Can Insurance Tracking Data Hurt Your Car Crash Claim?

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on October 30, 2020 in Car Accidents
Updated on April 24, 2024

car tracking device with driver behind wheelAre you enrolled in your insurance company’s good driver discount program? If so, are you aware that your driving data is being tracked?

PKSD discusses what data your insurance company may be tracking and how that data is commonly used. More importantly, if you are involved in an accident, we explain how that data may negatively impact your claim.

If you have been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact one of our Milwaukee car accident attorneys for legal help. We are available to discuss the circumstances that caused your injuries and what legal options may be available to you.

How is My Data Being Tracked?

When your insurance provider enrolls its policyholders in their good driver discount program, they may track and collect your data in different ways, such as by:

  • Smartphone app connected to your vehicle by Bluetooth
  • Plug-in device that gets connected to the on-board diagnostics port in your vehicle (OBD-II port)
  • Utilizing the tracking device that is already installed in many newer cars

These apps and tracking devices are “plugged in” to the computer systems in your vehicle to capture, collect and then transmit the stored information.

What Data is Collected?

All insurance carriers do not collect the exact same data. It depends on which insurance carrier you are enrolled with and how that data is being collected. Allstate, Farmers Insurance, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Progressive and USAA – all these well-known providers have their own good driver discount program – and their own method for collecting the data. If you are enrolled in a program, it is a good idea to read the fine print and understand what data your carrier is tracking as you drive.

The data being collected typically includes:

  • Phone calls – both handheld and hands free
  • Acceleration or deceleration
  • Speed
  • Time of day and date
  • Harsh or sudden braking
  • Cornering – taking a turn too fast

The information your insurance company tracks tells them a lot about your driving habits, which in turn tells them whether you are typically a safe driver or one who frequently engages in careless driving behavior.

What Does Your Insurer Do With Your Data?

There are two major things that your insurance company will do with the driving data they collect on you, including:

Consider Your Data When Your Renewal is Due

When your enrollment term is up for renewal, your insurance provider will analyze the data to determine whether you may still qualify for the discount. Depending on their findings, you may not receive a discount, or your rates could even increase.

Use Your Data Against You in a Claim

Like the use of information found on your social media accounts, your insurer may legally submit the data they collect about your driving habits if you file a civil lawsuit after an accident.

Why does this matter? Even if you suffered serious injuries because of someone else’s reckless behavior, the data may be analyzed, taken out of context and used in a manner that negatively impacts your credibility. Unfortunately, if you do not have an attorney protecting your legal interests, this could result in your claim being devalued or denied.

For example, if you claim to be a safe driver who rarely speeds, but your data shows you nearly always travel 10 miles or more above the speed limit, you may appear to be a dishonest person. At the very least, it will leave others with the impression that your testimony is, at best, unreliable.

It is important to remember that insurance companies, for all their good discount programs and friendly manners, are not on your side. The top priority is to their company’s bottom line. They are a business and, first and foremost, will seek to ensure a profit.

Enrolled in a Good Driver Program? Here are Some Tips

These programs are not going anywhere, and if you focus on safety and good driving habits, you may even benefit from them. However, it is a good idea to review your data reports to understand how you may be viewed as a driver by your insurance company and others.

Additionally, if you are involved in an accident, we strongly recommend that you immediately contact a knowledgeable attorney who understands the tactics your insurance company may use to try to devalue or deny your claim.

At PKSD, our attorneys are qualified and handle these types of cases every day. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, and we are prepared to do the same for you. Contact our firm to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. It is an excellent opportunity to get answers to your questions in a confidential, no-risk meeting. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs to worry about and no attorney fees to pay unless we obtain money for you first.

PKSD Law Group. Free Consultations. Experienced Legal Help. Call 414-333-3333

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