VERIFY | Using technology to determine car insurance rates

Are you getting the best insurance deal?

If your car insurance hasn't gone up this year, it probably will. That's because more people are getting into accidents, largely due to texting.

And being a good driver can't even get you out of this. But a new local insurance company says that's about to change...thanks to technology.

Couples who are about to tie the knot should be celebrating more than just getting married.

They're going to pay about 20% less on their car insurance than a single person with the same policy.

This male driver will pay about 20% more than a female who's the same age.

And here in Ohio, if you have poor credit, you'll pay about $800 more for your policy than someone with an excellent score.

Sound unfair?

A new, Ohio-based car insurance company called Root agrees.

“Everybody, except those insured with Root, they're paying for car insurance based on their demographics and not how they drive. We understand that driving behavior, and it’s a much more significant piece of data in determining how likely somebody is to get into an accident than someone's age," said Dan Manges, Root’s Chief Technology Officer.

And they get that data all from an app on your iPhone.

Once it downloads, you create an account. You enable location and motion setting.

Scan your driver's license.

And you're good to go.

"You don't need to tell it when you're about to start to drive or anything. It will just run in the background on your phone and gather data while you are driving," says Manges.

Data like how hard you break or accelerate.

Whether you're swerving, which could indicate drunk driving.

Even if you're texting or talking on your phone, which leads to distracted aka dangerous driving.

"We can't see definitively that someone sent a text message, but we can see the movement of the phone. So we can see if you're picking up your phone possibly and looking at it,” according to Manges.

They also take into account the time of day you usually drive and how often you're on the road. Because someone who drives less, is less likely to get into an accident.

And Manges says, "those two people should not be paying the same amount of car insurance.”

After about two to three weeks, or 500 miles, the company will send you a price quote, or just reject you flat out...because they only insure good drivers.

But they say for the best drivers, their premiums could be half of what they pay now.

Manges explains that the reason is “because the losses generated by the rest of drivers, in particular those very worst 10 -15% of drivers, they’re the ones out there that are causing all the accidents. And that's driving up insurance premiums for everybody."

And I've got to be honest, since installing it on my phone two weeks ago, I've become way more conscious of how I drive.

According to Root, that's almost as good as getting a new customer.

“If the result of people having Root on their phone is that people will drive more safer to get lower rates, that's fantastic," says Manges.

So did I get a good rate? Well I still have one more week of driving to Verify the results.

We also had another driver test it out to see what kind of rate he gets. As soon as we know the results, we'll tell you. Right now the company only insures drivers in Ohio, but they're looking to expand nationwide and to offer other insurance policies down the road.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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