The insurance business is getting more creative all the time. This story has to do with car insurance and having a monitor study your driving habits, this is a way to offer incentives to those who’s device comes back with favorable results, but I wonder what happens at the other end of the spectrum, do their rates go up?
If this is happening with car insurance and the technology is out there, will health insurers be looking at something along this line down the road? In other words hopefully we are not tied down to some device that monitors are level of exercise, etc. like the example with the car. As insurance gets more complicated by the day, it does make one ponder if some technology like this will try to rare it’s ugly face on the human side of the insurance business. Technology is already out there whereby a PC can read facial expressions, etc. and the logic behind this is to alert others to an up and coming heart attack, but again how far does this go, and let’s step up HIPAA in this area while we are at it. Sure smart devices can be of great assistance, but again it’s always one step over the line where information used to grade individuals can go one step too far. BD
Progressive insurance has been testing out the MyRate driving monitoring system for a few years now (it used to be called TripSense), but it's finally taking the system national, bringing pay-as-you-drive insurance into the mainstream. The little blue box plugs into your car's ODB II diagnostic port (all cars made after 1996 have one), and studiously records your driving habits, wirelessly sending the data back to Progressive HQ (it's not clear exactly how). Every six months, Progressive will crunch the numbers and issue a new rate for you based on how you drive -- savings of up to 40 percent are possible. That's pretty tempting, depending on your current rates and driving habits, but we're not so sure we're willing to share that much data for an unspecified discount -- especially since we're confident the MyRate box will get cracked almost immediately.