Allstate Proposes Tracking Driving to Determine Rates instead of Credit Score

Allstate Proposes Tracking Driving to Determine Rates instead of Credit Score

Many unhappy consumers who are forced to have their credit histories set their premium rates by auto insurance companies will soon have an alternative. Through the help of new technology, insurers will be able to track their customers' driving behavior and thus, more accurately price their insurance policies.

Allstate, a leading auto, homeowner and commercial insurance provider, has been in discussions with state regulators about shifting from sizing up applicants' risks based on factors such as credit scores, telematics-based ratings.

It might seem unsettling to people concerned about intrusions on their privacy, but switching will mean lower rates for drivers who are safe or do not drive so much, who may now be overpaying for their risk profile.

As part of its telematics division, Arity, Allstate provides telematics services to other insurance companies in addition to being one of the leading providers of policies using telematics, credit scores, and other traditional factors to determine the price.

The majority of states permit insurers to use credit-based factors in determining insurance rates. Still, consumer advocacy groups have long argued that this is not fair to consumers and that the practice is unfair to lower-income and minority consumers who tend to be overrepresented in lower-cost products.

During the last 20 years, Progressive Corp. has introduced driver-tracking technology worldwide, gaining a lot of traction. The Association of American Insurance Brokers recently published a study that concluded that less than half of all people applying for auto insurance enroll when given an opportunity.

Telematics devices not only track driver behavior such as hard braking and speeding, but they also track the number of trip hours, the location of the trip, and the distance traveled. Furthermore, telematics devices are capable of detecting distracted driving.