Progressive Insurance Snapshot Discount Program

Progressive has a nice little automobile insurance discount program out that they call “Snapshot”. Using this program, your policy premium is not based on how you say you drive, or what your driving record indicates (depending on whether you have been lucky or unlucky in your interactions with law enforcement), but on how you really drive.

How does Progressive do this? Once a customer purchases a policy and asks for a “snapshot” discount, the company mails that customer a little device. (Perky spokeswoman Flo likes to show them off in her commercials.) Upon receipt of the small gadget, the customer then plugs it into the automobile’s diagnostic port, usually found under the steering wheel somewhere around the steering column depending upon what model vehicle you drive. Vehicles older than 1996 and some other models do not have such a port so would not qualify for this discount.

Once the device is installed, it collects information on when and how the vehicle is operated. It records the times of day the vehicle is driven, the speed and distance, as well as how often the vehicle is stopped suddenly. It does not care whether you stop suddenly because you were cut off or were just inattentive and following the vehicle in front of you too closely. Lest you try to pull a fast one and remove the device for your night out on the town, and the device records the disconnection.

The idea is that policy-holders who drive fewer miles during safer times of the day and have safer driving habits could pay less for their insurance coverage than those who do not. After 30 days of data-collecting, Progressive will award a policy reduction of anywhere from 0 to 30%. After six months of use, the snapshot device can be returned to the company and the policy deduction remains in force unless a significant coverage change is requested.

If you are worried about privacy infringement, Progressive’s official website indicates that the company will not share the collected data with any third party unless it is required by law, or to service your insurance policy, prevent fraud or perform research. The information also will not be used to determine fault in an accident unless the policy holder gives permission.

Progressive’s “Snapshot” is available in all states but Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington state and West Virginia.

This article is written for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel. The writer is not affiliated with Progressive Insurance in any way.

Comments for Progressive Insurance Snapshot Discount Program

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Jan 23, 2012
Snapshot Norms - what is average experience?
by: Anonymous

I would like to know how my results from a month of Snapshot usage compares with the norm - is there anything online, or that you can provide me with, that I could use to compare my results to others?

Website Manager: The first resource should be your Progressive Insurance agent. When you are told how your month of Snapshot usage compares with others, you would probably want to see something in writing, especially if it appears that your results might be viewed to your disadvantage.

Would any of our readers be willing or able to share their experiences with Progressive Insurance Snapshot Discount program?

Jan 07, 2012
by: Anonymous

The discount policy is clearly discriminatory against those driving vehicles without the diagnostic port. I am an excellent and careful driver with a clear driving history for some 48 years, but because I drive an older vehicle I must pay a premium. BAD FORM there Progressive!
Well anyway, the discount is not available here in WA.
-Pete, in Tacoma, WA USA

Website manager comment: Pete, that is a good point. If your vehicle was made before 1996, it was made before modern On-Board Diagnostic (OBD)ports were required (though a few models did have them a couple a year or so prior to 1996).

Regardless, congratulations to you for a forty-eight year-long clean driving record; no insurance company could argue with that! (It would be interesting to see statistics on how many people actually qualify for discounts after going through Progressive's Snap Shot program.)

Nov 18, 2011
Is Progressive Snap Shot legal?
by: Dierdre, Mt. Airy

Is the Progressive snap shot program even legal? I think it is spying.

Site Manager response: Progressive's Snap Shot program does not appear to be illegal. (The advertising campaign is hardly a secret.) It is important to remember that participation in the program is completely voluntary; a person must contact Progressive Insurance and actually request the device to plug into their steering column. Further, it may be removed at any time.

The device seems to simply be a way to determine whether or not a particular driver qualifies for any insurance premium discounts.

The website manager is not affiliated with the Progressive Insurance Company. This website does not endorse any particular insurance company over another.

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