Insurance companies are eager to offer their newest technology which purports to provide more accurate insurance pricing. This new device, called a telematic, is inserted into the vehicle and will track driving activities like braking and mileage. Tracking this information for an individual will allow the company to set insurance policies based on the specific user information. While some drivers have welcomed the chance of lower costs, there is still a lot of hesitation for consumers who are concerned about protecting their privacy.
Participation rates have been lower than expected and that has puzzled insurance companies. The reason is that there are various privacy concerns that consumers have. The first concern is that the device is tracking the whereabouts of its customers through a GPS feature. Currently, no telecom device on the market has GPS installed. The technology with GPS, however, is possible. Technology like OnStar has the ability to locate customers via a GPS device in the vehicle. Insurance companies acknowledge that they must do more to educate the consumer about what the device is actually capable of measuring.
Another concern is that customers may see an increase in rates due to their driving habits. This is a legitimate concern because technically some drivers have benefitted from a lack of individual information about their driving. Drivers who don’t get into accidents but speed, drive high miles, drive at night, or brake hard may see an increase in their rates since these habits are likely to increase the chance of an accident. Insurance companies have said that these devices only reward good drivers but it is hard to see how that will continue especially as more customers participate and more information is tracked. If insurance companies need to make more money to balance the risk it is simple economics that they will do it. Customers have also noted disagreement with the device and their driving habits. It is likely that the insurance company will be much more stringent in what “frequent hard braking” is than a customer driver.
For personal injury attorneys, it is possible that this driving information may be discoverable in the future. As of now, the device is the ownership of the insurance company. The same concern will be present as with all technology, and courts and juries will have to balance how much weight to give to such evidence.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.