Friday, July 10, 2009

Driving with MyRate from Progressive

Seeing as I drive very little (down to an average of 592 miles a month), I figured I would maximize my insurance savings. For months I have seen the ads for Progressive featuring "Flo".

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We have been with Geico for years. They were cheap....$680 every 6 months. I remember paying over $1100 every 6 months when I was in college.

A week or so ago I hopped over to for a quote. Their website is very high tech. I simply put in our address and it pulled up both of our cars complete with VIN numbers! Kinda scary.

I input our data and was very surprised by the insurance quote.....$501.

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Our rate could be lower if we had "state minimum" coverages. The problem with state minimums is that they are designed to cover damage to an economy car. If we damage a Ford Focus we are likely okay. If we hit a Lexus....we could be sued civilly for more money. As is we have $100,000 in property damage liability. We can hit 2 Lexus and still be fine!

I then bumped up our Underinsured/Uninsured protection as most people either have state minimums or no insurance. There is a place in Arlington that sells insurance policies by the day. Why? Well for the people that never have car insurance except when they need it for license renewal, registration renewal or car inspection. Nice eh?

I signed up for the MyRate program in hopes of saving more money. One problem is that in the state of Texas there is a $27 fee for the device. Not all states allow the fee. The device is free in Oregon for example. If we don't save at least $35 on our next renewal I will be opting out of the program.

As far as rental car coverage I opted out. Instead I am going to setup an ING account where we can put in $30 every 6 months and use that if we need a rental car. In reality we can likely get by with one car for a limited time period if needed.

The MyRate device plugs into the OBD-II port in the car. Mine is located right above a cubby hole. The device partially blocks the hole, but I don't use the space so no big deal.

The device tracks what time I drive and how I drive. The first day I had it I was running late for work. I always keep my clocks on military time. Somehow before I went to bed I switched my alarm clock to normal time and then set to alarm for 4:55.................PM. That never would have happened with military time. Kelli woke up at 5:20 AM. She realized I was still sleeping. I rushed out the door at 5:25AM. The first day being observed and I was running late. I didn't speed and made it to work on time.

I assume the device communicates via cellular technology. It only communicates when the vehicle is turned on. There is a large wealth of information and charts I can view online. Here are a few.

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Progressive assigns risk levels to driving times, below is a chart showing my drive from Albertsons to our house after work. I was driving during a "medium" risk time.

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I think Kelli's Prius isn't eligible due to the hybrid system cycling the engine on and off. Would be nice if we could both enjoy possible discounts.

While driving yesterday I mentioned to Kelli that I wish every insurance company offered the devices and bigger discounts intially for having one. Then the rate a driver paid would be directly tied to their driving habits. I know many drivers would opt out as they are aggressive drivers (my father in law comes to mind) or don't want "big brother" watching them. It would be nice if the device had a GPS device to track the vehicle in case of theft. Allegedly the device does not track GPS location. Boo.

We will be laying our first vinyl flooring soon. We were going to do my office, but changed our minds as my office is full or crap. Instead we will do what might become the room for our offspring. The room has been mostly cleaned out by myself. The room is 11X12 plus a 2X4 foot entry way. Total cost will be $305 for the flooring plus $40 in supplies. We will start the process tomorrow and likely finish sometime next week. Our friends Jodi and Chelsea installed the same product and love it. The product is made by Trafficmaster and called Allure. We went to Lowe's to compare prices, but they carry and inferior product at a much cheaper price.

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