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Progressive's 'Snapshot' Program Tracks Your Driving To Lower Your Rate (UPDATED)

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Progressive Snapshot device

Progressive Snapshot device

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UPDATED: See below*

Are you a safe driver? Are you sure about that -- sure enough to let your insurance company monitor your driving habits? What if the company offered you the chance to lower your premium by 25%? Progressive Insurance hopes that some of its customers will be brave enough to give it a shot.

Progressive's new program is called "Snapshot", and it's free (and optional) for the company's auto insurance customers. Enrollees receive a device like the one pictured above, which they plug into their on-board diagnostic port. The device monitors the driver's habits, including mileage, time of day, and frequency of sudden stops. If all goes well -- for example, if you drive less than 30 miles each day, if you avoid late-night driving, and if you make smooth stops -- you could see a substantial reduction in your insurance rate.

On the other hand, if Progressive doesn't like what it sees, the company has the option of raising your rate. Progressive's Snapshot FAQ says that won't happen in most states, but we found that at least one of our staff could be subject to a 9% jump*. 

Still feel sure about your driving habits?

If you do, maybe you should give it a whirl. Just log into your Progressive account and visit the "Discounts & Programs" section. If not, no worries: the program is totally optional -- for now.

PS: This isn't the first time we've seen diagnostic programs for drivers -- they've been developed for both teens and truckers. But this is the first time we recall seeing an American insurance company use one to monitor the driving habits of its customers. Given the way things have been moving in the insurance arena, we wouldn't be surprised if this became far more common down the line.

* UPDATED: Good news! As of June 2012, Progressive's FAQ says that Snapshot will not increase your insurance premium. 

[Mashable]

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Comments (21)
  1. I use it and my savings are minimal (9%) even though I drive a couple thousand mailes a year. My wife has to drive it sometimes and she pretty much screws me up. I get one hard brake in 3 months for example and she can get 10 hard brakes in one 5-mile trip. What's really irritating though is that if I let the car sit for a couple of weeks, Progressive sends me an urgent email that they lost contact with the device forcing me to run the car. What if I leave overseas for a month or two?
     
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  2. I also just noticed that the program is finally free! You had to pay a $30/year "tech fee" - glad to see it gone and since we pay so little in insurance I considered dropping it altogether. Not to plug Progressive or anything but I spent over a decade with zero claims with Geico and they didn't even come close to Progressive quote that also had higher limits. It'd probably be free if they didn't have to run those commercials all the time :-)
     
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  3. I HAVE WORKED AND AM WITH A "CANADIAN CO" MY RATE PER YEAR 100-75-25 50 COMP 500 COLL, PD 50, RENTAL ETC FOR 1 YEAR 05 MAGNUM RT HEMI LESS THAN 2000 A YEAR, IS COST ME $603.00 CAN ANYONE BEAT THAT?
     
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  4. http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r24434093-Progressives-MyRate-Driving-Data-recording-device-Anyone-
    should see the above link...progressive tried this under the 'my rate' program...received so many bad reviews they cahnged the name! same scam
     
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  5. I've been on SnapShot for 5 months.I didn't know Snapshot even existed until I received it in the mail one day. I called Progressive about it and they said I had requested it. I told them I had not. They said, check with your agent. I did and the secretary I spoke with didn't even know what a SnapShot was. I was told by Progressive that use of the SanpShot device was optional but I would risk an increase in my rate if I didn't use it. So, I installed it. The first day I had 9 hard brakes and on the second day I had 13 hard brakes. I called Progressive agin to ask about this. I asked "How do I know when I've had a hard brake?" Progressive that the device ewmits a signal when I hard brake. I told her the device has never made a single noise. She checked my device from her end and informed me that they had failed to activate the sound for the device. Well, immediately after beginning to hear the sounds my hard brakes reduced to 1 or 2 a week. But then I noticed that sometimes the device would sound off when I did not make a hard brake and at other times I know I made a VERY hard brake but the device was silent. I follow my device's recording daily on my computer. I know know that the device is not foolproof since it does record non-exixtant hardbrakes and doesn't always record true hard brakes.
     
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  6. I just pluged this into my car and now my car won't start. GREAT!!!!!!
     
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  7. Progressive did not give me the entire discount that I was due and was quoted on their website after the initial 30 day monitoring period. I have since cancelled my policy over the Snapshot device. Don't bother with this program!
     
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  8. No. This is a step-by-step arresting of our privacy. No. I do nothing wrong. Do I have to PROVE that? No. This is Fundanmently anti-American. Do not cave America... Speak UP!!!... Just say No.
     
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  9. Mike, you do realize that this program is optional, right?
     
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  10. I just joined expecting to get a good discount as I don't drive much as I work from home, don't drive much in medium to high risk times of rush hour and after midnight, and I follow ecomiling practices of coasting to stops and accelerating slowly so don't brake hard.
    Well, I've had it plugged in for two days and as stunned to see it recorded 15 hard brakes while I was out running errands one day. Apparently breaking hard means using your brakes. Because I do not brake hard!!
    I don't follow too closely behind anyone. I drive slower than the speed limit in residential areas and I take my foot off the gas peddle to start coasting to stops well before.
    Fortunately, I don't go to most of those places too often. But I think if most of your driving is urban meaning lots of red lights and stop signs, this may not be a good program for you.
     
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  11. Their definition of breaking hard is losing more than 7mph per second. Some old doddard thinks it should take you 9 seconds and a half mile to get from 75 mph to the stop sign at the top of the ramp. Also, it records speed, and will beep if you do more than 80mph, but it uses your speedometer, so if your speedometer is incorrect because of tire size, like my husband's, it will record high speeds all the time. So far after one month our discount was $70.
     
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  12. I'm guessing it is only a matter of time before we won't be able to purchase insurance unless such a device is installed on the insured vehicle.
     
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  13. If you work or drive daily more than 20 miles round trip from your residence, reach speeds above 60 mph on your trips and your job or activities fall after 9pm and 5am; installing the device in you car is a telltale of your drive habits and it may give Progressive proven reason to increase you policy on its renewal
     
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  14. I had Geico for years, shopped it constantly and was never able to find lower premiums. Last year Geico raised the premium from in the $400s to the $500s for our two vehicles. An agent was able to get us a policy from Progressive for the same coverage and back in the $400s. He then introduced us to the Snapshot program, at first it was frustrating, and had to be very careful, I would monitor it on line and would have to remind my wife constantly about the hard braking. After the first 30 days we got a discount and about four and a half months later (less than six months total) progressive asked for the devices back and is giving us a full 30% off for as long as we are with them. Worth the hassle. Our premiums are now in the $300s for both.
     
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  15. Can they use the recording from the device in order to refuse to pay for a claim? something like it was your fault too, because at the time when you were rearended, you were driving 5 mph past the speed limit, therefore you were not respecting the laws?
    Big brother is watching ...
     
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  16. I've been with Progressive for 6 years. I used the Snapshot a year ago and receive a 22% savings on my insurance. It's a reward for safe driving that lasts the lifetime of the policy. My work hours kept me from getting a higher savings. I get off at midnight and that's in the "bad time to drive," although I live less than 2 miles from work. I had minimal hard breaking but I do not rush up to a stop light and stop at the last second. I only had to have it plugged in less than 60 days. So using it long enough for them to collect my driving habit data is saving me over $300 a year.
     
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  17. I installed the snapshot device in May 2012. I understood that it needed to be in for 60 days to get a discount at renewal. I earned 30% discount, but when I renewed I did not actually get a discount. Now I learn that in order to get the discount, I need to leave the device in for another six months! in my case 9-months total, to get the discount locked in for life. I might not have a problem with this, except that in my car the device sticks out right where I swing my legs to climb in and out, and its hard not to hit it, and get cuts on my leg (from the sharp corner of the protective cover where the plug in is). Also, I got a hard brake the other day, when I accelerated fast. HUH!
     
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  18. The Snapshot program is a fraud. I drove with the device since early march. The evaluation concluded in mid August earning myself a 17% discount. Even with the discount they raised my rate. I protested telling Progressive I only drive about 100 miles per week, to no avail. Mostly 5 miles each way for work. Now I'm going back to my old insurance company which is charging me about 10 per month less, without using a BS device.
     
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  19. Another case of "Big Brother" watch our every move.
     
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  20. I did the Snapshot for 6 full months, until they sent a box for me to send it back. I qualified for a 28% discount and was very happy about it, telling my friends how great it was. At this point it was time to renew for the next 6 months, and I called to pay the full amount over the phone. When discussing the rate, I was told that it would be exactly as much as it was the first six months. They told me that I DID get the 28% off, but conveniently, rates in Nebraska went up that much in this time. Are you even SERIOUS that my rate turned out the EXACT SAME after this so-called discount? They tried to tell me I was lucky, because without the discount, my rate would've gone UP 28%. And what insurance goes up by 1/3 in six months?!?
     
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  21. Welcome to the world of big brother! I suspect that this will wind up before the Supreme Court as a violation of the 4th Amendment if data from in-car tracking systems is shared with the insurance companies without the owner's or driver's explicit consent. Personally, I'd rather just get $35/month liability only coverage from http://www.4autoinsurancequote.com anyways.
     
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