Which car insurance companies have the best car tracking device programs?


Car tracking devices and usage-based car insurance will vary depending on each auto insurance company. They can be based on how often you drive, or how well you drive.

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Written by
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Reviewed by
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UPDATED: 2022-06-16T13:03:36.115Z
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A cell phone on a hands-free phone mount in the car using a car tracking device.

When car insurance companies assign rates to policyholders, companies consider several factors, including a driver’s age, gender, credit score, and driving record. There are quite a few guidelines that one can familiarize themself with when it comes to understanding car insurance, and it can be useful to know how car insurance companies determine their rates and other offers.

Auto insurance companies rely on a driver’s record to determine how safe they are behind the wheel. Car insurance tracking devices allow insurers to monitor a person’s driving habits and determine rates that match a driver’s risk level.

If you’re searching for a car insurance company using car tracking devices to offer discounts on coverage, a few options stand out among the rest.

Car insurance companies in this article:

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What are the best auto insurance companies using car tracking devices?

Most national car insurance companies offer a discount in which policyholders can use car tracking devices to potentially save money on monthly rates. Some of the most popular insurance companies that use car tracking devices include:

  • Nationwide
  • Allstate
  • USAA
  • American Family
  • Travelers
  • State Farm
  • GEICO
  • Farmers
  • Progressive

If you currently have an insurance policy with one of the companies listed above, you could call and speak to a representative to see how to get a discount using the car tracking feature. However, if you don’t have coverage with a company that offers car tracking, you may need to dig to find the best option for you.

Nationwide’s SmartRide

Nationwide Insurance offers SmartRide as its car tracking option. SmartRide, a usage-based insurance program, allows policyholders to get discounts up to 40% off their insurance premiums.

People interested in utilizing SmartRide need to apply for coverage with Nationwide and download the SmartRide app. Next, drivers simply need to drive normally for a few days, verifying trips on their mobile devices.

Policyholders with Nationwide can use the app to track their progress, see how much they're saving on their car insurance policy, and determine what they can do to save even more.

While people have an opportunity to save a great deal on their car insurance, Nationwide only allows them to save at their policy renewal, likely anywhere from six months to one year. So if you want to save money on your car insurance immediately, Nationwide’s SmartRide may not be your best option.

Allstate's DriveWise

Allstate’s Drivewise program is another option for usage-based insurance. With Drivewise, policyholders can see how much their driving techniques have saved them in terms of monthly rates.

In addition, Drivewise incorporates crash detection to help policyholders contact an Allstate representative if they’re involved in an accident.

Like Nationwide’s SmartRide program, Drivewise allows drivers to see certain statistics, like how often they use their phones while driving behind the wheel. However, the Allstate website doesn’t state how long it takes for clients to take advantage of premium discounts, nor does the company state exactly how much they could save using Drivewise.

USAA’s SafePilot

USAA says its SafePilot program allows policyholders to keep up with their driving statistics while earning up to 30% off their monthly rates.

Like Nationwide’s program, USAA’s program could take as long as a year to yield a discount near 30%. However, USAA offers a 10% discount for initial sign up.

To take advantage of USAA’s SafePilot program, you must be affiliated with the military or be the family member of someone affiliated with the military.

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American Family’s KnowYourDrive

American Family offers KnowYourDrive, a usage-based program allowing clients to save up to 20% off their rates once they’ve used the app for a minimum of three months. However, the company incentivizes policyholders to enroll in the program with a 10% discount for signing up.

Travelers IntelliDrive

IntelliDrive, by Travelers, is a car tracking option that involves a 90-day program. During the 90 days, Travelers uses its IntelliDrive app to monitor several things, including:

  • The time of day you drive
  • High speeds
  • Acceleration levels
  • Braking
  • Distracted driving due to phone use

After the 90-day program, a client’s rates get set. If you’re a safe driver, this could be a great program for you. Rates with this program are indefinite.

Travelers doesn’t clarify on its company website whether a policyholder can re-enlist in the program to get better rates if their performance during the 90-day evaluation period is poor.

State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save

State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save program allows clients to save on their car insurance rates in two ways: by using the app or by using Drive Safe & Save Connected Car.

The Drive Safe & Save Connected Car option allows State Farm to attach a device to a person’s vehicle to monitor the same things the cell phone app does. However, some people are uncomfortable with allowing companies to use a device or app to monitor driving habits, as they feel it’s a breach of privacy.

Drive Safe & Save allows policyholders to save up to 30% on their policies at renewal.

GEICO’s DriveEasy

GEICO’s DriveEasy program is similar to other usage-based options listed above. However, the company doesn’t specify how much people can save on their rates by enrolling in the DriveEasy program.

GEICO uses the DriveEasy app to monitor policyholders’ driving habits, and the company says its primary goal is to keep people from texting or talking while driving.

Farmer’s Signal

Farmer’s Signal program is an option for anyone interested in a car tracking system via the Farmer’s Insurance Company.

The Signal app monitors drive time, speed, acceleration, and distracted driving. The program also uses an initiative allowing enrolled policyholders to earn up to $100 in rewards if they remain focused behind the wheel 80% of the time or more.

Progressive’s Snapshot

Snapshot by Progressive Insurance is a usage-based program that rewards drivers who drive infrequently or drive less than average.

The Snapshot app allows individuals to see their statistics, monitor their habits, and track their progress over time. Unlike other programs that sometimes require six months to a year of tracking, the Snapshot program only requires 30 days of tracking before setting new, lower rates.

How are car tracking options between insurance companies different?

The insurance companies listed above, and many other companies, offer car tracking options as a way for policyholders to save money on coverage. Essentially, you can potentially save money on your car insurance coverage if you’re willing to allow your insurance company to track your driving patterns and information.

Though all companies have the potential to gather different types of information, the vast majority of companies track the following:

  • How often you drive
  • How long you drive
  • Hard braking
  • Fast acceleration
  • Overall speed
  • Sharp turns
  • Daytime vs. nighttime driving
  • Use of phone while driving

Depending on the company you choose, the tracking may look slightly different because each company has a unique method to track drivers' tendencies to assign accurate insurance rates.

What is usage-based insurance?

All of the car tracking programs listed above are usage-based insurance programs. These programs give discounts to people who use their vehicles infrequently or drive short distances.

As you’ve seen, the programs also reward policyholders who maintain safe and risk-free driving habits.

Car Tracking Devices: The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to save money on your car insurance, using a car-tracking device through a car insurance company’s usage-based program may be a great option.

Before enrolling in a usage-based program, you should monitor your driving habits and ensure they’re safe and risk-free. If they’re not, you risk showing your insurance company you’re a high-risk driver, and you could be penalized with higher insurance rates.

Any usage-based program requires some form of tracking, so you have to be comfortable with the idea of a company tracking your location and driving habits for these programs to work for you.

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