Progressive Snapshot(R)

Progressive Snapshot(R)

My dear wife got lots of insurance quotes for me for the S and we settled on Progressive. She was persuaded by the Progressive agent to receive a 'Snapshot' device that plugs into the OBD port and monitors your acceleration/deceleration (plus who knows what else) to give 'safe' drivers a discount.

I (politely) pointed out to her that I didn't by a 4.x sec 0-60 spaceship to pootle round town like an 80 year old (no offense to 80 year olds on the forum).

The Snapshot will be returned, unopened, to Progressive when it gets here.

Brian H | January 7, 2013

Your rate will be doubled, of course.

Captain_Zap | January 7, 2013

I think those behavior/location reporting devices should be considered unconstitutional.

kevjo | January 7, 2013

Why not install it on your 80 year-old neighbor's golf cart?

Captain_Zap | January 7, 2013

Great Idea!

EcLectric | January 8, 2013

Who the hell figured out a reliable relationship between acceleration and safety? I will never use progressive because of this Orwellian device. I'll bet drunks don't accelerate a lot - unless you count deceleration from a crash! But at that point, who needs a device?

I hate arrogant people who think they know how everyone should act and try to force people to act 'properly'. Personally, I don't drink alcohol, so why don't we just charge extra for insurance for anyone who drinks at all. Someone who doesn't drink at all is less likely to get drunk and crash, so why not? While we're at it, I go to bed at 9 PM, so I'm less likely to be tired while driving. Pony up some more cash you late nighters! You are a bigger risk than me, I have decreed! Studies have shown that those listening to rock and roll are more likely to get into an accident, so we need a new 'snapshot' that will listen to our radio and charge extra for that as well!

End of rant.

Longhorn92 | January 8, 2013

Allstate has a similar device, and they say that, although it measures acceleration, the acceleration metrics are not current used to calculate your discount amount since they haven't determined any relationship between acceleration and safety.

Don't know if it's the same for Progressive.

Vawlkus | January 8, 2013

+1 to EcLectric's rant.

I bought a high performance car so that in an emergency I'd have the tools to get my arse outta harms way. I have had no accidents yet, and I plan to make damned sure that doesn't change.

hsadler | January 8, 2013

"Allstate has a similar device, and they say that, although it measures acceleration, the acceleration metrics are not current used to calculate your discount amount since they haven't determined any relationship between acceleration and safety."

Then why have it?

fluxemag | January 8, 2013

I would never put one of those on my car for the same reasons. Imagine the horror of the Progressive agent when I needed to finish off the rear tires on my G37 in an empty parking lot (WOT doughnuts for 5 minutes)! I'll let my driving record/credit score speak for itself, which has given me freakishly cheap insurance through Geico.

Fredhmartin | January 8, 2013

I saw a new segment on these devices recently and the report implied these will be standard issue in the future and anyone who doesn't consent to it will face higher rates. I can understand why insurance co wants it but its not something I want it my car.

PaceyWhitter | January 8, 2013


The biggest correlation is between sudden deceleration and accidents so that may be what they use.

I wouldn't want it on my car though either.

tlemcke | January 8, 2013

My wife and I had the snapshot on our cars. 1. They only give you the device for a short period of time; 90-180 days. 2. It measures the number of hard braking moves you make, the time of day you are driving (think 2 am drunk drivers) and the number miles you drive. According to Progressive the results can only positively impact your rates, not negatively. It was interesting to go online to see how many hard braking moves my wife makes; a lot. Needless to say she failed to receive any discounts while I received a small discount largely because I drove very little during the test period. I appreciate that someone who drives 60,000 miles per year, drives in the middle of the night and hard brakes a lot should probably pay more than someone who drives 5000 miles per year during the day and isn't driving aggressively.

nickjhowe | January 8, 2013

Thanks @tlemcke. I think I can avoid the harsh braking, but the web site talks about hard acceleration too. Might be tricky to avoid that - at least while I'm giving test rides...

olanmills | January 8, 2013

@EcLectric, insurance companies are in the business of statistics, math and money.

I too, do not like the idea of being tracked in such a manner. However, just because there are plenty of examples of people who accelerate fast but are safe drivers, or people who accelerate slow, but are unsafe drivers, that doesn't mean that there isn't a significant correlation between fast accelerators and unsafe driving.

Progressive is in the busines of knowing that information, and I have to believe that they have the statistics to back up their policy schemes, because if they don't they will lose money.

olanmills | January 8, 2013

Also, if they did have a reliable way of knowing that a customer does or does not drink alcohol and what time a customer goes to bed and they had formulas and statistics to know how that factors into insurability, I'm sure they would do it.

Getting Amped Again | January 8, 2013

A surefire way to minimize the chance that you'll be in an accident is to maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you, whether on the highway or in stop-and-go traffic.

Coincidentally, that's also the driving technique required to maximize range with a BEV, as it gives you room to coast and use regen to slow down.

So my hypothesis is that Model S owners may be safer drivers than the general population solely for this reason alone!

Captain_Zap | January 8, 2013

All Ford vehicles will have these "features" built in as a part of their "Sync" technology and they have a partnered with Allstate.

Also, Nissan shares information about your location and speed with websites according to this article. | January 8, 2013

I have gone with another insurance company. But...if they are looking at braking they would be amazed that we can drive the S with only rarely touching the brakes. The metrics would be very skewed (unless they count regen as braking)

Brian H | January 8, 2013

Unfortunately, the S can do things that would be insanely dangerous in an ICE ... not to mention impossible!

Jorg | March 7, 2013

You're lucky. I love progressive because of outstanding service I've received in the past. I once got into an accident at 9AM when I needed to get to the airport by noon. Not only did they totally calm down the guy I hit (scraped, really; I didn't realize there were two left turn lanes and turned so sharply his bumper scraped the side of my car)... but they actually came to my apartment, inspected the car, and reimbursed me for my damage _before_I_left_!

But when it came time to insure the Model S, they couldn't get the VIN number right. It was really bizarre: eventually everything seemed OK but when my insurance came, the VIN # listed for the S was a copy of the VIN # from one of my other cars, with one of the digits changed. I couldn't believe they had done this. And now I've found out that DMV has suspended my registration because they don't have any record of insurance - a fault of the wrong VIN#!

Now that I'm trying to correct it, Progressive's online policy web site won't let me - because they think the VIN is invalid.

Simply maddening.

Brian H | March 7, 2013

Tell Progressive you are passing around the story of their stubborn incompetence to friends and strangers, in person and on the Web. And the madder they make you, the louder your messages.