There’s a (deleted) app for that

Six months ago, Entrepreneur signed me up for our auto insurance’s safe driver app. The carrot was if I “proved” I was a safe driver, there would be a discount on our renewal premium in September. I was less than thrilled but agreed to try it for six months. Notice, HE didn’t offer to put it on his phone.

So I downloaded the battery-sucking app and signed up. I immediately hated it. It’s not that I’m a bad driver, but this app came with a significant PIA (pain-in-the-ass) factor. First, it was supposed to be able to tell if I was the driver or the passenger. It worked correctly about 50% of the time. The kicker was, unless I went into the app after every. single. trip. I got dinged for an infraction if I wasn’t the driver and they committed any sins against the app. And the app only kept four drives at a time where you could edit them if they were incorrect. Miss a drive and you run the risk of having it read the trip incorrectly. There was no way to pause it if you were on vacation and not driving a car. Really? I really have much better things to do on vacation than check a driving app to make sure it’s accurate.

The app assesses three things: distraction-free driving, speeding and hard braking. Here’s my assessment of each of those.

Distraction-free driving
AKA: using my phone in any way while driving. Touch my phone while driving for any reason…..get penalized. But, if I wasn’t quick like a bunny checking the accuracy of whether I was the driver or passenger, the app would wipe out any progress and any distraction-free streak starts over. Not even my passenger could touch my phone if I was driving.

My all-time record was much higher than 146 drives, but I missed checking a couple trips when Entrepreneur was driving and I was using the phone. It wiped out my streak before I could edit the drive.

I quickly discovered EVERYONE goes above the speed limit. If I drove the speed limit, cars passed me right and left. That’s okay, but there were times when I know I was not speeding yet it penalized me for it. I found out I could go one to four mph over the limit and stay under their radar. Go five mph over for any length of time and you’re toast. For the record, I have not had a speeding ticket for almost 30 years.

Hard Braking
I have only two words about this one. College. Town. Living in a college town, there are multiple opportunities to brake hard. College students in cars weave in and out of traffic, cutting off other drivers. They have a tendency to appear in intersections at the most inopportune times. And, evidently, there is an entire generation of students who were never taught to look both ways before stepping off the curb into the street. So….yes, I had some “hard brakes.”

So, to sum it up, I could weave in and out of traffic, drive like a crazy person, tailgate the driver in front of me, go under the speed limit to the point of causing an accident, and juggle food and eat while driving….but as long as I didn’t touch my phone, hard brake or speed, I was safe.

The carrot promised a minimum of 10% discount just for signing up with possible additional savings depending on the readings. We were looking forward to substantial savings as a minor fender bender five years ago (involving one of those college students who appeared out of nowhere) was due to fall off. That, combined with my stellar driving record the last six months should have been worth at least a 20% discount. Last week we got our new premiums and it actually went UP!! We asked WTF and was told there was an across the board rate increase…and should count ourselves lucky to have had the accident and a whopping 10% discount from the app apply to our new premiums. In other words, their rate increase was so high it wiped out any savings we had incurred. How convenient.

Needless to say, we’re looking for a new insurance carrier. It might be the Libertarian in me but as soon as I deleted the monitoring app, I immediately felt substantially stress-free.



10 thoughts on “There’s a (deleted) app for that

  1. I’m shaking my head….good luck with new insurance…but on a different note, we’re trying to get my mother in law to stop driving…and she’s resistant….I think after 75 all drivers should have to have this app because I think there’s a lot of unsafe drivers out there

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG Lisa, this app sounded like a NIGHTMARE. Not to mention, confusing and non-accurate. But I applaud you for doing it.

    You see, I read things like this about car insurance and am reminded how relieved I feel that I no longer have a car. I’ve never been a car-person, however before I lived in a city, I had to have a car to get around. And one of the perks about living in Florida was that car insurance is very cheap and they also do not require a yearly car inspection.

    And speaking of speeding. I used to speed all the time. One time I was pulled over for going 40 in a 25 speed limit zone WITHOUT having my license with me. I must have good cop-karma because the policeman who stopped me could have giving me TWO tickets (speeding and driving without a license), yet, he let me go on BOTH accounts. The only thing I was required to do was go to DMV and prove to them that I, in fact, had a license


    Happy Labor Day, my friend! X

    Liked by 1 person

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