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The last time we reviewed Safeco‘s usage-based program, it was called Safeco Rewind. The Rewind program was designed for drivers that had experienced what they called a “Setback,” and it allowed them to prove that they were still a good driver. Safeco issued a Rewind device, and after the trial period their Setback is waived if they receive a passing grade.
The company’s new program, RightTrack, is not that of a typical Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) program, although it does offer discounts to drivers who exhibit good driving behavior. The change might have been a result of the usage-based insurance market expanding due to the popularity of the program amongst policy holders.
As with most UBI programs, RightTrack is an attempt at reducing premiums for their customers. In a sense these small tracking devices give the driver an opportunity to decrease their premiums and also increase their safety, and the safety of those around them.
How RightTrack Works
Drivers interested in Safeco RightTrack are sent a small, telematics device that plugs in to their OBD-II port on their car. This device captures data from the automobile’s computer, and sends it back to Safeco for analysis using cell phone signals.
The RightTrack program is a period of 90 days where your driving is tracked and then evaluated. Once the data from your device has been reviewed, the appropriate discount is then applied to your policy and is effective for the life of that policy. Participating in the program is free and you’re offered access to an online dashboard where you can view your driving patterns.
- Mileage – The amount of miles driven per day
- Time – The time of day or night you drive
- Acceleration – The rate at which the car increases in speed
- Hard Breaking – Monitors your breaking patterns
The data above is constantly collected by the device and sent back to Safeco. The trial period is 90 days, and all the data points are calculated using the criteria listed below.
How the Data is Used
- To determine the drivers discount
- Internal Research
Signing up for Safeco RightTrack is pretty simple. Should you decide to try out the program, you need to contact your local agent so he/she can initiate the process of enrolment. There are just a couple of stipulations; you need to have a valid email address and an eligible vehicle. An eligible vehicle basically means that your vehicle needs to be compatible with the RightTrack device, typically vehicles made in 1996 or newer will work. The program is available in 42 states, and it is possible that it varies a bit within each state.
Once you’ve enrolled, you’re sent a terms and conditions email to look over and agree to before you’re able to begin the program. Your next step is to simply plug in the device, within 30 days of enrolment, and begin driving.
At the end of the 90 day program and after the data has been compiled, the driver has an opportunity to see a discount of up to 30% on their premium. Although this number is the high end, the website states that if you complete the 90 day program, you’re guaranteed a discount of at least 5%.
It is worth noting, however, that even with Safeco RightTrack, their premiums are quite expensive. According to our rate test done when we reviewed Safeco Insurance, they have very hefty premiums even for good drivers. So even with a discount at the end of the 90 day period, drivers could still be facing very high premiums compared to other insurance companies.
Installing the telematics device is very easy, once the OBD-II port is found.
For the vast majority of cars, the port is located somewhere under the steering wheel. Often on the left side, and typically with a small cover that needs to be removed.
Anyone having trouble finding the port can use this tool from CarMD.com. Simply input the car type and it will show a location, along with a picture.
The Safeco RightTrack program could be a good choice for current Safeco policy holders happy with their premiums, but also open to discounts. Our reservations come based on the overall cost of the company’s premiums, with or without the guaranteed discount. They are already on the very high end of the spectrum when it comes to premium price, so those worried about cost may want to explore other options.
Those more concerned about privacy may also have an issue with usage-based insurance, not only from Safeco, but also other companies using UBI. Although Safeco is not the only company able to do this, they do reserve the right to share driving data with outside parties as aggregate information. This means they strip out the identifying info, and share it as part of the overall data from multiple drivers. They will also share driver-specific data with law enforcement if it is required of them to do so.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.