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Anyone live car light and use an insurance monitoring device to get discounts?

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Anyone live car light and use an insurance monitoring device to get discounts?

Old 11-14-13, 12:52 PM
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kiltedcelt
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Anyone live car light and use an insurance monitoring device to get discounts?

So, I've been living very car light for the last couple years. In particular, this year I've been almost car-free. My car (my only car for my wife and I), is a 1996 Subaru Legacy L wagon, and it gets driven usually no more than about three or four times a month at the most. At the current rate of usage and mileage, I'd be driving the car around 1000 miles a year or so. We don't go on long trips anywhere and the most I'd used it recently was last year when I drove it frequently on my weekends to take my 14' inflatable boat out to lakes that were more than 20+ miles away from my apartment. I stopped doing that early in the year and thus the car sat for most of last year as well. This year has been boat-trip free. I recently changed the insurance and did away with the collision and comprehensive coverage and made sure that the insurance agent (State Farm), had the car placed in the lowest mileage category.

Now I've heard of this electronic monitoring device that State Farm will let you use to monitor your driving so that you can get even steeper discounts. Currently they have no way to give a discount for mileage as low as what I have without using this device. My only gripe about the device and the reason I'm not jumping to sign up and save is that the device itself comes with a monthly fee after the initial trial period. The initial trial period it would seem allows for free usage of the monitoring device for up to a year. After that there are fees charged per month. So, it would seem that maybe for the first year I could get some steep discounts, but the following year I'd have to offset any discounts received against the fee for using the device which justifies the discount. It would seem that these tracking devices are mostly aimed at folks who use their cars regularly and not folks like us who may have a car but use it only rarely. Currently my car insurance costs $27/month. It'd be nice to get that figure lower if possible, but it's already a good deal lower since I removed unnecessary coverage when I changed the policy. For reasons not worth getting into, I pretty much need to keep the car, however I would like to do so as cheaply as possible. I'm just wondering if anyone else has tried using these data logger devices to get discounts and whether it's worth it in the long run. I guess I'd have to see what sort of discounts I could get initially and whether it would be worth it long term to keep the monitoring device and pay any associated monthly fees.
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Old 11-14-13, 01:10 PM
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If it's only costing you $27/month now it's hard to see it getting much lower, especially if you have to pay a fee for one of these magic black boxes. I'd have to wonder whether the black box is a way they can draw people in with a low teaser rate only to hike the fee for the box, and then start asking what elements of their driving people are trying to hide if they want the box removed.

Ultimately the only way you'll know is to find out what sort of discount might be available (and I assume these things will also measure your speed, acceleration etc) and compare it to the monthly charge for the box. If you drive 1000 miles in a year but drive every one of those miles like your rear end is on fire, I'd stick with the $27/month...
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Old 11-14-13, 02:13 PM
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insure as a classic, cost maybe $100 ayear.
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Old 11-14-13, 04:27 PM
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If you're only driving 1000 miles a year, a rental or even taxi cab would probably be cheaper.

As for the insurance thing, I have read that all of those fancy deals have hidden costs. Generally speaking, one company is not going to sell their product for a lot cheaper in a rigged market like we have here in the USA. Regulation of advertising is so lax here that most "deals" are really just lies.
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Old 11-14-13, 08:30 PM
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One thing to watch out for with car insurance is that they'll see you a policy for a whole lot less than the average injury claim. So you have a $80k insurance policy and get sued for $2 million.

Real cheap until you hit someone.

So you need to have an umbrella policy.
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Old 11-14-13, 11:10 PM
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I don't drive often enough to justify keeping a car road-ready. However, I do own a car. My Farmer's insurance gives me a multi-policy discount for insuring both the house and the car. Insuring the car costs me $20/year but the multi-policy discount is about $75/year. When I do drive something, I generally rent it. On those rare occasions, I just call or email my agent and he turns on the rest of my auto policy (the $20 just gives it comprehensive) for about $1.50/day. He does insist that I not turn it on and off constantly, which is fine with me.

This whole charade came about when I discussed the possibility of insurance by the mile with my agent. Although no one had any such policy back then, he came up with this solution. Needless to say, I rather like my insurance agent.

By the way, that car just sits on the side yard. I don't even register it since it isn't going to be on a public road again, ever. Maybe I can just keep part of it and still insure it so it doesn't take up so much space.
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Old 11-15-13, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I don't drive often enough to justify keeping a car road-ready. However, I do own a car. My Farmer's insurance gives me a multi-policy discount for insuring both the house and the car. Insuring the car costs me $20/year but the multi-policy discount is about $75/year. When I do drive something, I generally rent it. On those rare occasions, I just call or email my agent and he turns on the rest of my auto policy (the $20 just gives it comprehensive) for about $1.50/day. He does insist that I not turn it on and off constantly, which is fine with me.

This whole charade came about when I discussed the possibility of insurance by the mile with my agent. Although no one had any such policy back then, he came up with this solution. Needless to say, I rather like my insurance agent.

By the way, that car just sits on the side yard. I don't even register it since it isn't going to be on a public road again, ever. Maybe I can just keep part of it and still insure it so it doesn't take up so much space.
Just make sure it isn't drivable. Take out the battery or something. In some cases, you can be liable for injuries and damage even if the car is stolen, if you don't have active insurance on the vehicle. This actually happened to a friend of mine. She didn't even own the car, but was held responsible for damages and injuries when it was stolen. It was about half a million dollars.
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Old 11-15-13, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I don't drive often enough to justify keeping a car road-ready. However, I do own a car. My Farmer's insurance gives me a multi-policy discount for insuring both the house and the car. Insuring the car costs me $20/year but the multi-policy discount is about $75/year. When I do drive something, I generally rent it. On those rare occasions, I just call or email my agent and he turns on the rest of my auto policy (the $20 just gives it comprehensive) for about $1.50/day. He does insist that I not turn it on and off constantly, which is fine with me.
Sounds like you use this to make car rental insurance cheaper.... and sounds like it is a sweet deal. Do you ever use the car? You have to keep it running though... at least enough to get it started, which could get to be a real pain.
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Old 11-18-13, 12:33 PM
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We have a couple of trucks here that never leave the farm. No tags on them, they are covered under a general liability insurance policy. IIRC our umbrella policy is $3 million

If I were driving a car less than 2500 miles a year I would do a cost analysis and see how it would compare with renting the occasional car or using a taxi.

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Old 11-20-13, 03:06 PM
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I've been wondering about this as well, but I figured that there was a "minimum miles" you had to cover before they would recognize it. I thought about it, but my OBDII diagnostics port (that the plug goes into) doesn't work, so I'm afraid they would say that I never hooked the device up, and therefore, no discount for just leaving it on the counter. They want to see how safe you are, not see how you don't drive. I think if you hooked it up, and drove a few miles a week, they may give you credit, but if you never started the car...

Edit - we thought about this when we had a family business too, since we had some shop trucks that were not used, but still kept on the site, but since it's an umbrella policy, no dice.
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