Snapshot uses either a device installed in your car or a mobile app to track your driving behaviors. Snapshot measures rapid accelerations, hard braking, miles driven and the time of day. For customers using the phone app, it also measures phone use while driving.
Once you complete a measurement period, you’ll get a driving score and can be eligible for an auto insurance discount.
Progressive’s Snapshot review period typically lasts a minimum of 75 days. But the company is temporarily allowing Snapshot customers to choose a shorter review period of at least 30 days for a recalculation of rates. If a customer is satisfied with their results, Progressive will immediately apply the new Snapshot rate—customers won’t have to wait for their next policy renewal rate to get a rate reduction.
Even if a current Snapshot customer has completed a review period, they can choose to remonitor in order to try for a better rate based on their driving safety score. (Note that your rate could also increase under the Snapshot program if your driving doesn’t score well.)
In filings made to state insurance departments, 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.”
Progressive’s filings say that customer service representatives will be able to counsel customers on whether a shorter review period is the right option for them. Snapshot customers don’t have to take a shorter review period, and participating in Snapshot is optional for Progressive customers.
New customers are also eligible to enroll in Snapshot and take advantage of the shorter measurement period.
Progressive’s insurance filings say the company considered other alternatives for rate reductions, but the 30-day monitoring period was chosen for two reasons: 1) it has the potential to benefit the largest number of customers and 2) it can be implemented quickly.
The temporary rule for a decreased review period is generally expected to take effect from early February until July 31, 2021.
New Rules for the Pandemic
Progressive’s temporary rule is one of the latest steps for car insurance companies to provide customers with rate relief during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the early months of the pandemic, many insurance companies offered relief in the form of car insurance refunds, mainly due to a significant drop in miles driven. With less traffic on the road, there were fewer car accidents and fewer insurance claims.
Daily trips on a national scale have stabilized since June 2020, compared to the initial drop in driving from March through May 2020, according to “Hindsight is 2020: A Year in Review,” a report published by Arity, a mobility data and analytics company that provides data to car insurance companies. Arity reports that the number of overall daily trips is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.
Alternative Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates
Even as daily driving approaches normal, pre-pandemic levels, those who don’t drive much might be interested in another alternative to traditional car insurance policies: Pay-per-mile car insurance. In this model, you’ll pay a daily or monthly base rate plus a per-mile rate. The fewer miles you drive, the cheaper your car insurance bill will be every month.
But pay-per-mile is not for everyone. For example, if you expect to return to a daily commute in 2021, pay-per-mile could end up costing you more than a traditional policy if you start racking up a bunch of miles.
If you don’t want to switch to a UBI or pay-per-mile plan, there are other ways you can save on car insurance:
- Ask for a discount. There are plenty of car insurance discounts available, including some that can save you as much as 25% off your bill, like bundling auto and home insurance. You may be able to qualify for other discounts such as multi-car discounts, car safety discounts, anti-theft discounts, and good driver discounts.
- Look for a new car insurance company. If you’re not happy with your rates, you can switch insurers. Shopping and around and comparing car insurance quotes will reveal whether you’re overpaying. But price isn’t everything, so make sure you find a company with reasonable rates and good service. Here are Forbes Advisor’s ratings of the best car insurance companies.
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