Asking How Does State Farm Drive Safe And Save Work? ask no more, in this post we are going to explain everything you need to know about State Farm Drive Safe And Save. What it is, how it works, the habits it monitors and much more to extend your knowledge.
What is Drive Safe and Save?
State Farm hopped on board the telematics bandwagon right about the time that Progressive was marketing their similar telematics program, Snapshot, heavily.
Like Snapshot, the InDrive program initially used a plug-in telematics device to record information through the car’s On-Board Diagnostics port (OBD-II).
Eventually, State Farm dropped the plug-in device and turned to using either OnStar or the mobile app in order to gather information (they have also discontinued their SYNC program with Ford vehicles).
They are not the only insurance company to use OnStar; National General was the first to do so, and in fact, they were the first to offer a usage-based program back in 2004.
As National General is connected with General Motors, it made sense that they would use the GM-branded OnStar system. OnStar is a GM product that was originally created as a sort of help system for drivers.
For example, it could contact emergency assistance if the vehicle was involved in an accident and the driver was unable to do so. The advent of a telematics program for car insurance was an obvious new use for OnStar.
The problem with this setup is that it limits the availability of the program to vehicles that have OnStar; that is where the mobile app comes in.
Furthermore, information gathered through OnStar is limited to vehicle mileage. Most usage-based insurance programs today offer the option of using an app, and State Farm is no different.
State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save mobile app program works generally the same way as many other similar programs. Customers use one of the two methods to allow information about driving habits and driving performance to be recorded including when and how frequently they drive, braking and accelerating, and speed. If your driving performance reflects that you’re a responsible driver, you can be rewarded with an auto insurance discount. So, quite literally, this program allows you to drive safe and save.
All of this information is used to give the driver a discount on their insurance premiums at renewal.
What Driving Habits Does State Farm Drive Safe and Save Monitor?
The Bluetooth beacon keeps track of a lot of information, more than something like OnStar vehicle diagnostics or a different mobile app program. It will monitor your actual mileage, your odometer, the time of day and location, your basic driving characteristics like if you follow speed limits, safe driving habits, risky driving behaviors, and so on. As long as your Bluetooth is connected, it will keep track of all these things on all your trips. Devices like this help promote safer driving habits and reduce accidents by identifying unsafe behaviors and tracking habits. The idea is to help you build better driving habits.
1. Accelerating and Braking: Drive Safe & Save monitors your vehicle to determine how fast you accelerate and how quickly you brake. Drive Safe and Save also measures how quickly you turn, and the sharpness at which you take a turn. Yes, hard braking is sometimes necessary. If you’re maintaining a safe speed and distance behind cars and paying attention to your surroundings, it should not be a frequent issue. If you go easier on your brakes, you’re also going easier on the mechanics of your car.
2. Your mileage: State Farm Drive Safe & Save tracks your mileage and then at the end of the monitoring period, takes the average and uses that to estimate your yearly mileage to calculate your insurance rates. If you currently have a discount for low estimated annual mileage (less than 7,500 miles per year for personal use), and the Drive Safe and Save program reveals you’re driving more than that, you may see an increased premium at your next renewal.
3. Safe speeds: Drive Safe & Save tracks your speed. If the Drive Safe and Save monitor detects what is considered unsafe speeds based on traffic and the speed limit, it may negatively affect your discount amount. If you go over about 80 mph, Drive Safe and Save may also ding your record or give you real-time feedback suggesting you slow down.
4. What time of day you drive: Certain times of the day are considered safer to drive in than others. In terms of Drive Safe & Save, State Farm considers rush hour traffic hours and driving at night to be riskier times of the day.
5. Distracted Driving: If you’re on your phone on the road, even for a moment, you’re at a higher risk of being in an accident. Talking on your phone is just as risky, even when you use a hands-free device. This program can recognize signs you might be distracted, but much of it is connected to your phone.
How Does State Farm Drive Safe & Save Work?
Drive Safe & Save works by observing your driving characteristics and calculating a driving score based on your behavior. If you frequently practice distracted driving, take sharp turns, or have a spotty driving record, you might not be the ideal candidate for Drive Safe & Save and could see only minimal discounts. The Drive Safe & Save mobile app is available for iOS and Android and can be found in the App Store or on Google Play. These smartphone apps will tell you what sort of discount you’re looking at at the end of each policy period (roughly six months).
What’s the conclusion?
The Drive Safe & Save program has very little risk, and it can provide a reasonably good discount. So is the driver discount program worth it?
For those that qualify, it is likely worth giving the program a shot. As with all such programs, drivers should keep their expectations realistic – you are not going to save 50% on your car insurance, and you will be disappointed if that’s what you expect.
For those that are just looking to trim the bills as much as possible, Drive Safe & Save is a pretty safe bet.