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Progressive is temporarily changing its Snapshot program in an effort to help reduce car insurance rates for its customers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Snapshot is one use-based insurance (UBI) program that can result in better prices for drivers who have good driving habits.
Snapshot uses either a device installed in your car or a mobile app to track your driving behavior. Snapshot measures fast accelerations, hard braking, mileage and time of day. For customers who use the phone app, it also measures phone usage while driving.
Once you have completed a measurement period, you will receive a driving score and may be eligible for a discount on car insurance.
Progressive snapshot review period typically lasts at least 75 days. However, the company temporarily allows Snapshot customers to choose a shorter review period of at least 30 days for a recalculation of prices. If a customer is happy with their results, Progressive immediately applies the new Snapshot rate – customers do not have to wait for their next policy renewal rate to get a rate reduction.
Although a current Snapshot customer has completed a review period, they may choose to monetize to try a better rate based on their driving safety score. (Note that your rate may also increase during the Snapshot program if your driving does not score well.)
In filing with state insurance departments, Progressive said adjusting the measurement periods “is a very manual process and will require specially trained customer service staff to function efficiently and effectively.”
Progressive’s archives say that customer service staff will be able to advise customers on whether a shorter review period is the right option for them. Snapshot customers do not need to take a shorter review period, and participation in Snapshot is optional for progressive customers.
New customers are also eligible to sign up for Snapshot and take advantage of the shorter measurement period.
Progressive’s insurance statements say the company was considering other alternatives to interest rate cuts, 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 reduced review period is generally expected to enter into force from the beginning of February to 31 July 2021.
New rules for the pandemic
Progressive’s temporary rule is one of the latest steps for car insurance companies to give customers rate exemptions during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first months of the pandemic, many insurance companies offered emergency assistance in the form of reimbursement of car insurance, mainly due to a marked decrease in miles driven. With less traffic on the road, there were fewer car accidents and fewer insurance claims.
Daily trips at the national level have stabilized since June 2020 compared to the initial drop in driving from March to May 2020 according to “Hindsight is 2020: A Year in Review”, a report published by Arity, a mobility data and analytics firm. which provides data to car insurance companies. Arity reports that the number of total daily trips is almost back to pre-pandemic levels.
Alternative ways to lower car insurance prices
Even as daily driving approaches normal, pre-pandemic levels, those who do not drive much may be interested in another alternative to traditional car insurance policies: Pay-per-mile car insurance. In this model, you pay a daily or monthly base rate plus a rate per. Mile. The fewer kilometers you drive, the cheaper your car insurance bill will be each 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 may end up costing you more than a traditional policy if you start collecting a lot of miles.
If you do not 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 discounts on car insurance available, including some that can save you as much as 25% on your bill, like bundling of car and home insurance. You may be able to qualify for other discounts, such as discounts on multiple cars, discounts on car safety, anti-theft discounts and good driver discounts.
- Look for a new car insurance company. If you are not happy with your rates, you can change insurance company. Shopping and around and comparison car insurance deals will reveal if you are paying too much. But price is not everything, so be sure to find a company with reasonable prices and good service. Here are Forbes Advisor’s reviews of best car insurance companies.
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