The Hartford to Launch Usage-Based Car Insurance Option

The Hartford is joining the growing list of auto insurers offering policyholders a chance to earn discounts by outfitting their vehicles with devices that automatically track mileage, speed and other data.

The company plans to launch a pilot program called TrueLane sometime during the first half of 2012 that will monitor driving habits and reward customers for safe driving and having low mileage, a spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.

“TrueLane will track participants’ driving behavior during a policy period and provide a discount to the policyholder at renewal based on that data,” company spokeswoman Debora Raymond said in an email. “The TrueLane device records driving information and shares that information via a cellular connection, then sends the information to The Hartford.”

The voluntary program will capture data on speed, distance, hard braking, cornering, acceleration and times of day the insured car is driven, according to Raymond. No other details were available on the program.

TrueLane will move The Hartford into the ranks of major insurers—including Progressive, Allstate and State Farm—with programs that use electronic devices to monitor data directly from policyholders’ vehicles.

The trend takes much of the guesswork out of vehicle coverage by providing insurers with data that is far more reliable than self-reported information or  policyholder data that is publicly available.

That means insurers are able to assess risk and price coverage with greater accuracy. In turn, coverage providers reward drivers with auto insurance discounts for logging low miles and driving safely.

By far the largest of the usage-based programs is Progressive’s Snapshot, which company officials say has grown to include more than 250,000 Progressive customers in 40 states.


About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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