You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Progressive Snapshot ‘bombshell’: Device can raise driver bills


Dear Flo: Love the ads. “Sprinkles are for winners” is genius. But news that premiums can go up, not just down, from Progressive’s driver-tracking Snapshot device sounded familiar.

Reporting by The Palm Beach Post last year took a skeptical look when car insurers promoted the gadgets as something that can only lower bills.

In what trade press reports are describing as a “bombshell,” market leader Progressive is acknowledging its Snapshot device can and will raise premiums for some drivers — about one in five may see an increase.

“You’re right — our Snapshot program is evolving,” Progressive spokeswoman Erin Hendrick told the Post.

A new model has been launched in Missouri, she said: “In this new version, we’re pleased to offer more people even bigger discounts.”

The company plans to roll out the new program to additional states beginning this summer. No word yet on Florida.

More than 2.5 million customers have tried Progressive’s Snapshot program. Other insurers have similar plans that typically feature devices that plug into the car, such as in a diagnostic port below the steering column. If drivers sign up and save money, wonderful. But the Post explored the potential for privacy and pocketbook issues consumers might not see coming.

Progressive found that the majority of drivers, nearly 80 percent, deserve a discount for their safe driving, Hendrick said: “In fact, about half of all Snapshot participants will get a double-digit discount in our new model. We’re also offering a discount as soon as drivers sign up for the program, which they’ll keep until renewal as long as they leave the device plugged in.”

A “small portion of the riskiest drivers could see a higher rate,” she said.

She added, “It’s important to call out that the changes we’re making will not affect anyone who has previously signed up for the program under different terms. We will honor the terms our customers signed up for and they will retain the discount they earned.”

The Post noted surveys showed most drivers had little idea the devices track not only miles traveled, but also things like a constant record of your speed, if you drive between midnight and 4 a.m., and how hard you hit the brakes. Even if you never have an accident or a ticket, the data could hurt you financially by taking away discounts. Now, the information can impose higher premiums at the company’s discretion without an actual smudge on your driving record.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Mother abandoned 4-year-old boy found naked in dollar store, police say
Mother abandoned 4-year-old boy found naked in dollar store, police say

A Chicopee, Massachusetts, mother is accused of abandoning her 4-year-old son after he was found wandering without clothes Saturday afternoon. According to police, the boy was found alone in a Family Dollar store without clothes on. Police told WGGB-TV that the boy “may be autistic.”  The names of the boy and the mother were...
Nanny allegedly beats toddler with special needs in shocking video
Nanny allegedly beats toddler with special needs in shocking video

A nanny in Southern California is out of a job and facing charges after a video surfaced that allegedly shows her beating a toddler with special needs in her care. According to KCBS, the mother of the child, Dyanna Ko, installed a “nanny cam” app and caught the entire incident on video. She said she and her husband were at their other son&rsquo...
Shocking Facebook Live video shows aftermath of apparent drug overdose
Shocking Facebook Live video shows aftermath of apparent drug overdose

A frightening Facebook Live video from Massachusetts shows the life-and-death struggle that follows an apparent drug overdose. Posted just before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Dorchester area of Boston, a man confronts a couple in a car about using drugs in his neighborhood. A needle is visible, lying in the woman’s lap. The woman wakes up...
Prince Harry affectionately calls Duchess Kate the 'big sister he never had'
Prince Harry affectionately calls Duchess Kate the 'big sister he never had'

In an interview with Newsweek, Prince Harry opened up about his relationship with sister-in-law Kate Middleton and how she helped him come to terms with his mother’s death. “There was no filling the hole left by Diana’s death, and Harry seemed to be growing up without someone emotionally available he could lean on,&rdquo...
Business was booming at Mar-a-Lago. Then Trump became president
Business was booming at Mar-a-Lago. Then Trump became president

For eight straight years, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society held its Palm Beach fundraiser gala at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club. But then Trump became president. And, at this year's gala, his security put a damper on the silent auction. "We allow for a cocktail hour — an hour and a half, really [during the silent auction]. And we want people...
More Stories