State Farm Set to Launch Usage-Based Insurance Program

State Farm is making it easier for its Illinois customers to get discounts for safe driving, provided they’re willing to install a device in their cars that tracks just how safe they are behind the wheel.

The new In-Drive service requires that policyholders install in the vehicles a high-tech gadget that monitors speed, acceleration, braking and the time of day the vehicle is driven, along with other information.

The device—which the company says was developed by Hughes Telematics and can be inserted into the car’s diagnostic plug—will let users take greater advantage of State Farm’s existing Drive Safe & Save plan, through which motorists can earn insurance discounts for logging low mileage.

State Farm logoDrive Safe & Save is State Farm’s version of the usage-based programs offered by several of the best rated auto insurance companies. These programs—including Progressive’s Snapshot and Allstate’s Drive Wise—use on-board devices to monitor driving patterns and offer discounts of as much as 30 percent to drivers with low miles and safe habits.

Until now, State Farm customers taking part in Drive Safe & Save could submit odometer readings electronically only if their vehicles were equipped with OnStar. Otherwise, mileage had to be reported to State Farm before each six-month policy renewal.

In-Drive, which the company says will allow policyholders to save 20 percent or more on insurance premiums, will do all the reporting for those motorists.

Drive Safe & Save is currently available to customers in California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio and Texas. Drive Safe featuring In-Drive technology will be launched in Illinois in September and expanded to other states next year, according to the company.

State Farm says In-Drive could save policyholders up to 50 percent on policy rates, based on a range of factors including their safety as drivers and how many miles they log.

But the insurance company points out that mileage will be a major consideration, with savings for most policyholders who drive the national average of 12,000 mile a year topping out at about 20 percent.

In-Drive offers several features independent of the Drive Safe program, including roadside and stolen vehicle location assistance, vehicle maintenance alerts and diagnostic reminders.

About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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