There are many kinds of gadgets companies use today to make what they do easier or to provide a better customer experience. And insurance companies are no different.
One such gadget or device used by insurers is a car insurance tracking device, which is used as a part of discount programs to offer lower premiums for safe drivers. Unfortunately, though these devices are meant to help drivers, they can also come with risks.
If you are in an Indiana car accident, for example, the data collected from a car insurance tracker device could affect your accident claim.
So, what are all the risks of using car insurance tracking devices? Let’s take a look.
What Is a Car Insurance Tracking Device?
First, let’s more clearly define what car insurance tracking devices are.
Car insurance tracker devices are used to monitor the driving habits of auto policyholders. They are also sometimes referred to as car monitoring or telematics devices.
But no matter what they are called, the primary purpose is to track and monitor a driver’s habits with the intention of offering a discount on their insurance if they are determined to be a safe driver.
There are two ways a car insurance tracking device can be used:
- By physically installing a telematics device into your car
- Connecting to a mobile app that tracks your driving habits
However, some newer models of cars already have advanced systems installed. If this is the case, your insurer may be able to simply connect to equipment that is already installed to track your driving habits.
What Data Do Car Insurance Tracking Devices Collect?
Every device or app can vary from one insurance company to the next. However, common data that is collected can include:
- Acceleration and deceleration habits
- Harsh braking or general braking habits
- Sharp turning
- What time of day you drive
Some of these devices or applications can even track your cell phone habits, such as handheld or hands-free use to determine if you are driving while using your phone.
The primary reason insurance companies use this data is to determine insurance rates. For example, if you are signing a new policy, the insurance company may ask if you want to receive a discount by joining some sort of safe driver program.
If you agree, they will then give you a device to install, tell you to download an app or connect to an existing system in your car. They will then track your driving habits for a predetermined period of time, such as three months or six months. After that period has ended, they will use the data to decide whether or not you are a safe driver.
If you are a safe driver, they will offer you some sort of discount. However, if you are not a safe driver, it could increase your insurance rates.
It’s important to note that some insurance companies might also share your data with affiliate marketers or third parties. So it’s always wise to check before agreeing to join the safe driving program.
How Could a Car Insurance Tracker Device Impact Your Accident Claim?
The risks of using car insurance tracking devices are that the data could be used against you in a car accident claim.
While most insurers will claim not to share your data, they can be legally required to do so if the data is needed to support a car accident claim or lawsuit. This is true for a claim you might file yourself or if another person files a claim against you.
For example, if another driver gets into an accident with you and claims that you were speeding, it is possible that their attorney could request access to your car insurance tracking device to download data. And if the data does show that you were speeding, this could be used against you to prove you were at fault.
The same goes even if you are the one filing the claim or lawsuit against another driver. Let’s say another driver ran a red light and hit you and you file a claim against them. Even though that driver might be primarily responsible for the accident, their lawyer or even your own insurance company could still look at your tracking device data to see if you contributed to the accident in any way.
So even though they ran a red light, you could also be found liable if you were speeding when you were hit. This is important because Indiana is a comparative fault state, which means you must be less than 51% at fault to pursue compensation.
Thus, even if another driver is at fault, if you are also determined to be at fault based on your tracking device data, you might also share liability and might not be able to recover as much compensation as you deserve.
Consult With an Indianapolis Car Accident Accident Lawyer
So, should you use a car insurance tracking device? That’s ultimately up to you. If you genuinely could use the discount on your insurance and believe you are a safe driver, then the risks may be worth it.
If you do get into an accident, however, and are concerned about your data being used against you, it’s important that you work with an attorney. A lawyer can protect your rights and ensure the right party is held accountable.
If you need help, don’t hesitate — an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.