Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Big brother, Flo
All you have to do is let one of the largest insurance companies in America monitor your every move for six months. Yeah, that sounds good.
Yesterday, Progressive Insurance rolled out its Snapshot discount program nationally after an extensive test market. It promises huge discounts for those who are willing to install an electronic monitoring device in their car and let the good folks at Progressive capture data about how and when you drive. Then based on that data, they'll rate your driving and calculate your discount. Here's how Flo explains it.
I may be growing more cynical in my old age, but I'd rather not give more information than necessary to companies that practice the dark arts of actuary. Especially when there's a possibility that information could be used against me in a court of law. Progressive promises to keep your information private except "when we're legally required to provide Snapshot data, such as in response to a subpoena in a civil lawsuit or by police when investigating the cause of an accident."
There's already enough monitoring of my daily activity going on with the GPS in my phone, cookies on my web browser and surveillance cameras on every street corner, and the promise of a few hundred bucks isn't worth it for me to give up a little more.
Maybe I'm wrong about Progressive. Maybe their motives are purely altruistic. But based the fact that most American companies put their profits ahead their customers' best interest on a regular basis, I won't be rushing to sign up for this service any time soon.