Advances in technology are making almost every aspect of our lives easier than they were before. You can do all your banking online, watch your favorite television shows anytime you want, and order groceries to be delivered right to your door. It might not be something you think about often, but technology can also change the way you approach your car insurance.
If you’re concerned about the amount you’re paying for your insurance coverage, new technology could be the key to unlocking a greater discount on your premium. Many insurers are now offering Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) plans, which ask drivers to install a telematics device to their vehicles to track their driving habits. These devices can record information about your acceleration, braking and distance driven, and then relay that data to your insurance provider so they can get a clear picture of your driving habits. In return, you could be eligible for a lower premium. Many companies offer a discount just for signing up for UBI, and up to 30 percent in savings when it’s time for renewal. In addition, studies have shown that UBI can change your driving habits for the better.
Of course, providing this type of information to a large company could raise some privacy concerns, so the Financial Services Commission of Ontario lays out the rules that protect drivers who sign up for UBI. Based on these guidelines, any information collected by your insurance company cannot be shared with a third party without your express consent. In addition, the information cannot be used to increase your premium, only to set a discount, review rating criteria, detect and prevent fraud, and manage claims. That being said, data from your telematics device could be used as evidence against you in a claim if it reveals that you were speeding or braking suddenly before an accident.
If you are concerned about making a claim to your insurance company, a dash cam is another way that you can use technology to your advantage. Dash cams can record your journey and events going on when your vehcile is parked. This means that your dash cam can provide footage of a car that hit you or catch the license plate of a vehicle unlawfully leaving the scene in the event that you need proof to submit a claim.Like UBI, dash cam footage only works in your favour if you do not have any fault in a collision. Otherwise, you’re dash cam could prove a case against you.
Each year before its time to renew your insurance, you should be comparing quotes between providers. A lot can change in year – both with premiums and your life situation – so the great deal you got last year might not be your best option anymore. Luckily, technology also makes it easy for you to compare car insurance quotes online. When you’re doing your research this year, consider how UBI could lower your premium, and ask your chosen insurer if having a dash cam would be beneficial in the claims processes.