Snapshot Program Rewards Good Drivers

PRODUCT: auto discount program

COMPANY: Progressive Insurance

BEST RATING: A+ (Superior)

FOCUS: Drivers now have a way to make their car insurance rates reflect how defensively they drive: Snapshot. It’s free, and the average savings per year amount to $150.

“Car insurance is expensive because you’re paying for dangerous drivers,” says Dave Pratt, general manager of usage-based insurance (UBI) at Progressive. “Before, we didn’t have any way of knowing who were the aggressive drivers who just hadn’t had an accident yet. We now have a better way to identify safer drivers.”

Progressive’s Snapshot is a voluntary discount program in which drivers can save money on their car insurance by sharing a picture of their driving habits with Progressive. People who drive less, in safer ways and during safer times of day are most likely to get a discount.

Here’s how it works: Progressive mails the Snapshot device to interested drivers, who plug it into the vehicle’s diagnostic port near the steering wheel. For six months, the device measures how people drive. This means their rates aren’t based on age, gender, location and other factors auto insurers generally use that can lump safe drivers in with unsafe drivers of similar demographics. Progressive adds information about actual driving habits based on criteria like braking patterns and mileage, and drivers end up with a personalized car insurance rate.

Progressive first offered UBI in 1998. So far, it’s collected 15 billion miles of driving data from 4 million users.

“All that data helps us personalize the rate as much as possible,” Pratt says. “Our data continues to grow every day across the country. The data collected from Snapshot allows drivers to get the fairest rates possible.”

Progressive is currently testing a mobile app that does the measuring. Drivers could then download the Snapshot app, eliminating the device altogether.

To offer Snapshot to clients, agents must be certified in a simple online training exercise and test. It’s worth it, Pratt says: “Drivers who use Snapshot and earn a discount—and most do—are our most loyal customers, and agents will retain them longer.” 

UNDERWRITING: Progressive offers a variety of personal auto insurance coverage options, including: bodily injury and property damage liability; comprehensive and collision; uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist; medical payments; loan or lease payoff; rental reimbursement; and personal injury protection, where available.

Available discounts include: accident and violation forgiveness; safe driver; multi-policy; and homeowners.

MINIMUM PREMIUM: None.

TARGET: Consumers who want personalized driving rates based on their good driving. One in three drivers who are eligible for Snapshot choose to sign up, according to Progressive.

COVERAGE TERRITORY: Snapshot is available in Washington, D.C. and all U.S. states except California and North Carolina.

CONTACT: Dave Pratt, general manager of usage-based insurance; Progressive Insurance, 300 North Commons Blvd., Mayfield Village, OH 44143; 440-395-0179.

Ronimarie Acord is an IA contributor.