the progressive snapshot

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  1. h4x0rj3ff

    h4x0rj3ff Chemist

    has anyone ever used one? i got it coming in the mail hopefully i can save some money on my car insurance! they monitor stuff like braking hard so my wife might be in trouble. lol

  2. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    I own a similar device that only I can read the output from.

    Letting your insurance company monitor your driving behavior might seem like a good idea at first blush, but IME it looks like a great way for the insurance company to jack up your rates, or even deny a claim because "the thing says it's your fault".

    It's bad enough that auto makers put their own secret "black boxes" into most newer cars, so they can CYA themselves if there's a crash. There's one thing that you can be sure of: they're not going to use that data to help you.

    Most if not all of the data being collected can be interpreted to mean practically anything. And if it's your story vs. "what the box said" you don't stand a chance.

    I'm no longer a Progressive customer after they doubled my insurance rates after an underage driver hit my parked car and drove away. I never filed a claim with my insurance company; I caught the hit and run driver myself, and his parents' insurance company paid up. I even had surveillance camera video that proved that I wasn't operating the car when it got hit!

    When I was in the body shop having my car repaired, I ran into a Progressive adjuster and told him my story. He said that he doesn't use Progressive to insure his car! He also gave me the name of another insurance company that has been a lot more reasonable.

    One more thing. Progressive spends a LOT of money on advertising. Where do you think the money to pay for all that TV advertising comes from? Your insurance premiums, of course! Find an insurer that doesn't spend much on advertising, and you'll save more money that way, no strings attached.
    Gmash likes this.
  3. Manodedios

    Manodedios Well-Known Member

    While I agree on the snapshot device. I have to take issue with a couple of things. I work for a major ins co.... bigger than progressive. Ins don't jack up rates for a non fault loss unless you have a history of several Losses and you are determined to be a bigger risk. So clearly we aren't getting the whole story.

    Secondly advertising is generally paid with by the companies investments not normally the premiums they collect.
  4. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    My problem with the snapshot - if someone else uses *my* vehicle and they don't fasten their seat belt, or hard accelerate from stop every time, etc. then it reflects on my statistics (and theoretically, my premium).
  5. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    That other part of the story is that the insurance industry often does dishonest things that defame the reputations of innocent people. Kind of like what you're doing here by insinuating that I must be secretly a bad driver. Well I'm not. But as you no doubt already know, insurance companies often defame good drivers to weasel out of paying up when one of their insured is at fault for big losses. And people like me who have limited financial means, and no time for a protracted court battle have no true recourse when they do it.

    That's a novel excuse. I know that all sorts of businesses play the markets instead of doing the business that they claim to be in. Why is that?

    What does an "insurance" company that got stuck with a bunch of credit default swaps do? Stop advertising? Cut their CEO's pay? :rolleyes: I wasn't born yesterday.
  6. h4x0rj3ff

    h4x0rj3ff Chemist

    Progressive was the cheapest by far for me. weird.

    no one drives my vehicle so im ok there :) i didnt know they monitored seat-belts tho.
  7. dibblebill

    dibblebill Well-Known Member

    Great idea as long as its voluntary. Hate that the government is mandating it. I'd never get one because I differentiate illegal and unsafe driving. Not all illegal driving moves are unsafe, and not all legal drivers are safe drivers.
  8. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    IME just trying to obey all traffic laws all the time will bring so many angry drivers down on you that you'll not be able to keep it up for long. The default driving condition on most American roads is total lawlessness. It wasn't always like that, but it is now, with no end in sight.

    I agree about the voluntary part and government mandates. But here in the US, deregulation has created corporate enterprises that have as much or more power than many governments do. Which would you prefer: a Big Brother that you can go to the polls and replace if you don't like what's being done? Or a Big Brother who answers to no-one, and you can't do anything about?

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's the corruption that's the problem, not whether it's "public sector" or "private sector".
    Gmash and johnlgalt like this.
  9. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    I can't believe anybody would allow their insurance company to place a tracking device in their car. It's not just Progressive, either, all of the major companies are are either planning or have their own programs. I was shocked when I read an article last week stating that something like 76% of people would do this to save a few bucks. Sure it might be voluntary now, but how long before the insurance industry lobbyists stuff enough money into government pockets to have this mandated? Wake up, people. This cannot end well unless people stand up and say "hell, no!"

    I'll drive my car any way I damn well please, thank you very much.
    2k2cse and Speed Daemon like this.
  10. dibblebill

    dibblebill Well-Known Member

    A purchase is a vote, too. Some might have more voting power than others, but in the end, its still its own democracy. And man yof hte powers that corporations have today are thanks to big brother stepping in in their favor. A little money greases that palm nicely...

    As far as a vote changing things. I haven't seen too much of that, lately. Seems that no matter which way one votes, things don't change at all. Call me a cynic or paranoid, but I don't see much difference between either party as far as wanting to intrude on your life goes. There are a few, granted, but not many.
  11. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    The whole insurance thing is a scam to begin with.

    I had Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of GA for 21 months. I started out paying something like $150 / month (single, smoker). By the time I ended hte policy I was paying a little over $200 / month.

    And why did I cancel? Well, here's the thing - I ended up cracking my knuckle on my right hand, and the pain was identical to when I had (5 years prior) cracked my knuckle on my left hand. BCBS refused to pay a $148 X-ray bill for my right hand stating that "it was a pre-existing condition." A friggin chip broken off the bone, making it painful to use my hand, and it was pre-existing???

    Go %&^$#%^$ yourselves, insurance companies. You're the biggest farce ever purported on civilized society.
  12. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    I disagree. IMHO the original idea of insurance was a noble one. And it worked quite well for as long as there was public oversight to ensure that it was an equitable deal.

    That all fell apart during the '80s when too many Americans bought into the fallacy that "you can have your cake and eat it too" and willfully dewercs the whole thing up.

    I think it's important to remember that:

    1. It wasn't always like it is now.
    2. It doesn't have to be this way.
    3. We can change it back if we work together.
  13. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member Contributor

    I used the snapshot program and got 27% off my insurance.

    I do not believe they monitor seat-belt use, as it doesn't say on their site, and it was never listed in any of my reports when I looked at them.

    To get the most out of the snap shot you should look at what makes you a "higher risk" driver according to their stats. Driving between the hours of 6-8am, 11am-1pm 5-7pm and anything after midnight.

    It looks at how long you drive each day (each individual trip and total in a day) I believe they suggest keeping your trips 30min and under each way

    They look at how many miles you drive per trip and total per day

    They watch how fast you accelerate and decelerate

    And the last thing i remember was the time of day you drive.

    all those factors are added up and averaged to give you a percentage. After 30 days you will get an initial deduction (mine was the full 30%) but it can go down from there (i was told it wouldn't) Then for the next two months everything is done the same and then you will get your permanent discount. The snap shot program can only lower your payments, it cannot raise your cost. So I didn't really see anything bad with it, all I had to do is show not all 21y/o are bad drivers. That 27% saves me $50 a month, which I am happy with haha.
  14. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    That's what they want you to believe, but how do you know it's really true? Who's to say they haven't been overcharging you all along? The illusory discount is one of the biggest scams around!

    These devices plug into the OBDII port, and OBDII doesn't monitor seat belt use. But that "black box" that nobody in the business likes to talk about does. And the information it contains may be used against you! You might want to check your contract, because you may have unwittingly signed away the last of your civil rights to the whim of your insurance company. It might not be a big deal most of the time, but if, God forbid, you are involved in a major crash with injuries, you could be the chump that the various insurance companies decide to pin the whole blame on, using the half-truths that these data recorders only provide as "evidence". :eek:

    So in other words you're being profiled, and not fairly.

    Ironically I often pick those off-peak driving hours precisely because the less crowded roads, with a lot less drivers who are late for work and driving crazy, precisely because it's safer to avoid those hazards. But if Progressive says that beating the rush hour traffic and showing up early for work is "higher risk" I guess I'm magically a bad driver just because they said so. :rolleyes: No thanks!

    That's interesting since decades of traffic statics say that you're far more likely to get into a crash on those short trips when you're closer to home. I'm seeing a pattern of "alternate reality"...

    I'll stop there and let the contrary conclusions speak for themselves. Anything can be taken out of context and twisted around, and it looks like that's precisely their intention in this case.

    I think that it's sadly ironic and weirdly telling that the new ad campaign for this electronic tattle-tale has "Flo" playing the part of a drug dealer.

    You might want to read the fine print, or have a lawyer go over it for you. There's a saying: "If something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is." Well, this one looks like a loaded gun pointed at your head.

    Don't say I didn't warn you.
  15. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    What about the other one with Flo looking a lot like Big Brother? On the giant screens everywhere.

    It's all good while they lull people into a false sense of security, then they give enough "campaign contributions" (read:bribes) to get a law passed making it mandatory, or just raise the rates astronomically for those who refuse to play along. But the drug dealer thing is apt. "come on, just try it,... you'll like it,... the first one is free".
  16. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    Oh, yeah about those times:
    6-8 AM- when most people are driving to work
    11AM-1PM- lunch time
    5-7PM- driving home from work
    any time after midnight- what the hell else is left?

    "guys, I can't drive until after 7, my rates might go up". smh
  17. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    That too!

    Precisely. When I was looking up the proper name for the automotive "black box", Google returned a lot of news articles ranging from reports that 95% of cars in America already have them to reports that these devices will soon be mandated by law. And when that happens, the insurance companies and traffic cops alike will be able to use these to raise rates and deny claims, and to write tickets!

    Hmm... When I lived in Chicago, rush hour was all day, every day. But IME the most desperate (and therefore reckless) drivers weren't the ones who left for work at the crack of dawn; it was the ones who were trying to beat the clock right before 9AM, or minimize their lateness right after 9. Likewise, the ones who had something to leave work early for were the big hazards, not the ones who were resigned to getting home at 7PM.

    My favorite time to pop out to Walgreen's, the bank or McDonald's is after midnight because the roads are virtually empty.

    I've also had many jobs that had me working the late shifts. People sure do like to have their electricity, gas and running water 24x7. So why should the people who make that possible suffer even more (shift work can wreck your long-term sleeping patterns) for providing what society demands?

    It looks like they're using a "one size, we don't care if it doesn't fit you" standard, and it looks suspiciously like social engineering.
  18. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    I work nights. Driving home around 2AM, I'm usually the only car on the road, besides cops.
  19. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member Contributor

    Oh believe me I know they are over charging in the first place, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. In the state of MN it is required for you to have insurance on your vehicle. Before I turned 21 it cost me 1500 for 6 months because i had ONE speeding ticket that was going to be off my record in just a few months. When I turned 21 and the speeding ticket was no longer on my record, it was down to 1200 or 1300 and with my 27% discount I'm under 1000 for six months which I find to be much better than the original 1500 I was paying.

    They over charge because they know they can get away with it, but I was alright for giving up 3 months up my driving to get a lower rate.

    And i did read the fine print while I was using it, and here is what it says about one of the areas you're talking about:
    But I haven't had the device in my car for a year now, the only thing tracking my driving now is the black box.. and onstar
  20. dibblebill

    dibblebill Well-Known Member

    Those hours are the hours in which I leave for work or come back home as a teacher. Ew, no thanks. Don't know if my 2012 Jetta TDI has a black box, but I hope it doesn't have one.
  21. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    2012? Yes, you have one.
  22. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member Contributor

    Not to get to far off subject but I have done a little research on the black box and found this informative site


    according to it, VW is not one of the manufacturers that have been voluntarily putting these devices in all their vehicles, but its not to say they didn't.
    The owner of the vehicle owns all data in the ERD (black box) and it can only be accessed with owner consent or court order. But in some cases with insurers, your contract may state that you must comply with their demand for the data recorded on the device

    I see both a positive and a negative side to it. If you know that you had nothing to do with an accident other than being there, the black box can help you. But it can also work against you. They only save data if an accident has been detected. I'd rather just not have it in my vehicle.
    dibblebill and Speed Daemon like this.
  23. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    My biggest concern was language that would have given the insurance company blanket permission to use all data sources, including the black box. I can imagine that a car owner who is unaware of the black box would assume that they were only referring to the OBDII plug-in data, and unwittingly sign away all legal protections against the black box being used against them.

    This could become moot if the feds mandate black boxes and set their own rules about how that data can be used.

    I used to love driving, but things have changed. Between the people whose full attention is on their cellphone, and the amped-up road-raging SUV drivers (lay off the Starbucks, dude!), the "thrill of driving" has become the wrong kind of stimulation. I'm looking forward to retiring to a place that has really good public transportation, so I can let someone else deal with all the road bandits.
  24. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    It's only a positive if you have ample money to pay a very good lawyer to make sure that the data is interpreted fairly.

    Here's the scary part:

    Traditional techniques like measuring skid distances can be used to determine vehicle speed. Why would the EDR data be so different?

    When I was younger and drive more cars with automatic transmissions and poor tires, it was not uncommon to get your 120 MPH speedo pinned while you're spinning your wheels, going nowhere. It's possible to be a driver on a slippery road, who's crawling along with your wheels spinning, and have an out-of-control driver at speed slam into you, killing a passenger. You're badly injured but the other driver walks away from the wreck, and proceeds to lie up a storm, telling a story that blames you.

    Between the ice-covered road and the tracks made by the emergency vehicles, the physical evidence was destroyed. The cops should have preserved it, but to cover up their mistake they suggest using the EDR in your car (the other one doesn't have one). They see the 100MPH+ speed numbers and you're toast. You wake up in a prison hospital to learn that you've been convicted in absentia of voluntary manslaughter.

    Think it can't happen? The real question is "would you bet your future on it?"

    When an airliner crashes, the pilots get a lot of support from the pilot's union. In practically every crash, all other parties (the airlines, the plane manufacturer etc.) are reliant on each-other for business, but are more than happy to throw the pilot to the wolves as the scapegoat. The pilots have to fight hard for fair treatment. And all too often "pilot error" is stamped as the primary cause, even though every plane crash has a complex cause.

    As a driver, you don't have a union to back you up, and because hundreds of millions of dollars aren't on the line and car crashes are far more frequent, you're not going to get the kind of attention to detail that plane crashes get. But interested parties like the auto maker would rather it's you who gets the blame. I wouldn't want to risk my freedom on such a slippery slope!
  25. dibblebill

    dibblebill Well-Known Member

    I'm with Speed. I like Speed... I seem to agree with you a lot. lol

    Did you guys see that former FBI (or was it CIA) agent who tried to remove Onstar?
    I can't find the article now, but he had to gut nearly every electronic device in the car to finally completely kill it.

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