In Texas and across the United States, people constantly see the advertisements for potentially reduced insurance by allowing themselves to be tracked so their insurance company can see that they drive safely. Known as “telematics,” these provide a variety of information to the company. However, as Consumer Reports found, that information could go beyond what people are comfortable with if they knew its scope. In addition, it could impact an insurance claim after an accident. After a crash and when seeking to recover for what was lost, this could be a problem and drivers need to be aware of it.
Concerns about telematics include information and insurance claims
Telematics is offered by the largest auto insurance companies in the nation. While it is marketed as a strategy to show the insurance company that the driver is behaving safely and discounts are warranted, there are still tradeoffs in privacy that must be made to take advantage of that. The company will have 24/7 access to the customer’s whereabouts and the discounts can be substantial – up to 40%.
This data can also be relevant if there is an accident. Vehicle movements can be tracked and traced to when the accident happened. While a person who is hit by a driver who ran a red light should not expect to face any consequences from the insurer for an accident that is clearly not his or her fault, it is theoretically possible that recording the innocent driver’s speed might impact the case. In addition, safe driving is a subjective issue. Insurers might have a definition as to what it means, but if that is unclear to the customer, there is a clear gap in how it is determined. Hard-braking events are an example of behaviors that indicate to insurers that a driver is behaving recklessly.
When insurance claims are delayed or denied, it is important to know why
Insurers may claim to care about their customers, but in the end their main objective is to maintain cost certainty. If they can use telematics to show that a driver was behaving recklessly at the time of an accident or committed some other egregious or illegal act before the collision happened, it is possible that this will be used to delay or outright deny an insurance claim. When this happens, people could be left with a fraction of what they would normally be entitled to or get nothing at all for property damage, injuries and more. If delayed and denied insurance claims stem from information the insurer accrued from telematics, it is important to have legal guidance to address the issue. Consulting with legal professionals experienced in insurance claims is a key first step.