Your Car Is Ratting You Out To Your Insurance Company!

All Cars are reporting data to insurance companies and there’s no way to stop it!

Insurance companies are taking advantage of your data without your permission. If anyone actually read the fine print for all these mobile apps and vehicle agreements that connect to your car, they would never sign up for them. When you understand what they are tracking you won’t want it. Now hearing that they can actually sell that data to the insurance companies, and then the insurance companies can use it against you, and you don’t even know that’s possible until it’s already happened?

It’s pure deception. I foresee lawsuits, and hope the automakers and the insurance companies will have to pay millions.

How far has it gotten, automakers are collecting driving data from customers and quietly providing it to insurance companies, and the practice has resulted in some unassuming drivers seeing their coverage increased or even terminated due to the practice. 

This is not for reasons like accidents or tickets, it’s based on what the computer thinks. The data provided included information on length on trips and driving behavior, such as “hard braking,” “hard accelerating” and speeding. This doses not include why it happened; such as avoiding hitting another aggressive driver, swerving around a pothole or escaping a potential accident. No explanations means that the insurance companies can use those reports to assess the risk of a current or potential customer, and adjust rates or refuse coverage based on the findings.

Automakers and data brokers claim they do not collect the information without customers’ consent, but many consumers are unknowingly agreeing to the data collection when they sign off on disclosures without reading the fine print. Honestly, who read the super fine print, almost no one does. What the big print gives, the small print takes away.

I have sounded the alarm in the past, if you sign up for a usage-based telematics program offered by your insurance carrier to save money, they have even more of your data. This is where you allow your insurer to track your driving habits through a mobile app or plug-in device on your car. This includes tracking the time of day you drive, how far you drive, braking and acceleration patterns, and whether you engage in distracted driving behaviors. Adding in what the car companies collect could make your rates go through the roof.

Doe this feel like a betrayal? To many drivers the answer is YES. A computer decisions are based on a LexisNexis report which details your driving behavior, including numerous instances of hard braking, hard accelerating and speeding and quick maneuvers. What are their definitions of those terms? No one seems to really know but the insurance companies are deciding the ranges that are acceptable or not.

So you have an older car, your phone is snitching on you from many brands including Kia, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Honda and Acura their app enable drivers to turn off data collection relating to on-road behavior in their apps. If you search for those on your phone, turn off data collection. This is all hidden a 2,000-word “terms and conditions” screen that you need to accept on its app, the small print specifies the company will share data. 

There is a simple solution to this problem. One law that should state: “the default behavior for all companies sharing customer data with any other affiliated or non-affiliated entity will be ‘not to share without separate, clearly communicated OPT-IN’, and no service shall require the sharing of customer information with any other affiliated or non-affiliated entity as a condition of use for that service.”. 

In one swoop, every company who profits off their customers’ data will come to a halt. Every person should have to OPT IN to share their data, not OPT-OUT. If you want to promise them special extra rewards for allowing that share, good for you, incentivize it, but people should not need a lawyer to read their customer service agreement for a service or purchase.

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