Passenger driver holding smartphone with KnowYourDrive app

Car Insurance Monitoring Devices

Updated September 2, 2020 . AmFam Team

Car monitoring devices (or apps) track your driving habits and can ultimately be used to help reduce your car insurance. Learn more from American Family.

We all would love to know that we’re driving as safe as we can. With car monitoring systems, or telematic devices, that’s actually possible now. Vehicle monitoring devices work through an app on your smartphone that gathers and analyzes key data about the way you drive. Details like your GPS location and driving speed are all fed into a database that records your performance on the road every time you’re driving. After a period of time, your auto insurance may reduce your premium if your driving habits are found to be safe.

Many insurance companies offer car insurance monitoring devices that connect to your smartphone and monitor your driving habits. Here at American Family Insurance, we use a smartphone app that can monitor your driving habits without requiring a separate “telematics” device. This app is a part of our usage-based insurance program, which can help you save on your car insurance by driving safely.

Let’s take a closer look at how this can benefit you.


What Is Usage-Based Insurance?

Usage-based insurance (UBI) — a term that goes hand-in-hand with your car insurance monitoring device. Usage-based insurance systems like these are frequently referred to as “pay how you drive” products. In other words, your auto insurance premium will be calculated based on how safe your driving habits are.

Rather than require a separate telematics device, American Family Insurance’s usage-based insurance program KnowYourDrive only requires an app to be installed on your smartphone. Through GPS and other location-tracking features, the app will record and monitor your driving habits while you’re on the road — it’s as simple as that!

We know what you’re thinking: “What if my driving habits could use some work? Will my premium go up?” Thankfully, no. When it comes to usage-based insurance, you’ll always have your initial premium amount as a backup. If your driving habits don’t qualify for a discount, the KnowYourDrive app will help you know what you need to improve.

Usage-based insurance programs are also great for teenage drivers. They can make your teen more conscious of their driving habits, which can help them become more cautious behind the wheel.

What Do Insurance Companies Track With Car Monitoring Devices & Apps?

Every car insurance company will monitor different driving behaviors to calculate your discount, but for the most part, an insurance company will track the data they need to determine what kind of driver you are.

For instance, some of the factors used to calculate your discount for KnowYourDrive include:

  • Vehicle usage (how often you drive)
  • Braking (how smoothly or abruptly you apply the brakes when stopping)
  • Acceleration (how quickly or smoothly you accelerate after stopping)
  • Speed
  • Time of day you’re driving
  • Distracted driving habits

Remember: The safer you drive, the more likely you’ll increase your eligibility for a higher discount.

How Can I Get a Car Insurance Monitoring Device?

Interested in car insurance monitoring devices and usage-based insurance? American Family Insurance makes it easy to get started. To qualify for KnowYourDrive, you need to be insured with an American Family auto insurance policy. Then you can enroll in the program, download the app and start saving. And here’s the good news: You’ll get a discount on your premium just for signing up!

How much can I save with the KnowYourDrive App?

Besides initially saving on your auto insurance premium, you can save up to 20 percent on your premium based on how safe a driver you are.* To see how much you’re saving with KnowYourDrive at any given time, go on the app and you’ll instantly see your discount. This will show you the percentage on your premium you’re currently saving. This number will flex based on your driving behavior throughout your policy term and eventually, that discount can be applied when your policy renews.

Is my privacy protected with a car insurance monitoring device/app?

Here at American Family, it’s our top priority to keep your personal information safe and confidential. We’ll protect the data collected from KnowYourDrive and we won’t share it unless we’re required to by law.

Are Car Insurance Monitoring Devices and Apps Worth It?

It’s really up to you! But our take on it? 100 percent yes! We’ve found that car monitoring systems and usage-based insurance programs like KnowYourDrive are worth a try. This is because you’ve really got nothing to lose — your insurance premium will never go above what you originally set.

And besides saving on your policy, the greatest benefit of KnowYourDrive is building safer driving habits by becoming aware of what you need to work on. You’ll make the road a safer place and maybe even put some extra change in your pocket. If you ever want to opt out of the program, it’s as simple as getting in touch with your agent.

Ready to become a safer driver and get a discount on your auto insurance premium? Connect with an American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to find out how you can save on your auto insurance with KnowYourDrive. Be sure to learn more about insurance telematics and download the app soon.

*Program discounts will vary based on driving behavior. The KnowYourDrive discount applies only to the following variable coverages, which are typical for most auto policies: bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision and comprehensive, medical expense, underinsured and uninsured and personal injury protection. Additionally, the discount does not apply to fixed fees that are part of your policy.

Customers who bundle auto and home insurance policies may save up to 23% on both policies together (as of August 2023). Discounts may vary by state, property, policy form and company underwriting the auto and/or home policy. Discounts may not apply to all coverages on an auto or home policy.

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