The majority of the largest personal car insurance carriers in the United States offer these sorts of driver tracking programs to their policyholders to encourage safer practices and, in most cases, offer car insurance discounts. GEICO is one of these insurance companies which has a great feature, DriveEasy. This program allows GEICO customers to become better drivers while also saving money at the same time. Drivers can have access to the program once they enroll by downloading GEICO's DriveEasy mobile app and have their phone in their vehicle. When using the app, make sure that you are using the most current version by downloading all updates. Only complete the driver validation processes and driver customization process while your vehicle is parked. Do this on all of your devices and make sure each one links to your car.
DriveEasy only has a mobile app offering available. It doesn't offer a telematics device option that plugs into your car like some other companies offer, including Progressive. If you're enrolled in DriveEasy, you must have the mobile app on your phone. The app will track your behavior and your vehicle to offer you safe driving tips and also calculate your driving score.
DriveEasy is interactive and has a fun and competitive aspect to it. If you have family members on your policy, you can see how you rank among family members with your score. This can be a fun feature you can use to encourage safe drivers in your family vehicle. Make sure you remove any outdated drivers on your phones too!
In most cases, driver tracking programs such as DriveEasy offer drivers a discount for participating in the program and practicing safe driving habits. Progressive Snapshot and Allstate Drivewise are two examples of other telematics programs that offer drivers discounts. The discounts are determined based on your score. GEICO claims you could see significant savings on your car insurance bill. The program may also help you become a better driver.
What driving habits does GEICO DriveEasy monitor?
DriveEasy uses a combination of measured habits to curate your individualized driving score. Some behaviors have a greater impact than others depending on the level of risk they pose. The following driving habits are measured by DriveEasy. The list is in order of what makes up the largest part of your driving score.
1. Distracted driving
One aspect of DriveEasy that distinguishes it from many other driver tracking programs is that it can actually measure distracted driving behavior using your drivers' phones. Distracted driving puts you at a significantly higher risk of a car accident, which is why it encapsulates the largest chunk of your DriveEasy score.
It tracks two types of distracted driving: handheld phone calls and active phone use. Handheld phone calls include any time you pick up your phone to answer or make a call while you're behind the wheel. Active phone use includes touching your phone for any reason. This could include unlocking your phone, touching it to schedule a GPS trip, texting, and so on. All of these behaviors are monitored by the app to determine distraction.
DriveEasy does not count hands-free phone calls and passive phone use (i.e. inmount, screen on) towards the distracted driving portion of your driving score.
2. Distance driven
The next largest portion of your driving score with DriveEasy is the distance you drive. The more you drive, the higher your risk for a car accident. The number of miles you drive affects your score.
3. Hard braking
DriveEasy uses the sensors in your phone to measure your braking. Hard braking penalizes you and your DriveEasy score. The way GEICO defines hard braking is decelerating at least 7 mph per second.
4. Dangerous times
Some times of the day are considered more dangerous to drive than others. Typically, late evening and very early morning hours are considered more dangerous. DriveEasy calculates this by splitting your day into three-hour blocks. Each block has a different level of driving risk. For example, GEICO says that driving at 3 a.m. on a Saturday is riskier than noon on a weekday. Your driving frequency and trip durations in each time block are measured and contribute to your DriveEasy score.
DriveEasy also takes into account your speed when you are driving. If it monitors you driving at a faster speed this could negatively affect your score.
How does DriveEasy work?
Once you enroll in the DriveEasy program, all you have to do is download and install the GEICO DriveEasy mobile app and enable the app in your phone's settings. This would allow the app to automatically detect when you are driving. After you install the app, DriveEasy can begin tracking your driving right away.
The DriveEasy mobile app runs in the background of your phone. It's only available on smartphones (iPhones on iOS 10 or higher, Androids on Marshmallow 6.0 or higher). While running in the background, DriveEasy doesn't limit your phone's usage. If you want to enroll in DriveEasy, all active drivers on your GEICO auto insurance policy must participate and have the DriveEasy app downloaded to their mobile device.
For example, you'll still be able to use your phone to make calls and use your GPS. DriveEasy automatically determines when you're driving a car by using your phone's sensors, movement and GPS. It can distinguish when you're the passenger and when you're the driver and it doesn't require you to open the app before you start driving.
If the DriveEasy app incorrectly assigns your driver status on a trip for example, if it thinks you're the driver when you're actually the passenger you can fix this in the app. Be aware that if you're the driver and your passenger uses your phone while you're driving, this will count against you as distracted driving.
DriveEasy doesn't require you to have Wi-Fi turned on, but it's recommended for accuracy and to save your cellular data. Typically, a driver uses 60-70MB of cellular data per month for DriveEasy. The app tries to avoid using your data as much as possible by uploading your driving data after a trip via Wi-Fi when available.
Additionally, it conserves your cellular data and battery by going to sleep when you're not driving. It also waits until after the first quarter mile of a trip to start tracking your driving to ensure you're actually on a trip.
In terms of privacy, GEICO collects your data via DriveEasy to measure your driving habits and give you a score. GEICO says that your information is kept in the United States and stored on a secure data server. GEICO says it can't read your messages or see who you're calling. GEICO stresses that it's committed to protecting your privacy. You can read more about privacy by visiting GEICO’s DriveEasy page.
What states offer the DriveEasy program?
The GEICO DriveEasy program is available in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
GEICO's website says that the DriveEasy discount is not available in all states and that the discount amount can vary by state. GEICO is planning on expanding the program to more states in the near future. Check the DriveEasy website for the most updated list.
Is DriveEasy worth it?
DriveEasy from GEICO may be a great way to become a better driver. The app's technology is able to determine areas of improvement to your driving and offer you tips to become a safer driver. It's a great way for you to work towards becoming a better driver and for parents to encourage safer driving among their children by competing with your driving scores. DriveEasy allows you to see a ranking of the drivers in your family by your score.
Share your experience with DriveEasy in our community by writing a GEICO review.. You can also check out GEICO reviews on Clearsurance’s website and hear what customers are saying about Geico’s coverage.
Image source: Velimir Zeland/ shutterstock.com
The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.