ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Experience Using Allstate's Drive Wise Device to Save Money on Auto Insurance

Updated on January 17, 2017
Source

Tracking How I Drive With An Automated Device -- Will I Save on my Insurance Premium?

It does feel a little strange, like Big Brother is watching as I drive. But, then again, Allsate says I have the chance to save up to 30 percent on my auto insurance (which, for me, would be about $100 every six months) and it makes me more conscientious about my driving habits, which overall I think is a good thing. So I'm giving Drive Wise a test run for six months.

I found out about Drive Wise from my Allstate agent, when he called me just before my policy renewal. He told me that, yes, it would probably feel a bit intrusive at first, but I could give it a try and then return it at any time if I didn't like using the device. He told me I'd save an automatic, one-time minimum 10% discount for trying this system.

The device arrived by FedEx and was easy to install. I now monitor my driving on the Drive Wise website, along with my projected discount. I'll keep you up to date on my experience.

Please let me -- and others -- know what you think of using a device like this to save money in the "duel" comments below.


Please take a moment to answer this poll.

Do You Currently Use Drive Wise or a Similar Device?

See results
A screenshot from my Drive Wise account
A screenshot from my Drive Wise account

What Drive Wise Monitors

Here are the driving details monitored by the Drive Wise device. Not all of these things are counted toward or against your discount, and not all parameters are given equal weight towards that discount. But we, the drivers, don't know the actual algorithm.

  • Hard and Extreme Braking
  • Hard and Extreme Acceleration (These are not yet used in calculating the savings, because Allstate is still evaluating the risk-predictive value of these events.)
  • Miles Driven Over 80mph
  • When You Drive -- Days and Hours of the Day
  • Total Cumulative Miles Driven
  • Trip Time, Duration and Distance, and Speed

This is what the Drive Wise site says about the risk for various driving times on weekdays and weekends. When you log into your account, you'll see charts showing you when you've been driving based on these time slots...

Weekdays:

  • High Risk 11pm - 4am
  • Moderate Risk 4am - 12pm
  • Low Risk 12pm - 11pm

Weekends:

  • High Risk 11pm - 5 am
  • Lowest Risk 5am - 11pm

Notes on the Discount and Hard/Extreme Braking:

Per the Drive Wise site: For your first full policy cycle, you'll get a 10% enrollment discount on your "major insurance coverages." (I now need to find out exactly what THAT means. I'd ASSUMED the discount was on my whole policy cost but apparently not.) After that, your discount -- if any -- will be calculated on a rolling basis, based on the previous 12 months (or 6 months when you begin) of driving.

As the program is currently set up, your performance rating cannot increase your premium, but your rating doesn't guarantee you a discount either.

Regarding hard braking, the scoring model is said to take into account the fact that some hard braking is occasionally necessary, even for the very safest drivers. (For example, someone might pull out in front of you.) So you're not supposed to be overly concerned with any one event recorded on your device.

The Drive Wise risk models are designed to look at "the big picture," and they say that if your driving habits are generally safe, you'll perform well over the long run. Likewise, if you or someone driving your vehicle could stand to leave a bigger space cushion between your car and others, the device is supposed to help you see that, and then you can monitor your progress.

If you have questions about Allstate's Drive Wise program, you can contact them at (877)431-7670.

What My Auto Insurance Agent Didn't Tell Me

I really like my agent and have known him for a long time. But he did neglect to tell me a couple of things about Drive Wise.

First, AFTER THE INITIAL TRIAL POLICY PERIOD, there's a $10 fee for each 6 month policy period per enrolled vehicle, for the use of the device. So that cuts into any discount right there. IF one gets a discount at all (because it's not guaranteed). That could mean paying $10 extra! (Update 3/2013: A comment was posted on this page by an Allstate agent in another state, telling us that this $10 is only charged in some states, not others.)

Also, the rules specify a minimum number of days that the device must be installed for you to earn a "Performance Rating." Specifically, that's 90 days over the course of the six-month renewal period. And there are no exceptions to this rule, even if your car breaks down or you're in an accident and your car is out of commission for a while. If you fall short of the 90-day minimum, your Performance Rating will be 0%, and you won't earn a discount for that policy cycle. (But you'll still have the $10 fee. At least, I don't see where it says you won't.)

After getting my DriveWise device and reading the fine print, I spoke to my agent, and he said he didn't know about the $10 fee (now apparently discontinued in some states) or the part about "major coverages" and wasn't even sure what the latter means exactly. He said I'm the first one of his clients to use this thing. He asked me to keep him posted ... which I will.

Drive Wise installation
Drive Wise installation

Installing the Drive Wise Device

As my agent said, it was indeed very easy to install the device. But he did tell me that if I had any trouble with it, I could come by and he'd take care of it for me. I didn't need any help at all.

There's a port on or just under your dashboard, where auto mechanics stick a device that does engine diagnostics. That's where you put Drive Wise.

Just be careful not to hit it with your leg or foot when getting in and out of the vehicle, if the port is just to the left and below the steering wheel like mine is. I hit it once and knocked off the back cover. I was able to pop it back on and made sure the device was still installed properly, but there's the potential of breaking it, I would say.


Maximizing Your Savings with Drive Wise

And being a safer driver

Allstate suggests....

  • Give yourself enough time to get where you're going, and "drive easy."

  • Eliminate distractions. (I'd say that includes using a cell phone while driving.)

  • They say, "Practice the art of not being there in the first place." (But I'm not exactly sure what that means. Stay home?)

  • Mileage management. (I suppose this could mean planning your trip--ie errands--so you drive an efficient route with the least possible miles.)

  • Time management. (Kind of seems like the first point to me. That and not driving during the riskiest times if you can avoid it.)

The Latest Update on My Drive Wise Results

Drive Wise
Drive Wise

My Driving with Drive Wise So Far

I'll track my driving "events" here

I work at home and, on a daily basis, don't usually drive outside of the small city of Flagstaff. So my average daily mileage and speeds are relatively low. The exceptions are road trips, usually no more than about three or four hours, one way, from home.

Those road trips usually involve driving on the freeway, where speed limits are as high as 75mph. Since the device monitors miles driven over 80mph, I'm expecting to have some distance in that category over time, since I occasionally speed up to pass a slower driver or semi truck.

Here, I'll keep track of any "events" the device records:

  • 12/29: One instance of hard braking on my first day with the device installed. I was going the speed limit and approaching a green light. It changed very quickly from green to yellow to red as I got close, and I made the decision to brake hard and stop rather than go through the light as it turned red.
  • 1/16: On a long weekend trip to Phoenix (a 2.5-hour drive), my husband did the driving and apparently had 2 instances of hard braking. I was a passenger the whole time, however, and I don't recall anything that I would have thought qualified as such. I do know other drivers occasionally veered into our lane or made a turn without signaling, and I'd certainly notice that we braked -- we had to! -- but "hard breaking? Well, Drive Wise says so.
  • 1/12: A hard acceleration event was recorded from about a week ago. I don't recall doing that, but it may have been when I pulled out into a lane of traffic and needed to get up to speed fairly quickly. Acceleration "events," however, aren't supposed to count against our Drive Wise discount, and I don't see that the recorded event made any difference in mine.
  • 2/17: Hard braking ... so it says. I'm so careful these days, I think I would have noticed. That Drive Wise device is either super touchy or lying.
  • 2/27: Hard braking ... are you kidding me?! Is this thing programmed to SAY you braked hard every so often? I've been ultra careful about this, and I was paying attention on that short drive yesterday. I definitely take issue with the device.
  • 4/3: Well, the device says I have a total of 9 events so far, with two hard braking events added since the last time I updated here and one hard acceleration. I still take issue with some of the "hard braking" events (you might want to read some of the guestbook comments below about strange hard braking statistics with DriveWise), but my projected discounted has remained at 24% for some time now.
  • 4/10: Now, that is TOTAL B.S.! The gizmo apparently thinks I had a hard-braking event today, and I know I did not. Never once in my short trip to town and back did I step on that brake in any way that would constitute hard. I never stopped short or even close to short. Now I'm convinced there's something fishy about the hard braking results. We'll see what my discount percentage does in the next few days, but it had better not go down. How bogus.
  • 4/30: Two more totally bogus hard braking events were (supposedly) recorded two and three days ago. I'm convinced that the device is calibrated incorrectly or too sensitively OR dishonestly, penalizing safe drivers for slowing down to stop for lights that turn yellow then red. I've been paying close attention when this happens, as I approach lights at or below the posted speed limit. I don't brake hard when this happens. If I were close enough to the light to require hard braking, I'd be able to legally and safely go through the yellow light. I tried to write to Allstate about this, but their contact form continuously says, "No special characters allowed" in the message when there are not. I'm frustrated with this program, to say the least.
  • 5/16: I think my Drive Wise device is picking up data from someone else's vehicle. (Sarcasm) Now it shows an extreme braking event that I know did not happen. I looked at the trip it "claims" included the event, and it was a short, slow drive at about 5am, when I was on my way from home to the Search & Rescue building for a non-emergency call. There were hardly any other cars on the road and I was paying close attention to my driving and the way I rolled to a stop for a red light. I barely had to touch the brake. So, I went onto the website and wrote a message to Drive Wise about the bogus results. Here is the response I got:

    "Thank you for writing to us. A hard braking event will feel different in different vehicles, but in general, it's coming to a stop with enough force to pitch the car forward, if even only slightly. A hard braking event triggers when there is a deceleration of at least 8 m.p.h. in one second.

    The threshold for an extreme braking event is a deceleration of 10 m.p.h. or more in one second. For the most vehicles this kind of braking event will activate the passenger restraint system (momentarily locking the seatbelts in place). It might also activate the vehicle's anti-lock brakes - though some extreme braking events are too brief to do that."

    ...Which even makes me MORE adamant that NO hard or extreme braking happened. Oh, but my discount went down, and it's not long before my renewal. How convenient. For Allstate.


Does Drive Wise actually encourage unsafe driving?

I feel like Drive Wise encourages running red lights. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but if I'm driving along at or even slightly below the speed limit, and the light I'm approaching goes from green to yellow to red very quickly--which seems to happen a lot around here--I have to make a decision to brake a little harder than usual or speed up and go through the red light just after it turns. I don't SLAM on my brakes to do that, but I sometimes have to slow down rather quickly. And each time that happens, Drive Wise records an "event" and lowers my projected discount. I'd be concerned that people who install Drive Wise might be tempted to run through those lights more often.

Obviously, Drive Wise can't detect someone talking on a cell phone or texting while driving, or doing other distracting things while behind the wheel, and those are much more dangerous habits than some hard braking. And, believe me, it doesn't seem to take much for Drive Wise to record hard braking.


One year later:

After all of the above, this might seem strange, but I haven't had a recorded hard-braking event in many months. I don't know if it's the new vehicle which drives differently or MY driving or what. Still, my discount won't go up beyond 20%. The max is supposedly 30, but I guess that, even though I've had no events, I must be doing something wrong.

And several months later: Turns out, my device was apparently on the fritz. I kept getting emails from the program, telling me there was no communication from it, thinking I'd taken the device out, which I hadn't. So they ended up sending me a new one, along with postage to return the old one ... and now the new thing is recording hard braking events, which I STILL don't think are accurate at all. But there goes my 20% discount.

Tracking My Projected Auto Insurance Discount

The website shows that percentage as it changes

As I check in with my Drive Wise account online, I'll update my project discount, cumulative miles driven and cumulative "events." My renewal date for my auto insurance is 6/24/12, so that's when my first discount will be finalized.

  • 12/29 -- 10% enrollment discount showing
  • 1/10 -- 24%: 86.1 total miles driven, 1 event
  • 1/12 -- 19%: Strange. Why did my discount go down 5% in two days when I've hardly driven and had no "events"?
  • 1/16 -- 12%: Down 7 percentage points after a long weekend in Phoenix -- drove down from Flagstaff -- with apparently 2 instances of hard breaking but never going over 80mph, even on the freeway where the speed limit is often 75mph.
  • 1/19 -- 5%: What!? How did it go down even more when I've done only a few miles of driving since Phoenix and with no events? And if I'm guaranteed a 10% discount for the first policy period using this device, HOW can it go BELOW 10%? Hmm...
  • 1/23 -- 14%: Going back up. The more I drive without any events, the more the events the Device has recorded are "diluted.")
  • 1/30 -- 17%
  • 2/12 -- 21%: One "event" was added, but it's a "hard acceleration," which they say doesn't count against you.
  • 2/23 -- 24% even with a hard breaking event added
  • 4/3 -- 24%: Nothing new to report. Says I have a total of 9 events--2 hard accelerations and seven hard brakings.
  • 4/30 -- 24% but waiting to see if this will drop, because of two BOGUS events supposedly recorded
  • 5/16 -- 21%
  • Final Policy Period Discount -- 21% BUT ... of course my base premium went up for no particular reason (that is, no accidents, claims, or changes on my part) and this discount only applies to "major coverages," so my final premium ends up only a few dollars less than my last renewal.

    My total discount ended up being $23.00 after all of this. So 21%, when applied to "major coverages," doesn't amount to very much.

More updates...

  • 9/28 -- 24% projected discount: I have a new vehicle now, a Rav4 instead of a Corolla. What feels like a hard braking now doesn't usually register as one on DriveWise. Did they tweak the device, or is it due to the new, heavier vehicle?
  • 10/16 -- 20%: My discount was reduced for no apparent reason, because I've had no new events for a long time. I called DriveWise, and the rep suggested "maybe" it was because of mileage. That makes no sense, as I've not driven any more than usual, and I really don't drive a lot considering I work from home. I questioned this reason, and he said he really couldn't give me a "better" explanation. Nice, huh? I'm getting close to policy renewal time, and my discount mysteriously drops.
  • 6/20 (8 months later): Still at 20%, where I've been since my last update. Sure, it's a nice discount, but I haven't had a SINGLE hard-braking or other event. So, I don't know why I'm not receiving the full (max) 30% discount.
  • 8/20 (2 months later): STILL at 20%. No additional events recorded. No matter what I do or don't do, it's like they've fixed my discount at 20%.

Returning the Drive Wise Device and Exiting the Program

I read on the Drive Wise website that f you decide not to continue in the program, you can cancel at any time. You have to notify your Allstate Agent or call 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828). They'll update your policy information and adjust your premium, then give you instructions on returning the device to Allstate at no cost to you.

Would YOU Use a Device Like Drive Wise?

What do you think?

If it meant possibly saving 30% on your auto insurance, would you use Drive Wise or a similar device?

No, because....

No, because....

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MCampbell 2 weeks ago

      It caused an electrical shortage at the port it is plugged into...thus frying all of the wiring in our truck, even starting a small fire. The fire was quickly put out...Allstate will not cover the damage as it is deemed "mechanical failure". It fried all of the wiring in the dash as well as the main wiring harness. The truck is basically a total loss. Not only are we getting rid of all drivewise devices in our vehicles, we will now be searching for another insurance. This was my son's truck that he worked so hard to buy... now he has to start all over due to my decision to install this device. Our mechanic confirmed that the short began at the device...I would not recommend that anyone have something like this plugged into their car, constantly on. I wish I'd asked my mechanic's opinion prior to getting the device. He said that port is not meant to have something plugged into it at all times.

    • Ellen Frietag 3 weeks ago

      This device is such a scam. Neither my insurance agent or the Drivewise people themselves can tell you how the discount is calculated. They just keep repeating the categories it measures. But how many miles over 80 will decrease your discount, how many hard braking instances will decrease your discount etc. No one can tell you. It seems like you have to live in the country and only go to and from the grocery store at the right time to get any kind of discount. I have had the device in my car for over 10,000 miles. I live in a metropolitan area and drive a fair distance to work, in and out of the city. Never had an accident or a ticket, I think I'm a fairly safe driver. I have earned over 97,000 in their rewards points (given for safe driving) but I am getting zero discount and no one can give me any measurement criteria. Why use it, I am returning my device.

    • graham williams 6 weeks ago

      it does not work and the agents and allstate are simply AWFUL to fix it

    • Beth 2 months ago

      Thank you for your insight. I was trying to make up my mind about installing the device, and this helped. The answer is no. My husband and I do road trips starting about 8 pm so that we arrive at our son's home somewhere between 7 and 8 am the next day. That would mean we drive during dangerous hours, but we are in the middle of nowhere on an interstate. We usually keep our speed below 75, but the time of day would be our undoing. Thanks for your diary.

    • Lindsay 4 months ago

      Don't get the Allstate DriveWise device. It caused my Honda to malfunction with 4 different dash lights on. Took it in to the dealership to figure out why the dash lights were on and it was because of the device interfering with car signals. DON'T GET IT FOR DISCOUNT PURPOSE- not worth it at all!!!!!! Cost me $130 and they wouldn't reimburse.

    • Sandra Brown 5 months ago

      I have been using the device a couple years now,biggest complaint is the brakeing!!!!! I feel i deserved maybe 4 or 5 of the20 or so "demerits" that i got. twice deer ran out on the road, another was wild turkerys. I found as others have a tendancy to speed thru red lights rather than brake hard.I had finally got up to 20% rating then it suddenly dropped to 17% and was told it was from hard braking. I do not brake Hard!!! no tailgating , i anticipate light changes and stay aware of them getting ready to change etc. I had a previous A to A+ratings, low mileage, slow speed, drove mornngs, just the braking got me. Not fair!!!!!!

      Sandi

    • Ernesto 11 months ago

      As you know there are four factors that Drivewise evaluate. There are speed, time of day, mileage, and breaking events.

      On every car's dashboard there is mandatory gauges such as speedometer, clock, odometer and few others. But there is NO GAUGE to measure DECELERATION. Anybody can look at speedometer and control speed of the vehicle under 125 km/h. Anybody knows the distance of the trip. Anybody know the time of the day. But NOBODY can distinguish deceleration less than 13 km/h in a second from deceleration of 14 km/h in a second. There is no gauge for this and people do not have sense for feeling this factor.

      Braking event factor in the absence of gauge for this on a driver's side gives a lot of power for abuse to Drivewise management. It a powerful mechanism of manipulation for Drivewise program. The Drivewise may prescribe any number of braking events and drivers cannot dispute this because there is no indicators on their side that can be monitoring by them.

      From this angle Drivewise Program looks questionable. There is a lot of room for the insurance company to fraudulent practices using the parameter that nobody can measure or feel except the insurance itself. It gives to the insurance a powerful mechanism to reduce all claims for good driving on basis of non-measurable parameter. It gives to the insurance more profits and robs customers.

      Allstate insurance has to remove braking event factor from its Drivewise program or provide all participants a gauge for monitoring this parameter in real time. Meanwhile all participant of Allstate Drivewise program and all participants of similar programs of other insurances have to be granted full discount for the program that in case of Allstate is 30% of premium.

    • AMIGIRL 20 months ago

      I have had my Drivewise device for almost 2 months now. I am annoyed for several reasons. The first being that I only have an A rating and not an A+ for my mileage driven. Do I need to stay home and not drive at all to get an A+? I bought my car on January 2015 and as of October, I still have less than 3000 miles on it. I was recorded 4 times for hard braking, which I do not recall either. The last one indicated in the Drivewise website that I hard braked from 12.4 mph and got down to 2.3 mph, indicating no abrupt stop at all, only a slow down. This again lowered my percent. If they do not rectify this system, I will be seeking another ins. co.

    • Switching Insurance Companies 2 years ago

      0% discount? I drive 19K miles per year and work 2nd shift. I get home at 11:15 pm, which puts me at high risk (11 pm-4 am). The only way to save with drivewise is to not drive your vehicle.

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      Drivewise takes into account 4 metrics that are guaranteed to ensure your discount will be close to 0% if you use your vehicle. I have had it in place in 4 vehicles for 2 months, and unless you work from home or work odd hours, you will never get a discount worthy of putting up with this much big brother.

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      Your driving habits are compared to computer stats that indicate accidents. Even if you never have an accident you are charged as if you did or receive smaller discount from an inflated costs. Just a big scam to make money

      Use an insurance co. That bases rates on your record and stats for your area

    • Jeph Maystruck 3 years ago from Regina, SK

      Just seems too weird right now, in the future we all probably will have chips in us that send a signal about consumption or locomotion in some manner. Very cool lens.

      JEph

    • anonymous 3 years ago

      For several reasons...I agree with other statements that it will be eventually used against us. Second, I was put on without being informed. Second, I brake far away from cars and tell my son the same thing as he's learning....simply because u don't know what the other people are going to do in fromt of you and it gives u time to attempt an accident if someone does something stupid in front of you. I also have an older car to teach him with...he's not going to be perfect and I fully believe they use him "learning" to increase the price on all my cars. It's crazy, I sold ! car...with a supercharged motor because i felt it wasn't a good car for a teen to learn in and my insurance kept raising despite no accidents or points. The beat up old ford focus is costing the same in insurance. It's stupid. Another car I wanted, a 1993, they quoted even higher then the supercharged sports car. Their rating system is a mystery and I guarantee that they WILL use the information they obtain from these devices against you in the end!

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I will discontinue it after 10 days ..Maybe my car is too heavy (a Buick enclave) , yet I have trouble accepting it as accurate since i don't feel the hard braking it is recording . Also i think I ma not suited to the big brother ascept of it .

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Well I should say not any longer.. I did have the Drive Wise in my ford Taurus and I was constantly dinged because of the hours that I worked. (I got off at midnight) Well I bought a brand new Infiniti and Allstate quotes me 1200 for my premium.. I was like WHAT?? Everyone else was charging 624 etc.. Well needless to say it was because of the drive wise.. if you look at the small print it says.. Allstate gathers and combines data from the device for the purpose of analysis and risk evaluation as well as for premium/rate calculation. So needless to say I went to Statefarm and wont ever put something in my car like that again..

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Device doesn't work proprelly. 8mph to 0 posted as hard braking and 9mph to 0 is a extrem braking. Reall? they ever tried to drive at 8mph and bring the car to a stop? A kid is riding a bicycle faster than 8mph.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      You experience validates all of my concerns - TRUST: It has not overcome the lack of trust most people have regarding their insurance company; CUSTOMER RELATIONS: Insurance companies are not equipped to interact with customers more frequently than 1-2x/year; AN END IN ITSELF: Insurance companies need to offer MORE than insurance discounts (gas, parking, coffee?) for participating; ACCESS TO SAVINGS: The carrot of the big savings somewhere in the future isn't meaningful, I want my savings NOW; INTRUSIVENESS: the device is annoying, honestly; HELP: How about some route guidance, help me improve my efficiency, did I mention offer me gasoline discounts at the stations on my most-used routes? How about weather and hazardous driving condition warnings? - State Farm is a little better - providing vehicle diagnostic and service information, but NOT providing drive-by-drive insights. But both programs fall short. State Farm offers 5% sign up discount with 30-40% discount potential.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I average 18 mpg in a Chevy Suburban. I baby this vehicle. 70,000 miles on original brakes and they are not even 40% worn. However, Drivewise finds every other stop to be hard braking. It also projects mileage, so you drive 100 miles one day and none the next you get penalized for having driven 100 miles. I fired Allstate and saved a small fortune in the process.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Hard Braking is a daily activity for everyone in our state capital city - Memphis, TN is worse.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm currently using it and I too have all these hard braking events and from what I see that seems to be the only thing that matters. I guess the hours are high risk based on the times accidents occur, but I mostly drive highway (even though I live in a city) and mostly during rush hour .... that's why I even need a car. It feels like I'm penalized for this because there is a lot of traffic and people that ride their brakes.

      I also didn't drive for 2 whole weeks and my discount decreases? absurd! its like it gets more concentrated because I'm not using my car. That's silly... this unit is gone in 6 months if I don't throw it out of the window before then. The only way you'll get that 30% is if you're retired and you only make a run to the store and back 2x a week.

    Yes, because....

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Joe Blowtorch 6 months ago

        Drivewise is RIGGED, RIPOFF and DECEITFUL Allstate monitoring program for anyone who DRIVES. I drive 3000Km per year. Most brake engagements during my short 2Km drive are recorded as events and ~3% is deducted from my rebate total. Shame on you Allstate for producing such a deceptive and scammy monitoring system.

      • Faith 11 months ago

        The drive wise did absolutely nothing for me and I'm a very good driver. Complete waste of time. Their rewards program started out great but now has very limited auctions. They reduced the number of auctions by over 50%. Gimmick to stay clear of. Try a different insurer!!

      • Mike 12 months ago

        On dry pavement modern tires can slow a car down at over 20mph/second. It is ridiculous to call 10mph/second "extreme". These people need to learn what vehicles are actually capable of. 10mph/second definitely will not lock your restraints or cause ABS to activate.

      • Tracy 20 months ago

        Thank you for the time and effort you put forth in this report. I found your information very useful as my insurance company is trying to convince me to use a device similar to yours. I am thinking its a whole lot of extra work for little reward. I live close to a hwy so I need to accelerate quickly no matter where I go. Thanks again for the info.

      • artinohio 2 years ago

        To avoid the hard/extreme braking incidents we must relearn how to apply brakes. When I was taught to drive, I was told to tap the brakes lightly to slow down prior to stopping. This was to keep the brake pads from over-heating and wear more slowly. Allstate identifies extreme braking as slowing down 8mph per second. This is a rate and is not measured for a second every time you touch your brakes. In other words as I see it, if you touch your brakes for ONE EIGHTH of a second and slow down ONE mph, you have performed one extreme braking incident. I have tested my theory and changed my braking method to depress and not release the brake pedal in process of stopping my auto. My grade for braking is improving.

      • jeff 2 years ago

        You may be better off using the smart phone app. That seems to be much more accurate (for me, at least, I've driven for 2 months with the app, and only have a single hard breaking incident - avoiding an accident that occurred directly in front of mr on a snow covered road

      • cub fan 2 years ago

        SAVE YOUR TIME AND MONEY. JUST SWITCH TO GEICO.

        I tried it in several vehicles. It didn’t work properly in 3 out of 6 vehicles. False reported or double reported incidents, I couldn’t use my alarm or my remote to lock the door on one vehicle. If you get stuck in snow, you get events for starting and stopping quickly.

        When my Allstate Drivewise discount hit 0% on one of my vehicles, I decided it was time to change insurance companies.

        I shopped around and Geico has a high customer satisfaction and costs less than 2/3 the price of Allstate. NO STUPID MODULE OR PROGRAM to worry about. I’m saving more money with Geico than I would have with Allstate Drivewise @ 30% discount.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        People with hard braking issues don't know how to drive. 300 miles now without a single incident. My rating is an A-. with a projected discount of 15% and going up. Also any discount you get is extra that you wouldn't have gotten at all, so what are people complaining about? i think it's cool being able to see my trips and stuff.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I'm givin it a shot. I went out to grab some food and felt a little erked and forgot about the device. I know I accelerated fat a couple of times but I don't think i stopped short at all. I have to see what the site says. Felt really stupid and guilty when I got home and remembered the thing was on. Had it on the cars for 3 or 4 days now...

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I am currently signing up for 2 of my 3 vehicles. I think there is a no loss situation here. If I drive well I get discount. If I don't I won't get a discount. I see a lot of mad comments about how it registers but honestly I don't think people can handle how hard they drive a vehicle. So you either adapt your driving style or don't get a discount. It's not very hard. Just to note I have an Envoy/Concorde/Formula Firebird as my cars and only the Envoy and Concorde are getting the drive wise. Mainly because there is no way I will get a discount on the firebird the way I drive it. Yet in the other 2 I drive very conservative.

      • Deb Kingsbury 4 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

        @anonymous: My review isn't old at all (you can see the dates I entered updates, the last being fairly recent). I can only give you "my experience" -- hence the title of the page -- and part of that is, as I wrote, there was/is no fee the FIRST TIME one uses the device. That is, the first policy period. My experience ... as I was told by Allstate (though my agent was unaware of it until I told HIM) and as happened ... is that there is a $10 fee the second time -- the second policy period -- and beyond that you have the device installed. Sounds like you're in the first policy period, so, no, no fee. As I recall, information began to show up on the website the same day I installed the device and drove with it.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        How old is this review? My agent said there was not a fee. Also after install how long did it take before it would show up on the website. Thanks for the help!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        We have had Drivewise on two cars for a couple of months and I am satisfied with it. We have registered no hard braking and no miles over 80 MPH. We are sitting at 23% reduction and 26% reduction on our policies respectively. My only objection is the number of miles per month is awfully low and the time of day does not make sense to me.

      • Deb Kingsbury 4 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

        @anonymous: Hm, I was recently reading DriveWise info, and I'm pretty sure we could use the device in only one vehicle on a policy. I'm assuming, then, you have some other kind of situation? At any rate, I recently changed vehicles (traded one in, bought another) and moved the DriveWise device to the new vehicle. I've since noticed that the device is registering far fewer (make that zero) hard braking events but a lot more hard accelerations, and I really haven't changed my driving. If anything, in this larger, heavier vehicle I'm now driving, I FEEL like I'm braking harder than before. So I don't know if it's just that different vehicles register differently with the device or ... what? In my case, though, the discount is at 24% and holding, so I guess the hard accelerations (often necessary to get up to speed when merging into traffic) don't affect our discounts.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I'm using drivewise in 5 vehicles. 2 false report and 1 messes up my security system. So far the other 2 are ok. I've had similar sudden drops in % of discount for no real reason. I drive 2 vehicles, one vehicle has no events in 2 months and the other (a truck) 7 or 8 events in 2 months (hard and extreme stops). How can the same driver drive so different? The module doesn't seem to work right in Nissan or Subaru.

      • ansarisameerali2 5 years ago

        That's some nice stuff on saving money on auto insurance

      • DMVAgent 5 years ago

        The device, I can imagine, would be awkward but more innovation of this device will make it perfect.

        Looking forward for more updates. :)

      • Pangionedevelopers 5 years ago

        yes

      • Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

        I'm intrigued by this but I see there are more angles to it than I had thought of. I'd sure like to get a nice discount though.

      And if this Isn't the Hokiest Commercial - Are they serious?

      Love how she drives. Very attentive!

      © 2012 Deb Kingsbury

      Comments About Drive Wise or a Similar Device? - Please share your experience and opinion.

        0 of 8192 characters used
        Post Comment

        • WriterJanis2 profile image

          WriterJanis2 5 years ago

          I still don't have a GPS! So much for modern technology. Very interesting read. It will be fun to hear your progress.

        • profile image

          JoshK47 5 years ago

          Very interesting information! I don't have anything quite like this, but it's intriguing indeed.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          I just received one and am still not sure. i haven't installed it yet, but feel it may be too intrusive. My husband (from Germany) says "hell no!" We shall see...

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Liablity issues for you

        • profile image

          Pangionedevelopers 5 years ago

          great info

        • profile image

          julieannbrady 5 years ago

          Hey, is this the little device that Flo has been promoting? I wondered about it. Yeah, big brother. Any performance anxiety?

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          I've had this device in my car for several months. I'm a very cautious driver, so I thought this little thing would help me save money and I wouldn't have to work for it. Well... what Drivewise considers hard braking may need to be recalculated. I avoided an accident when someone abruptly pulled into my lane so I had to brake really hard. This counts against me! I live in Phoenix and work in Scottsdale so I have quite a commute and yes, I have almost been tempted to cut a yellow light too close because I don't want braking to count against me. The device makes you conscious of your driving habits, which is good, but it can also encourage some less than stellar driving habits to avoid being penalized. It has totally changed my husband's driving habits for the better so I guess there are pro's and con's to everything. Hope you found this helpful.

        • Ramkitten2000 profile image
          Author

          Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

          @anonymous: Yes, thank you for the feedback. I'm happy with the "projected discount" ... so far. But I definitely take issue with most of the so-called hard-braking events. The thing says I did that yesterday (drove all of 10 miles), but I was very careful and paying attention, and I can't imagine when and where I would have braked hard. Makes me paranoid that the thing just throws one in there every so often.

        • Ramkitten2000 profile image
          Author

          Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

          @julieannbrady: Yep, definitely. Thing is, it SEEMS to be recording things that aren't happening, meaning "hard braking." I'm very cognizant of that now that the device is in my car, and, wow, it must be VERY picky, because except for two instances where I can agree (both times due to other drivers pulling in front of me), the rest I'm skeptical about.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Sorry - I put my comment as a vote, oops... I'm new here! If you can delete my long poll response, I would appreciate it!

          I've had this thing in my car a month, since 1/17/12. I drive very well, especially for someone my age - I'm a 25 year old female living in Phoenix. I don't tailgate, use my turn signals every time, always pay attention (there are snowbirds here playing bumper cars, you HAVE TO!!!), I know my way around, and I rarely speed by >5mph. But, with two prior accidents on my record (neither of which I was deemed at-fault for, but both of which skyrocketed my insurance rates), my insurance rates are ridiculous... so my agent talked me into one of these.

          My advice: check out what exactly the events say for your "hard braking." I've had "only" 5 hard braking events so far (of which two I COULD understand, though I think they barely qualified as moderate braking under a reasonable standard and the other three 100% baffled me).

          So I checked out my detailed stats, my "trips". Once you go to your My DriveWise Trips page (with the calendar), choose a day you had an 'incident,' then click on a trip with an event to the right, and if you scroll to the bottom, it will tell you the time in minutes you spent going certain speeds, and also detail the info behind your event.

          All 5 of my hard braking events were me braking -8.6 mph. Here's the detail:

          1/17, 5:12pm: 23.5mph down to 14.9mph = -8.6mph

          2/2, 2:49pm: 43.3mph down to 34.7mph = -8.6mph

          2/20, 7:03am: 19.7mph down to 11.1mph = -8.6mph

          2/23, 7:05am: 13.5mph down to 4.9mph = -8.6mph

          2/24, 12:59pm: 30.9mpg down to 22.3mpg = -8.6mph

          They all started at different speeds (from 43.3 all the way down to 13.5) and, after my greivous "hard braking," ended at correlative speeds 8.6mph below the initial speeds. Yes, the net difference on every single one was -8.6mph.

          So, I understand your paranoia. 5 events, a various range of speeds, different times of day and days of the week. And on EVERY single one, I happened to brake the EXACT same amount, reducing my speed by exactly 8.6 mph in every instance? I'm not one of those "they're out to get you" conspiracy people, but it begs the question: Coincidence? I think not! That's a statistical anomaly.

          My opinion: At best, their software is flawed. At worst, they're falsely advertising and misleading customers, using depetive/rigged programming in this device to find ways to not hand out that 30% discount. Kind of like going to a casino... someone may win big, but almost everyone is going to lose because the machines are programmed in the house's favor!

          I call baloney on this thing. I'll keep it for my automatic 10% (and out of curiosity to see how many more times in a row my foot can brake by exactly 8.6mph). I'd be happy to provide screenshots if you'd like. But, mainly I'm curious to hear if anyone else notices that they magically always brake by the exact same amount in these so-called "hard braking" events...

          Thanks!

          Jessica

        • Ramkitten2000 profile image
          Author

          Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

          @anonymous: Thank you so much, Jessica, for that great feedback. That definitely is "interesting" about the hard braking statistics. Hm....

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          @Ramkitten2000: Thanks... out of curiosity, how are your hard braking numbers? Or those of other commenters? I'm curious how many other people see the same speed reduction over and over, especially with that -8.6 MPH.

          My dad got a drivewise at the beginning of this month, and I installed it and set up his account (he's computer illiterate and Allstate literally will NOT give you a drivewise if you don't set up the online account). We checked out his stats yesterday... 3 events, all were net -8.6MPH hard braking. Let me tell you, my dad is the safest (read: slowest) driver on the planet, and 99% of his trips are 5 miles each way on the same side-street route to/from the dog park at 5-6 AM. I poked fun at him for being so 'dangerous' while he called up our agent to insist he hadn't braked hard and tell them there must be an error because he had to be seeing someone else's stats - LOL!

          Since I lasted posted, I've gathered up two more hard braking events of my own as well (one very valid, the other ???). You guessed it, both were a net -8.6 MPH!

          There's certainly something very, very wrong with their hard braking algorithm/stats. In my most recent event, I totally SLAMMED on my breaks to not hit a bewildered dog that came out of nowhere. I mean, coffee spilled and the seatbelt lock kicked in and my purse flew from the passenger seat into the dash. My first thought after the dog was "$&!#, now I'm going to have an EXTREME braking event!" Nope, -8.6 mph. I contrast that with the day I went all of 3.2 miles, going under 20 the entire time, didn't run into anything at all, and got a -8.6MPH hard braking event. It's totally random.

          I'm wondering if my drivewise device is defective (I really thought so until I saw dad's suspicious trio of -8.6MPH events). So far from what I had seen, it's severely sensitive in their favor, but after seeing it so drastically err in my favor, I just don't know.

          I wonder if the device only has sensitivity ranges? (So that -8.6 could mean an unfair -5mph or a jolting -15mph?) Or perhaps some are poorly/incorrectly calibrated? Or...? I'm very curious about this and would love input. I've tried talking to my Allstate agent, but he has no idea and hates Drivewise more than I do, poor guy.

          Anyway! Just a few more of my two cents. You really have the best, most thorough, accurate, and detailed blog out there about this, and it's nice to follow along someone else's experiences too! So keep it up!

          Thanks,

          Jessica

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          I'm glad you posted this because I randomly got a bunch of 'hard brakes' the other day and have no idea what they're talking about. Usually I know but now it's just accruing them left and right. When I called about it the woman was pretty rude. I'm wondering if they get people calling about the hard brake stuff often.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          The "hard braking" events are ridiculous. How can you have a hard brake when you are only going 11 mph? I now have 3 hard braking events and I would never consider any of them a "hard brake." I have called and written to Drive Wise to complain and try to even understand if they are listening to their customers and going to tweak what constitutes a "hard brake." The first woman was very rude. Today, a got a younger woman who said they are receiving MANY calls about the hard braking events and she does not know if Allsate will be changing the way they track what a hard brake is or not. I told her that I am seriously considering discontinuing the program as I think the hard brake issue is bogus and it just isn't worth the hassles. I am a very good driver and a cautious/defensive driver. Where is the reward for good drivers if you are penalized for bogus info? Not worth it to me.

        • profile image

          squidoohwc 5 years ago

          @anonymous: Hi Jessica,

          I have a total of 49 events: 19 hard accel and 30 hard braking. I've had the device installed for 7 months now. I got a 24% discount. My hard brake speed differential is at either -8.0 or -8.6; mostly the first number.

          I believe the device is extremely sensitive to braking. I am a very good driver and drive deffensively. I was flabbergasted to see 30 hard breaking incidents. I can only recall truly having to hit the breaks hard, about 6 times to avoid running a yellow light. Since hard accel doesn't count against me, from now on, I will run a yellow light just to avoid another ding in my data =)

          Helen

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          @squidoohwc: Good to hear I'm not the only one with a magically precise braking foot. I've since gathered up two more events (all hard braking as usual), both a net -8.6MPH. My most recent one is my new favorite. I went from 8.6MPH to 0MPH. HAZARD! You better watch out for me on the road!!! Clearly I am dangerous! I went from a crawl to a stop!

          They obviously have a seriously flawed system... or I have one heck of a precise lead foot (in the braking sense, not the speeding sense).

          Did you know, 8-9MPH is the average speed of a human in sustained running? I can literally run faster than I was driving, and I got a hard braking event! My discount is at 7% (well, 10% - I'm still in the intro). It's still worth it for me, but... meh.

          I've stopped being angry about it, begin frustrated with it, or worrying about it - it's quite amusing to me now. I doubt Allstate will revise their algorithm. Why would they? Like I said before, the house *always* wins. Statistically, this device records so many anomalies that the probability of it being anywhere near accurate in its measurements is infinitely approaching ZERO. And, I'd bet my life that that's the way Allstate designed it.

          Anyway, thanks again for your input. It's nice to get more confirmation that I'm not actually a reckless driver, nor am I imagining some conspiracy. Their device is just weighted in their favor (heavily, I might add), and probably not so accurate to begin with.

          Jessica

        • Ramkitten2000 profile image
          Author

          Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

          @anonymous: Thank you for adding your comments. It'll be interesting to see how or if the program changes and what kinds of discounts people are getting with or in spite of these questionable "hard braking" events. I'm still in my first six months with the device, but I'll definitely be talking to my agent when those six months are up and giving him some feedback. I'll probably send him a link to this page. (I've known him for years.) I don't know if I'll do a second round with the device IF they insist on charging that $10 for it after the initial trial run. And that's even without the automatic 10% discount you get the first time around. I can just see the thing costing me money instead of saving any. I'd really like to get them to change that $10 charge. I mean, come on, WE'RE supplying THEM with information.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          @Ramkitten2000: Thank you for providing this outlet for my frustration. I hope you will show this link to your agent. I have been letting our agent know as well. I spoke to and wrote to Drive Wise again and they just send out a form letter thanking me for my feedback. It is BS. I agree with you that charging $10 for the device is not really fair if the % of reward is not met because of the 'event' of the 'hard brake.' In actuality, we could end up spending more for our premium for having the device. I will continue for this first six months but, unless I get enough of a discount to not only pay for the device but to be worth it to me to have the device in place, it isn't worth the aggravation of not be able to enjoy my drive. The whole Big Brother effect makes me a more uptight driver than if I don't have the Drive Wise device in place. I believe that the criteria for the Drive Wise Model needs to be reevaluated and structured so that normal defensive drivers are not penalized.

        • profile image

          BeInsuranceSavvy 5 years ago

          Great article! I will pass it a long!

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          I've had my Drive Wise device for 10 days at this point. Over the course of that time, it has registered 6 events. There were 2 of them that I know happened from people pulling out in front of me. The other ones were all suspiciously -8.0 MPH. The annoying thing about one of my known events was that I saw traffic coming to an abrupt stop, so I hit the brake to slow my approach and maintain my cushion. But I broke just fast enough to register an event. To keep the events to a minimum it seems my option is to slowly eat up my cushion and just not hit the person in front of me. The other thing that pisses me off is that my other events were all under 12MPH. So it seems that going 8 miles an hour and stopping at a stop sign, if you do it just fast enough will register an event. I seriously don't think that seems like an unsafe event. At this point I'm not thinking of getting rid of the device since I am getting a discount no matter what. I just think that basing "safe driving" entirely on how hard you break, time and distance travelled just aren't enough metrics to actually indicate how safe you drive.

        Click to Rate This Article