Progressive Snapshot Device

Thirty days have passed since we plugged a Progressive Snapshot device into the LR3 and the results are in. The initial discount came in at 23% with a projected discount at renewal of 29%. The initial pro-rated discount was refunded directly to the credit card that is on file with Progressive.

As you can see from the screenshots below, the LR3 hasn’t been running up many miles lately, which contributes to a larger discount. Also, there are relatively few hard brakes, no driving during high risk times, and very little stop-and-go driving. Comparatively, a friend who drives about 40 mixed town and highway miles per day during medium risk times received a 10% initial discount and a 15% projected renewal discount. Mileage and driving times appear to be major factors in the determination of the discounts.

UPDATE 11/20/2011: Progressive just notified us that we can return the Snapshot device and that the final discount applied to the account was 27%.

Progressive Snapshot Downsides

The discounts are potentially impressive, but you should be aware of some potential downsides before enrolling in the program. Here are the most commonly mentioned downsides:

Big Brother – The most obvious is the “Big Brother” aspect. While the Snapshot device allegedly does not collect GPS data, it does collect and transmit vehicle run time, mileage, speed, braking, acceleration, deceleration, etc. It all sounds pretty innocuous, but according to the fine print, the information collected could be used against you if you are in an accident.

Vehicle-Specific Monitoring – Another problem is that the Snapshot Device doesn’t care who is driving. If your vehicle has multiple drivers, just one of them can tank your discount through undesirable driving habits. It would be interesting to see a usage monitoring program that was driver-specific and not vehicle-specific, but that introduces additional “Big Brother” factors that may make most people shy away.

Penalized for Good Behavior – Good behavior can be penalized. If you need to step on your brakes quickly to avoid an accident or an object in the road, you will get a hard brake penalty added to your discount. You will actually be penalized for that safe driving maneuver. The other day a cat jumped out in front of the LR3 and I braked hard to avoid it and remarked, “That cat owes me a dollar for that hard brake.”

Possibly Little to No Value – Your discount may not be worth the downsides or the hassle. For example, you may not get much of a discount if you accrue many miles, drive primarily during high or medium risk times, drive primarily in the city, do a lot of stop-and-go driving, or like to enjoy an occasional bit of spirited driving. The hassle is minimal, but it is present. You have to sign up for the program, wait for the device to arrive, plug in the device, monitor your usage, and then finally send the device back to Progressive upon request.

Backseat Driver – Finally, you are conscious of the device as your driving. It is kind of like having a backseat driver who never says anything; they just glare at you in a disapproving way when you do something wrong. For example, sometimes you may decide to risk that yellow light instead of braking heavily to stop, and around here, the police like to hide in used car lots and write tickets for “running” yellow lights.

Progressive Snapshot Trip Averages Progressive Snapshot Trip Summary

RoverGuide is not affiliated with Progressive beyond being a customer.

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