Saturday, April 2, 2011

Progressive's Snapshot Discount

I remember the good old days when conspiracy theorists fought against our Government becoming "Big Brother."  Move aside Government, I think Corporate America may succeed!  Am I the only one who is disturbed by Progressive's new "Snapshot" discount promotion?

Apparently Progressive wants me to plug a device into my car so they can monitor my driving habits for six months?  Then I MAY qualify for up to a 30% discount?  I checked around online and Progressive stated that the drivers who do this earn an average 10% to 15% discount.

Let's break that down.  If my premium is $100 per month, then I may save $10 to $15 a month, or $120 to $180 per year.  I'll be rich!  And all I have to do is give up my privacy to yet another obviously trustworthy insurance company that only has my best interests at heart.

I'm sure the altruistic executives who came up with the "snapshot" discount program have every intention of keeping it on a voluntary basis where drivers are only rewarded and are never penalized.  I mean, big multi-million dollar American corporations are well-know for their philanthropy and always looking out for the little guy!  I cannot even fathom that this could all be part of a larger agenda wherein they turn it from a discount promotion into a requirement to obtain coverage and, ultimately, an excuse to monitor every driver's every move.  Of course it would never cross their minds at any point in the future to use this information against us and raise our rates for even the most minor of infractions.

How expensive does one's insurance need to be that anyone would trade their privacy for $15 a month?  I cannot even come up with a comparison of what I could purchase with that to make my point.  In 40 years, I suppose I may have saved enough to afford a vaction in Libya.  By then it may actually be a hot spot for travel.

In case I haven't made my point, this type of privacy invasion and use against drivers is already happening.

"At the 2011 Mobile World Congress, Accenture, Vodafone, and Qualcomm promoted their partnerships with European automotive insurance groups that are using GPS technology and embedded telematics to track--and bill accordingly--driving behaviors. That level of monitoring hasn't yet made it stateside, but it's probably coming. And it raises the question, how much privacy are drivers willing to trade for cheaper auto insurance?"

Gadget helps Progressive offer insurance discount


  1. Why do I get this disturbing feeling that nobody will be able to get inturance 5 years from now, unless they participate in a vehicle monitoring program...?

    And how long until Homeland Security determines that it is in the interets of "National Security" to have unlimited access to each participant's information...?

    I'm not a kook conspiracy theorist.

    But, frankly, the whole concept -- fast forward 5 years from now -- makes the hair on my neck stand up.

    You saw it here first.

    And the way I drive, I'd probably save the most money as anyone -- but I'm not going to advocate anyone participate in any such program, now or in the future.

    They say in Law Schools to the students: Beware! Once the nose of the Camel has entered the tent, the rest of the beast is certain to follow.

    Progressive's "Snapshot Discount" program probably had relatively benign intentions. But how can large companies and the government possibly leave it there.

    There is too much opportunity for mischief if we blindly give up privacy rights just to get a rebate check. It might work well now, but later on, you could finding yourself regretting the day you first saw Progressive's commercials.

  2. sneaking that technology into contracts and cars without letting customers know,

    contracts yes but how pray tell they going to sneak it into your car?
    - james from blog