc. At least the California Department of Insurance is looking out for us seems like none of the other loons that are supposed to are.
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jem069
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:04:52 PM

Ok
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Quick68
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:04:36 PM

The feds will tax it and make the drivers pay for it.
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ratboy1968
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 10:01:34 PM

ok
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C.Carpets
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 9:55:42 PM

My question is, will the feds want to put one in too. Or will they just go down to your insurance company to see what you're doing?
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trytogetby
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Aug 18, 2012 9:54:56 PM

I never did think putting a device in your car for information was a good idea. I felt that after seeing the Progressive commercials.
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