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In-vehicle monitoring may provide auto insurance discount rates

New high-tech devices are increasingly popular features in new model vehicles, from onboard navigation systems to wireless connectivity. These new technologies could help consumers receive auto insurance discount rates.

Several major insurance companies have begun offering pay-as-you-drive insurance, which requires an onboard monitoring device to track mileage. Consumers who volunteer for this option are eligible for auto insurance discount rates.

Insurance companies also offer discounts for certain safety and theft prevention features on vehicles. New technologies such as blind spot detection, rear-vision camera systems and advanced telematics (which measure vehicle starting and stopping speed, for example), could lead to future discounts.

The reason for these discounts is that safer cars and safer drivers produce fewer accidents and fewer injuries. And studies have found that in-vehicle monitoring does produce measurably safer driving.

According to a study of teen drivers by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, electronic monitoring reduced the incidence of risky behavior, especially non-use of seatbelts.

However, not everyone wants to have their driving habits tracked. Some monitoring devices are available without GPS tracking.

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