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Most drivers are always looking for ways to save money on their car insurance. However, sometimes it can be hard to do because a lot of the factors that affect your car insurance rates are out of your control. Some of the country’s largest car insurance companies have started programs that utilize car tracking devices in order to reward their policyholders for safe driving.
State Farm offers a car tracking device program called Drive Safe and Save that can potentially save you money on your car insurance premium. Drive Safe and Save works by using your smartphone or a third party system, like On Star, to track your driving habits.
State Farm Drive Safe and Save provides savings of about 5 percent just for signing up, and then savings of potentially up to 50 percent off your premium. Although Drive Safe and Save won’t directly raise your rates based on how you drive, if you have a low estimated mileage discount on your policy and the app calculates you drive more than that estimate, your premium may increase at renewal. We looked through State Farm reviews from drivers who’ve used the Drive Safe and Save program to figure out if Drive Safe and Save is really saving policyholders money, and if consumers are happy with the program.
What driving habits does State Farm Drive Safe and Save monitor?
1. Accelerating and Braking
Drive Safe and Save monitors how fast you accelerate and how quickly you brake. Drive Safe and Save also measures how quickly you turn, and the sharpness at which you take a turn.
2. Your mileage
State Farm Drive Safe and Save tracks your mileage and then at the end of the monitoring period, takes the average and uses that to estimate your yearly mileage to calculate your insurance rates. If you currently have a discount for low estimated annual mileage (less than 7,500 miles per year for personal use), and the program reveals you’re driving more than that, you may see an increased premium at your next renewal.
3. Safe speeds
Drive Safe and Save tracks your speed. If it detects unsafe speeds, it may negatively affect your discount amount.
4. What time of day you drive
Certain times of the day are considered safer to drive in than others. State Farm’s program considers rush hour traffic hours and late-night driving to be riskier times of the day.
How does State Farm Drive Safe and Save work?
State Farm Drive Safe and Save works by using a mobile app and a bluetooth connector to track your car and your driving habits. If you have an eligible mobile device, you can download the app for iOS or Android, and then finish your enrollment either on the app or by calling your State Farm agent. If your phone isn’t eligible for Drive Safe and Save, you can use a third party system, like On Star, to enroll in the program and use it.
After you sign up on the app or by calling your agent, State Farm will send you a Bluetooth mobile beacon, which, once placed in your car, will pair up to your phone. This will give State Farm Drive Safe and Save your information as you drive. Make sure your phone’s Bluetooth and location services are enabled.
What do State Farm Drive Safe and Save reviews tell us?
Overall, the State Farm Drive Safe and Save reviews as of August 2019 were very positive with many consumers citing the savings they earned through the program. Many reviews also talked about how they were able to combine their other discounts from State Farm, like bundling their home and auto, with State Farm Drive Safe and Save to earn additional savings.
Many reviewers said they enjoyed that the Drive Safe and Save app was easy to use, and they were able to receive big discounts just for their normal driving habits. They also said they enjoyed being able to easily view information about their driving habits on the app, and see data about their trips and braking habits.
One recent review talked about State Farm's strong customer service but also the ability to save with Drive Safe and Save. "I absolutely love State Farm insurance! They have low rates and the customer service is excellent. I love their drive safe program because it helps me get lower rates for driving better."
A few reviewers did say it took some time for them to see any gains from the Drive Safe and Save program, saying that even after the six-month mark the app hadn’t gotten any data or savings from the app yet. Others complained that even though they had a smartphone, the app wasn’t compatible with their phone, and they had to use a family member's phone, or set up the program through OnStar.
Is State Farm Drive Safe and Save worth it?
State Farm Drive Safe and Save advertises you could save up to 50 percent off your premium. However, most likely the percentage of savings will be less than that. If you’re a generally safe driver who doesn’t usually have a problem with braking or speeding, it might be worth it to try it and see if you save.
Many reviewers said they were able to save on their car insurance premium by using Drive Safe and Save. One reviewer said they saved about $130 every 6 months with State Farm Drive Safe and Save, which doubles to $260 a year off their State Farm car insurance premium. Another reviewer said they were projected to save 30 percent off their premium with Drive Safe and Save.
As noted earlier, there is the possibility your rates could increase if you lose your low mileage discount due to the Drive Safe and Save device tracking it to be higher than estimated. Also, if you have to use a third party service like OnStar to use State Farm Drive Safe and Save, you might have to pay to subscribe to that service and the savings might only cover the cost of the service.
State Farm Drive Safe and Save could potentially save hundreds of dollars for good drivers who can use the system, and it could be worth giving a try if you’re looking to lower your car insurance cost.
Is Drive Safe and Save still available in California?
Unfortunately for California drivers, on your first renewal on or after April 1, 2019, your Drive Safe & Save discount will be replaced with a different way to collect your actual miles driven, according to State Farm's website. State Farm also says that rather than you reporting your mileage prior to each renewal or using an OnStar plan, State Farm will receive mileage readings for your car from a third party vendor annually.
One review on Clearsurance recently mentioned the disappointment of this. "The agents are quick to respond and do huge good communication, but their prices are pretty expensive. I have to have to keep my renters insurance, even though my boyfriend has a policy for us, in order to get a cheaper price on my auto insurance. Doesn’t really make sense. They’ve also changed their safe driving rewards and California is no longer eligible."
If you're in California and looking for a different company that has a tracking program, check out Clearsurance’s blog on the most popular car tracking device programs as rated by consumers who’ve tried them out.
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