Introducing the Semo Drive app. If you’ve been shopping for car insurance, chances are you’ve recently encountered a number of offers from car insurers asking you to download their app or sign up for a safe-driver program. Often advertised as a means to a discount for good drivers, these programs track your driving and use that data to determine your rate.
The process of collecting driving data is called telematics, and it offers insurers an unprecedented look into how you actually drive, which could have a major impact on what you pay for insurance — and not always to your benefit.
How It Works
An insurer asks you to download their app or sends you a telematic box to install in your car — free of charge. Once installed, your driving is monitored — everything from speed and distance traveled to your average commute and the time of day you’re most on the road is recorded, and more. Depending on the insurer, after a trial period or at the time of renewal, the collected data is used to determine your rate.
For some, this type of monitoring might feel too invasive. And for others, you might be wondering whether or not it’s worth it. That’s why we developed this app — Semo Drive.
Right off the bat, most major insurers offer an initial plan discount, generally between 10% and 15%, just for signing up. Not only does this incentivize participation, but it saves you money upfront which is never a bad thing.
For young drivers, drivers with poor credit scores, or those with any other difficult-to-fix factor that can negatively affect your insurance score, telematics can help offset those issues and get you a better rate. (Learn more about what goes into your insurance score here.)
In addition, there are insurance companies that use telematics to essentially offer a “pay-as-you-go” insurance plan. With these plans, your rate is mainly based on the number of miles you drive, allowing those who don’t use their car much to stay covered without paying the same rate as someone who commutes every day.
As advertised, good drivers receive lower rates based on their driving habits when it’s time to renew or the trial period ends. But that’s only if the data says you’re a good driver.
We all think we’re good drivers. A recent survey found 76% of Americans consider themselves good drivers. However, in the same survey, 93% admitted to unsafe driving behavior.
We often underestimate how dangerous the things we do behind the wheel actually are and overestimate our abilities to keep it between the lines. While most of us think we’re good drivers with nothing to fear from telematics, the insurance company may disagree, and in the end, it’s their decision that matters.
In addition, things you can’t control may put you on the “naughty list” when it comes to your driving habits. If you have a long commute, or regularly drive long distances to see family or friends, your insurers will now know that and could use it to determine a higher rate.
You might also want to consider when you drive — because insurers do! If your schedule requires you to drive at night, your rate may also increase as night driving, especially late at night, is considered risky.
We’ve covered the pros and cons and you still might be wondering — should I download the app? Do I want my driving monitored by my insurance company?
There’s a way to know for sure with SEMO Drive.
Semo Drive is an app that you install on your phone, just like the ones insurers ask you to install, but Semo doesn’t share that data with any insurance company. Instead of collecting your data to determine a rate that you might not be satisfied with, Semo puts you back in the driver’s seat — you get your data and decide if you’d like to share it.
The process is exactly the same as with an insurer: Download the app. Drive as you normally would. Then, after a few weeks, you can review your driving patterns and see what an insurance company would see.
With your data in your hands, you might find that you’re just as good a driver as you thought. If that’s the case, you can confidently sign up for a telematics program and know you’ll likely be saving money.
You may also find out that your driving could use a little…improving. With SEMO Drive, your rates won’t go up and you can easily see the areas you need to improve on in order to take advantage of telematic discounts in the future.
Either way, with Semo Drive you can safely track your data, and make sure it’s only used to your advantage.
Telematics can save drivers a lot of money — from sign-up bonuses to safe driver discounts to by-the-mile insurance. If you’re a good driver, joining a telematic program will only help decrease your rate.
However, the only way to know if you’re a good driver is to have the data the insurance company has, and the only way to get that is with Semo Drive.
By understanding your driving patterns and having the ability to improve them if need be, Semo Drive gives you insight into your driving you’ve never had before and the power to select the auto insurance policy that’s right for you.