Allstate's usage-based insurance product, Drive Wise, will be put to the test by interested employees and Allstate agency owners. The crowdsourcing technique will put the device in the hands of employees and agency owners around the country to identify opportunities to continue enhancing the device as the company looks to expand its telematics footprint.
Already available in Illinois, Ohio and Arizona, Drive Wise will roll out to additional states in 2012, bringing telematics technology and potential discounts to participating drivers. The upcoming crowdsourcing effort aims to get the device used by a large group of real consumers. Previous internal testing has given Allstate more than 11 million miles and 350,000 hours of driving data to help identify the safer driving habits that can earn participating customers driving discounts on their car insurance.
Internal data for the usage-based insurance product has shown dramatic changes in driving behavior by employees. For example, only 25 percent of drivers in the initial group of testers scored in the ideal "safe zone," but over the course of the test, that figure rose to 75 percent.
"Our early experience with Drive Wise indicates telematics technology has the potential to save lives, reduce injuries and save millions of dollars in property damage each year," said Bob Otis, senior vice president of Allstate's auto product operations. "Launching this crowdsourcing test of our unique, usage-based insurance device, will help us create a better product for our customers, while encouraging our employees and agency owners to examine and improve their own driving habits."
Employing advanced telematics technology, Drive Wise uses the OBD-II port, the diagnostic port found under the dashboard on most cars after the 1996 model year, to track driving behavior. Drive Wise participants can easily plug in the small, wireless telematics device, and then go online to learn about their habits behind the wheel to see what they can do to become safer drivers. The web portal also displays the potential performance discount a customer may be eligible for based on their driving habits.
During the first policy term of using the telematics device, participating customers are rewarded with a 10 percent discount through Allstate's Drive Wise program. Driving discounts in subsequent policy terms shift to a performance rating approach, where customers' driving behavior and total mileage driven determine the savings. Rates will not go up based on driving scores, but savings of up to 30 percent can be earned by drivers with the safest driving scores and lowest mileage.
The crowdsourcing test of the usage-based insurance product by employees is expected to enhance the program in the future as Allstate continues to roll out Drive Wise.