Could Data from a Car Insurance Company Tracking Device be Used to Evaluate Your Claim?
Many insurance companies offer customers discounted rates in exchange for installing tracking devices in their cars to monitor driving habits. Often, drivers must meet certain criteria to secure discounts, such as limiting driving to a certain number of miles per month.
While this may result in more money in your bank account, what does it cost you in terms of your privacy? Could this information be used against you when filing a claim after an accident?
Read on to learn how insurance companies may use your data to evaluate your accident claim and possibly deny it.
What is a Car Insurance Tracking Device?
Car insurance company tracking devices are also called telematics devices. Many companies have brand names for the device they use. For example, Progressive’s tracking device is called Snapshot. Allstate branded its device as the Drivewise mobile app.
The telematics device is hardwired into a vehicle and captures information from the vehicle, which is automatically transmitted back to the insurance company.
What Types of Data Do They Collect?
You should ask about the data your insurance company plans to collect before agreeing to put a telematics device in your vehicle. While every insurance company is different, and they may not be fully transparent about the data they are gathering, they generally want information about the behavior of the driver:
- Time of day you drive
- Parking location
- Phone usage
What Can Be Done with the Collected Data?
Once the insurance company has collected your data from its telematics device, the question remains: what do they do with it?
Some insurance companies use the data to raise premiums for drivers. For example, they may raise premiums for a driver who has a long commute and spends more time on the road – this type of driver may be at a higher risk for a crash. By using GPS tracking, an insurance company can see if a person parks his or her vehicle in an area with more car break-ins. If a driver is doing this, his or her insurance company may decide to raise that person’s premium to offset the possibility of more claims.
Aside from evaluating the kind of driver you are and the chances of you filing multiple claims with your policy, insurance companies can also sell your data to third parties for profit. Also, if an insurance company does not encrypt the data it collects, it can be vulnerable to hackers who may gain access to your sensitive information such as your name, address and even your Social Security number.
How Can My Data be Used to Evaluate My Claim?
The appeal of telematics devices is that insurance companies may use the data to reward safe drivers with rate discounts. However, as more drivers began installing these devices, insurance companies began to use the data they collected to penalize bad drivers. Not only can they increase rate premiums for bad drivers, but they may also try to use your driving history to deny your claim.
For example, insurance companies can look at the data from the day of an accident and see if a person was speeding. If your vehicle was hit by a negligent driver, but you were speeding at the time of the accident, you may be held partially liable and your compensation award could be significantly reduced or your claim may be denied.
Our New Jersey car accident lawyers are prepared to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to pursue the full value of your claim.
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Our team of lawyers knows the tactics insurance companies use to deny claims. Our attorneys are prepared to help. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call us. We do not charge anything unless we obtain compensation. That means there is no risk to you.
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