Don’t Drive Your Car a Lot? You Could Save a Bundle on Car Insurance


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If you’re looking for ways to save money, consider whether you’re spending too much on auto insurance.

During the worst of the pandemic, Indian poet Prasoon Joshi said, “Every crisis ushers in great change.” Joshi’s words track. As we emerge from pandemic-related isolation, we’re making a note of all that has changed. We’re looking for more imaginative ways to put money into our savings accounts and to prepare for the next emergency that may arise.Car Insurance

Just as we’ve changed, so have businesses across the country. Slammed by the impact of the global pandemic, many businesses have had to adapt to stay afloat. The Ascent reached out to Sarah Jacobs, Vice President of Personal Lines Product Development at Nationwide, to learn how her company has changed over the past 16 months — and what those changes mean to us as consumers.

A new approach

According to Jacobs, “The days of the ‘one-policy-fits-all’ approach to auto insurance are over.” Drivers have unique needs and should be able to purchase insurance that fits their needs. After all, it makes no sense to pay for more coverage than required.

Jacobs points to Nationwide’s usage-based insurance options: SmartRide® and SmartMiles®. Both are an example of giving the consumer what they want and helping them save money.

What is usage-based insurance?

Usage-based insurance (also known as “pay as you drive” or “telematics”) uses your driving behavior to calculate your premium. The safer you are behind the wheel, the lower your premium.

To better understand how usage-based insurance works, we break down both SmartRide® and SmartMiles®.

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SmartRide® is perfect for casual drivers with excellent driving habits. Here’s how it works:

  • After enrolling in SmartRide®, the driver downloads the SmartRide app to their smartphone, activates it, and drives as they normally would.
  • Drivers can check the app whenever they want to see how they’re doing and track how their driving habits can save them money.
  • Based on the driving behavior recorded on the SmartRide app, the driver learns just how deep their policy discount will be and can lock it in.

Four factors go into determining the driver’s discount:

  1. Number of miles driven
  2. Frequency of hard braking and acceleration
  3. Idle time
  4. Amount of nighttime driving

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