Progressive Insurance rule change could have major impact on car insurance rates
Progressive Insurance is temporarily tweaking its Snapshot program to allow customers to reduce car insurance premiums amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Forbes Advisor.
The usage-based insurance program (UBI) is designed to help policyholders with good driving habits access better rates.
It uses either a mobile app or a device installed in the vehicle to track a client’s driving behaviors, including instances of rapid acceleration and hard braking, the number of miles driven, and the time of day when the car is used. Customers using the mobile app will also have their phone usage measured while driving.
Drivers are given a driving score following the completion of a measurement period. If their scores show safe driving habits, they may be eligible for an auto insurance rate reduction.
Currently, the review period lasts at least 75 days, but the insurer has announced plans to cut the rate recalculation period to 30 days. Policyholders can opt to keep the standard measurement period or switch to the shorter period.
If the customer is satisfied with their results, Progressive Insurance will immediately apply the new Snapshot rate, so they do not have to wait for the next policy renewal date to benefit from the rate reduction.
Policyholders who have already completed a review period can also choose to be re-monitored to improve their driving scores. The caveat is if they get a lower score, they risk getting a higher rate.
In filings made to state insurance departments obtained by the Forbes Advisor, Progressive said that the adjustment of the measurement periods “is a highly manual process and will require specially trained customer service representatives to operate effectively and efficiently.”
The filings also said that customer service representatives will be able to counsel customers on whether a getting a shorter review period is the right option for them.
The temporary rule for a shortened review period will take effect from early February until July 31, 2021.