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Tracking devices pitch driver savings, but bills don’t always go down

Privacy concerns complicate growing insurance trend

By Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Car insurers tout savings up to 30 or even 50 percent if drivers stick a gizmo in the car that tracks driving habits, but company disclosures show it can raise premiums in some cases, and an auto executive’s remarks have stirred unease about what companies monitor and what they do with the data.

Whether the gadget becomes a new pal bragging about your exemplary driving, or a tiny turncoat dropping a digital dime on you, can depend on things many drivers don’t realize insurers watch, surveys show. Example: Driving after midnight if you work the night shift or try to beat the crowds at the 24-hour grocery. Or letting your speed creep up past 80 mph on the freeway, even if you never have an accident or get a ticket.

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