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family in carThere are times when it seems like technology is a double-edged sword. That handheld videogame system that kept your child busy and quiet on your last long road trip felt like a blessing then, but becomes a curse when it's brought to the dinner table. The Smartphone that allowed you access to important e-mails when you were away from work was at first a freeing tool that gave you more flexibility, but has now become a heavy anchor constantly interrupting your free time.

In the next few years, many drivers may find that technology is also a double-edged sword when it comes to their Austin auto insurance policy. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, insurers are working to acquire data from communication satellites and mobile networks that will show how individuals drive on a day-to-day basis. By using data acquired from OnStar and other onboard systems, insurers will get a first-hand look at their policyholders’ average driving habits. In so doing, they may find that you have a tendency to speed, that you run through stop signs, that you take corners too quickly; in other words, they will have true insight into how you drive even when you aren’t pulled over or penalized for it.

Before this, insurers only had your motor vehicle record and claims history to go by. That means that a lot of dangerous and irresponsible driving habits were allowed to fall through the cracks and not be accounted for when premium rates were determined. Once insurance companies finally do access all of this information, that's going to completely change how rates are determined.

Of course, we did say this sword had two edges. So while some drivers might dread how this data collection and analysis will affect their premiums, other drivers should be jumping for joy. When insurance companies can definitively see how responsible a driver you are, how few miles you drive each year, and how serious you take the task of driving, it's likely that will be rewarded by discounts and lowered rates.

If you have questions about trends within the auto insurance industry and how they might affect your policy or if you want to compare rates, give us a call 512-518-6292.

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