Nearly two years ago, I revisited my auto insurance premiums as I do every few years.
I decided that switching to Progressive was the most logical and inexpensive choice among the 4-5 providers I quoted.
Through two fender-benders, they have remained competitive in pricing and fantastic to work with in their claims process.
In September 2011, I noticed a new opportunity on their website–the Snapshot program. Since then, Progressive has started to aggressively advertise the program on national TV, and more people are becoming aware of it every day.
For 30 days, we decided to give the program a try and see what we could save:
- Progressive promised that premiums could only go down as a result of using Snapshot, never up.
- We were also promised privacy, since there are no GPS functions on the device, only the ability to track basic car functions like speed and mileage.
Excited about the prospect of shaving hundreds from our bill, we signed up and received the device in the mail a few days later.
Installation was a very simple process. The unit is roughly the size of a golf ball and plugs directly into the car’s computer port under the steering wheel. It remains comfortably out of the way while driving.
Important Update: If you want a quick review of this post and the 250+ comments that follow, read my updated Snapshot post.
What does Snapshot track?
The Snapshot program is marketed as a way to save you money for “good driving,” but this is not exactly true. If you’re already a decent driver, how well you drive will actually matter very little to Snapshot. On the other hand, where, when, and how much you drive is more important. Let’s look at what Snapshot tracks to understand why:
The device tracks the number of trips and total miles you drive every day, and averages out the data. The suggested daily maximum to qualify for a discount is 30 miles.
This makes sense from the insurer’s perspective–the more you drive, the more likely you are to be in an accident, so anything above 30 miles qualifies you for the premium you already pay.
Based on some user’s results, it also appears that Progressive adjusts this benchmark based on the area you live in.
2. Time of Day
Snapshot categorizes your driving into “high-risk,” “medium risk,” and “low risk” zones. High risk is driving between midnight and 4 AM, the time of day when the most costly accidents happen.
Medium risk are all weekdays, during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Low risk is essentially everything else, including weekends.
While you techncally “choose” when you drive, this category also has little to do with how well you drive, but rather how many other people are on the road, and in what condition they’re likely to be in (alert, tired, etc.).
3. Hard Brakes
A hard brake is defined by Progressive as any decrease in speed over 7 miles per second. This is the only metric where you presumably have direct control while you drive, by being careful not to tailgate and using the brake lightly.
However, by Progressive’s own admission, hard brakes are less likely to be a measure of how well you drive, and more likely to indicate where you drive–in rush hour, bumper-to-bumper traffic, or on open, rural roads. Gridlock traffic will generate hard brakes no matter how hard you try to avoid them, while there are simply less opportunities to slam on your brakes if you don’t live in a busy city.
A cursory review of the Web would indicate that anything under 4 hard brakes per day is acceptable, but Progressive doesn’t give any hints about what is or isn’t a good level of hard braking.
Progressive collects the data on a constant basis by uploading it from your device (I assume this happens via satellite) and aggregates it so you can easily see your totals, averages, as well as the details of every drive you take during your evaluation.
The initial evaluation period is 30 days, after which a discount is immediately applied.
I’m more than willing to share my results with you, both as an example of the potential savings, and as an introduction to the Progressive online tracking system.
Over the last 30 days, here are some key stats from our driving:
- We drove an average of 24.5 miles per day with Car A, and 19.7 miles per day with Car B.
- Car A had an average of 1.6 hard brakes per day, and car B averaged 1.1 hard brakes.
- We did not drive at all during “high risk” hours (between 12 AM and 4 AM).
- Most of our other driving was split between medium-risk and low-risk hours.
Curious to see how the Progressive system presents the data? Take a look at some of these screenshots:
Trip Log: Shows your daily driving history, including links to more detailed data.
Weekly Averages: Shows aggregate data for your driving.
Speed Chart: Shows the times and speeds you drive throughout the day.
Trip Details: Shows detailed information about individual trips you’ve taken.
Hard Brake Averages: Shows the days where you’ve been most likely to perform hard brakes.
How did we do in the end? Not too shabby. After 30 days, our “initial” discount was calculated and immediately applied. We received:
- 9% off the premiums for Car A
- 19% off the premiums for Car B
Legally, these premiums could only be applied to bodily injury, property damage, personal injury protection and collision coverage, which makes up the bulk of the insurance premium anyway. At this rate, we’ll save about $250 per year on our coverage.
You can see that the premium discounts generally correspond to our driving results–the car will less mileage and less hard brakes got a substantially bigger discount.
We’ve been asked to keep our device plugged in until our next renewal in about 3 months, at which time we expect to see a permanent discount applied to our policy. Based on our continued driving, our initial discount could either go up or down. I’ve updated this post below when this happened to let you know if things have changed.
Other Thoughts & FAQs
To wrap things up, here are other thoughts I had on the program:
Hard brakes are a weird metric. I understand what they’re trying to measure, but consider the fact that stopping at a sudden red light is also counted as a hard brake, and is pretty much unavoidable. On the other hand, it’s possibly these very situations can lead to accidents, particularly rear-end collisions. Hard brakes also appear to be measured per second–in other words, if you’re braking hard for 3 seconds straight, the system will count this as “3 hard brakes.”
Mileage is eye-opening. I drive a lot more than I would have predicted. In fact, I spend about an hour and a half in the car every weekday. In retrospect, this makes a lot of sense, since I often drive home for lunch just for the break from work it provides. Having seen the data though, I’m much more inclined to spend lunch at work in the future to save those 40 minutes for something more productive.
Mileage, part II. My wife, on the other hand, drives much less than expected. Her office is mere minutes from our house, and she does a great job of grouping errands as to spend the least time, and therefore mileage, running them.
Can drivers game the system? Most definitely. It’s conceivable that you can time your Snapshot installation at a time when you expect to drive less miles. You can also force yourself to be a more careful driver for the duration, using the brake gently and avoiding tailgating. But on average, Snapshot should provide a fairly accurate picture of someone’s driving behavior in the metrics Progressive cares about–how much, when and where. And it would be difficult to let go of all your bad driving habits for a period of 3-6 months, which is probably what they’re counting on.
January 2012 Update
It’s January, and as promised, I’m updating this post with the latest information about our discounts. We received our final notice today, and we’ll be saving 2% on Car A’s premium, and 12% on Car B’s premium.
Obviously, it’s not as good as our initial discount, but we have been driving more in the last few months, and that no doubt contributed to the decrease.
We’ll be getting our pre-paid boxes in the mail shortly and will be sending the devices back to Progressive.
Alternator problems. My alternator gave out during the Snapshot evaluation period. A couple of other people have reported similar issues, but a few readers have also said that there’s no way that the problem is related to the Snapshot device, and it’s pure coincidence.
August 2012 Update
As of this August, I’m no longer with Progressive.
After more than 6 months of driving with the Snapshot discount applied to the policy, my August renewal came in significantly higher in price than the existing policy. I shopped around with GEICO and a few other companies and finally decided to switch to Esurance and get a policy that was more competitive.
I’ve been extremely happy with Esurance since switching and would recommend that everyone include a quote from them when shopping around for insurance.
If you have used the Snapshot program, I’m curious to hear from you about your experience. If you haven’t, are you planning to try it? If you’re not a Progressive customer, would a program like this convince you to switch? How do you feel about the privacy issues of having this device in your car?
Share all of your thoughts in the blog comments! Important update: If you’d like to read a comprehensive rundown of the 250+ comments posted here since 2011, please read my 2013 Snapshot review.
Note: Please note that this post contains affiliate links to some of the companies I mentioned, all of which I personally recommend.
259 thoughts on “Progressive Snapshot Review”
Very interesting. I’m such a data nerd that I consider switching to Progressive now just to see those stats! Plus, I can literally go multiple days without ever driving my vehicle. Getting credit for that would be nice.
That’s very true–it’s interesting on its own just to see your driving habits on display.
It only tracks you when you drive the care. so if you go a week without driving then you get no credit for those days they told me to start the car and let it run for a min then turn it off
That sounds idiotic. Thanks for the tip!
I agree that that sounds idiotic. I travel frequently for work and my car spends a lot of time at airport parking which means I don’t drive as much. It seems to me that this should count at least in the average mileage driving as one is obviously at less risk of getting in an accident while not using one’s car.
We recently had two of these devices placed. The first one for about two months, it seems the 30 days is not but a lie. We were slated for a discount that they took away because we did not keep it in for 6 months. The second we removed after the computer told us to and they states we voided the program because it was not time to take it out. They also took our continuous discount away because we moved from Ohio to Kentucky and they stated we cancelled our policy, this is untrue, they told me that is how we had to do it. I will make sure all of my clients, friends and anyone that will listen wIll know this company lies. If you use this snap shot, you are asking for a raise in rates, even on vehicles that sit parked in your garage, unbelievable.
I don’t trust any “big brother” tracking device on my vehicle. The whole concept is an invasion of privacy, disguised to maybe save a few bucks. Not for me or my family.
They don’t know where you are driving, its not a GPS. All they know is time, distance and hard brakes. I bet you are against expass also, thinking they are tracking you.
I got snapshot and I think its great.
My gf saved 25%, that’s a good savings.
I’ve just finished doing the Snapshot… I got a good discount, but they also increased my rate, so I am saving very little… I am very disappointed.
Always ask for quotes from other insurance companies, even if you get 30% with Snapshot. What I learned from this experience is this: if they increase your rate, you have to change. And when that company increases the rate: change again.
In theory they could track you via cell towers. Also if they assume you are starting your car at your home, then via speed and turns, and if it has a g-force sensor in it, they could reasonable track you.
But this is like when you go to their website. Every link you click is recorded. How much time on a page, etc.
There’s camera’s in Wal-mart and on the streets; spy satellites in space that can somehow “see” through the roofs (They were used during hurricane Katrina to find people trapped in their attics and direct teams towards those locations), The existence of Google.
If you think the world is going to turn into big brother, you’re too late. That happened a long time ago.
But Progressive has like a hundred bagillion customers. Who’s going to care that some guy went to McDonalds at 3am? It’s just computers that are looking at all that data. Being a random person to them means you aren’t any more interesting than anyone else on the planet.
But stay paranoid. Because they probably are out to get you.
I like the consept of paying insurance based on the real risk to the insurance company. I hope more insurance companies follow suit.
I wonder if there’s a health care equivalent…wrist bands that measure heart rate and blood pressure, perhaps?
I just got my permanent savings and I got the max of 30%!!
Post your stats so I can see what you did to get 30%!
Please tell me how you did this!!
I have a feeling that my safe driving habits would be overshadowed by the time and terrain I drive in, despite only driving a few times a week.
Recently had a claim which kinda blew me away; a guy clipped my mirror off in a merge (why don’t people stay a car length or more?) and I reported it. I managed to fix the mirror – though not the dent – under $50, but they gave me $400 to get it fixed anyhow. Of course, Progressive gave up and didn’t force the other guy’s insurance to pay… I’d be more interested in a way to defend myself against these claims.
I have the snapshot program. Tomorrow I will be completing my day number 30 and I am excited about the results!. I will post them as soon as I get them!
I just got my 30% initial discount!!! Here are my results:
*Total high risk driving time (hr:min:sec) 0
*Miles driven per week 23.8
*Number of hard brakes 0
*Most of my driving was split between medium-risk and low-risk hours.
Nice job! Looks like you don’t drive very much.
Wait for the final results where they (like the author) vastly reduce the discount and then finally raise the rates.
I drive usually to and from work, my office is very close to my house (1.5 miles) and the rest of the miles are for short trips to church or the bank or stuff like that. I have another car and I use that one for the long trips since it is an older car.
I will keep everybody posted about my final discount in may 2012…I still have to have the snapshot for another 5 months!
Yesterday, finally, after 5 months of having the snapshot device plugged in my car, I received an email from progressive telling me to unplug the device because they have completed gathering my auto information!
I received a final 30% discount! My total miles for the 5 months were 990 miles, an average of 40 miles a week. I got 0.26 hard brakes (6 actual hard brakes during the 5 months). I am very happy with the result of this process , now I can use the 500 dollars discount/year towards vacation or something fun…even to savings…
Adriana, could you be any more of a Progressive PR Homer?
Sounds more like she works for Progressive to me. Companies have been known to send ‘ringers’ in to make them look better than they are. What if the vehicle does not have a place to plug that device into We take it that we just cannot participate and feel that it is discrimination against people who cannot a new car.
how long do they normally ask people to keep the device on your car??
I think it’s up to the time of your next policy renewal, but I would imagine that they extend that if there’s not too much time left until you renew. (Actually, I couldn’t even obtain a device until my policy renewed, so maybe that’s how they control it).
I feel after driving my daughter’s car with the snapshot on that it promotes riding the brake, rolling stops at stop signs, overshooting the line at a red light so as not to have a hard brake. It also beeps sometimes just when cruising along at low mph without the brake having been touched.
I would say all of that is accurate based on my experience. 🙂
I think maybe they WANT you to run red lights! In a 55 mph zone with intersection lights, it is almost impossible to avoid their “hard stop”!
You have to understand that progressive didn’t designed your dumb street system. For example a roundabout is safer and better, but people don’t like them. Also I heard of an intersection that had four crashes with deaths involved over a few years. Then someone cut the tree branches that blocked drivers from seeing the lights at all and they stopped.
As heartless as this is, most people really don’t care how the accident occurred if it means they have to pay more. If insurance companies were government, then they should also fix potholes, put up better warnings at railroad crossings and anything else that could contribute to an accident. But they aren’t that.
If an area, for whatever reason causes more accidents, then there will be. And someone will have to pay for these accidents. Why should it be me if I don’t drive in that area?
I would disagree about LA. There are plenty of people who don’t follow your routine and drive less. There is also a vast amount of staying home parents who don’t take advantage of the usage based insurance products. It is obviously not for everyone, but the segment of folks who drive less and drive accurately. They shall be able to rip the benefits.
I’m about to end month 2. We received a 30% on one car and a 29% on the other. Both vehicles average about 20-25 miles per day. The 30% vehicle had under 1 hard brake per 100 miles, adn the 29% had just slightly over 1 hard brake per 100 miles in the first month.
Here is the deal. Premiums don’t go down, so if you can get any discount you come out ahead. It certainly isn’t a good fit for some people if they have long commutes. The good part is for those don’t have long commutes and drive cautiously, because they are at less risk of causing an accident or being exposed to someone else’s mistakes.
HARD BRAKES. – Lights and Stop Signs
Flat out, this is driver behavior. Don’t fall for the trap that this isn’t fair metric.
1. If you aren’t racing up to lights and getting caught off guard by a light when it turns yellow, or come up to quick to stop signs, you grately reduce your risk of hard brakes. Here are some tips to helps.
a) lights don’t stay green. If it’s been green for a length of time, be ready for it to turn. The higher the speed limit at the controlled intersection, the more aware you need to be.
b) pay attention to cross traffic that may be building up waiting for the light to turn. This means the light has been green a while and it is ready to turn. Some intersections have cross walk signs that count down to the change, or flash don’t walk when about to turn.
c) Some lights are triggered by sensors in the road. If you are coming up to an intersection with a green light and another car rolls up from the side- they trigger the yellow light. When you see that car come up, you need to be prepared to stop your vehicle already at this time.
Hard Brakes: -TAILGATING
Don’t do it. There is no reason to follow so close to the car in front of you. It doesn’t get you where you are going any faster. It doesn’t matter if you are going across town or through Chicago during rush hour. The speed that traffic is flowing at is the time that it will take you to get where you are going. If traffic is going 60- that’s the amount time it will take. If it’s going 30, you will not do better than 30. Slow down and stay back. You’ll find your ride more relaxing and you won’t be slamming on the brakes.
Hard Brakes: The Down Side I see…
I live in Wisconsin and the winter months are filled with icy slushy roads. If you brake traction when you start to accelerate, it’s going to nail you with a hard brake. Sometimes multiple in each occurence. At first, I thought this was a little unreasonable, but after giving it more consideration its still fair. I have a higher risk when driving in bad weather than someone who isn’t driving. I have to be extra careful in these conditions- and remember, insurance is all about covering the risks.
Overall, if you get a discount, great! if you don’t, don’t feel cheated. You are still paying what you already agreed to when you had your policy issued.
One thing I would never agree with progressive is that hardbreak measure is weighed by per 100miles. I had to drive a lot to reduce the number I already got. But the problem is I wouldn’t drive at all for next 5 month because it’s a motorcycle season.
So I’m planning to circle around a HWY every week end this summer.
I’d think that driving more would actually increase your chances of getting another hard brake.
Progressive is not going to tell anyone what the internal method is for calculating a better discount on driving, other than what little they do tell you. (If you knew what they were looking for, you would use it to beat their system. It’s very unlikely that it’s only based on hard brakes and time of day alone. It could be any number of other factors you have no control over.)
There’s no reason to believe it’s per 100 miles because of someone’s post. It’s more likely based on time spent driving. (Especially since people on the road will tend to get into a wreck more often than people who never drive at all.)
I only know that I hardly drove my car and got a full discount. I didn’t even drive it the minimum number of days I thought was supposed to.
Some people here have posted that they were told by progressive (by people who answer phones for a living) that all you need to do is have the engine running, so they run their car for a minute a day. People who answer phones probably couldn’t even begin to understand the formula used to calculate the discount.
You might even negate the discount completely from the gas you’re wasting driving in circles for 5 months when you really, really have no idea what they are using as the metrics for your discount.
Kyle, check out this comment on the update post that was very intriguing from a statistical point of view: http://www.fiscalfizzle.com/snapshot-review-2013/#comment-17133.
What I mentioned wasn’t included in his analysis. His formula doesn’t say that you would need to drive in circles to reduce the number of hard brakes. He just doesn’t have the data
for that. He does say that he cannot tell if the number of miles per week does anything. He pretty much determined that lowering hard brakes would help your discount. The thing they say in the commercials.
As for your question about metrics on the other page, …what other metrics? Driving time and hard brakes are all they really mention. The other ones are used to figure your overall rate.
For a discount on how you personally drive, stopping quickly *may* just possibly correlate to wrecks. They have decades of data to go on. The device in the car can only grab so much data about how you drive. And while driving fast may lead to more wreaks, they wouldn’t know what the speed limit is anyway so your speed couldn’t be used as a metric. (Sure they could lie to everyone, but the backlash would be too costly once it gets out once Mr. I just got fired becomes Mr. Whistle Blower and the make a movie about him). Also speed limits aren’t great metrics for determining if an accident will occur. They tend to be rather arbitrary. They didn’t drop the speed limit in 1973 to 55 for safety. That was just a side effect.
I just started the snap shot program – here are a few of my issues so far and I have only had it for 5 days… One I’m from RI – Progressive in some states only allow for a Max of 25% and not the stated 30% I happen to be in one of those states… also there will be a $30 technology expense factored into my discount. Example : if progressive says I revieve $100 dollars off my insurance rates its droken down to $70 discount and $30 technology expense. Double check you state because RI is 1 out 0f 5 that has these diffences in the program.
Now I only drive really to go to work – for the most part I am home with my son. 3 days out of the week I drive maybe 5 miles total to work and back with no hard braking – however I work till midnight most of those days. So I end up driving for 3 minutes durning peak hours. I drove to my inlaws 40 miles away and had 4 hard brakes – I’m a cautious driver, I dont tailgate, or speed up to red lights or stop signs but when I have to drive on a 50mph rd, with redlights every 4 or 5 miles its hard to avoid braking atleast once or twice. I couldn’t recall when I felt I broke hard. I was cautious about it and I don’t know how I totaled 4 hard brakes. But they were there none the less . All in all its just been 5 days – but if the savings aren’t there at the end of the final quote I might be changing companies. Most insuance companies were competitive with my current rate if not better but I stuck with progressive to have the loyalty discount etc. however after using the snapshot if the savings with this arent significant I might be considering other companies.
I’ll keep you posted on how the Snap Shot works out for me.
I have heard that some of these devices actually “beep” when you do a hard brake, which would definitely help in identifying those instances that are causing you to rack up hard brakes, but I didn’t get that “model” of device, and it sounds like you didn’t either. I would say that your wait-and-see approach with Progressive is the right decision for now.
You have to send an email to Progressive asking them to activate the ”beep”. They do it right away. Good luck!
What a crock! According to my driving reports I had 9 hard brakes in one day. I NEVER had more than one or two “beep” alerts in any day. So guess who’s eligible for ZERO discount due to this? I haven’t had an accident since 1987 when I hit a deer who decided the freeway was a crosswalk. So, according to this piece of junk, I am a poor driver? What a joke!
Russ, it can definitely get frustrating to have this in your car, but don’t forget it’s not measuring your driving abilities, but rather your driving environment.
Oh no. Abilities too. Or better phrasing, skill/knowledge. Environment only implies that you’re the greatest driver in the world and everyone else is terrible, or that only weather like ice, which I can imagine can cause a possible hard brake to occur, is the determining factor. If you’re driving too close to other vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before they stop quick and you have to as well. Most of the time you won’t end up in an accident, but statically you will. Some people tailgate endlessly. I always think, they can’t drive through other cars in heavy traffic, so why are they jumping from lane to lane? To get to where they are going a minute earlier at the cost of potentially ending theirs and other lives?
The very fact that so many people here keep referring to lights “popping out of no where” and they have to slam on their brakes is a joke. I can see lights in advance, unless I decided to drive right behind a truck like an idiot, and they like to turn yellow first then red. In these cases, the device it working just fine. The driver is broken.
It “drives” me nuts when I’m going 60 or so, and I can’t even see the front bumper of the car behind me. I know if I have to stop quick, they may be able to, but the car behind them might not and that momentum will cause the ahole to collide into me. Technically they are at fault, so they will have to pay and not me, but since the insurance really pays, it’s everyone else that does.
Similarly when I’m behind someone that’s tailgating another and I can’t see past them, they always stop at the last moment in bumper to bumper traffic. If I were to sneeze, I might run into them because they drive stupid. So I have to keep a distance. Doesn’t bother me much since I can’t drive through them and get there faster.
This is the reason why I like this program. Ignoring the privacy paranoid nonsense, this should probably be mandatory. The real flaw with the system is like all devices, it’s unlikely to work perfectly for every make of every car ever built. But the worst that can happen is you don’t get a discount, as opposed to paying more.
Just did my first day today. Drove to and from work and ran some errands at lunch time. When I checked online, I was surprised to see 4 hard breaks during the errands at lunch. When I looked at the details it showed 4 hard stops 1 second apart. A hard break is 7 mph per second. As it was my first day, I was being extra cautious and did not remember making anything resembling a hard stop. I called progressive and she explained to me that it must have been a stop from going like 28 mph to 0 mph in 4 seconds (or 7 mph/second). Since I’ve never actually timed a stop before I guess this is possible to do without it feeling like “slamming on my brakes” or tailgating. I guess time will tell.
Got to tell you, this program looks good to me so far. I got enrolled in the program 4 months back. I wasn’t able to get any Initial Discount, as Progressive said they don’t have enough driving records for the vehicle. But as of today I am showing projected discount of 9% on renewal. Which isn’t that lot, but tracking your behavior while you are driving your vehicle is a really important tool. I usually drive 150 Miles a week, and I have to cross the small downtown of our suburb to get to work. Which has speed limits from 20 – 45 mph. Relatively slow driving and high traffic zone. Not to mention on the way there are 2 schools. Initially I was more of an impatience driver (15 hard brakes per week), but with this program and monitoring the hard brakes I can definitely say that it has improved my driving (<10 hard brakes per week). Which is good for the vehicle and my wallet. I still have 2 more month to go for the policy renewal. Hopefully by then I would have reduced hard brakes and got more discount. Would update this as soon as I get the final deal.
I just completed my initial 30 day program and received the max of 30% discount….savings of 122.00. The initial discount reflected on the 32nd day showing decrease on monthly premium which starts next month…and the projected 30% discount for next policy period. I do a lot of stop and go driving working two jobs…but in reality….I did not change my driving habits much, if any at all, with exception of being aware that the device is plugged in. I have 2 more vehicles that I plan on enrolling in the snapshot soon, and should be able to knock another 50 bucks a month off my premium. In my opinion, it is worth trying, but make sure as a precaution that you are the only one that drives the vehicle while enrolled, to assure that if anything doesn’t go in your favor, you can only blame yourself, and not the wife ( or husband ). Good luck to everyone that gives it a shot.
Great point, Troy. We inevitably let family borrow our cars on many occasions during the evaluation period, but we always let them know that they were being “watched” and to drive carefully.
I plugged this in this morning around 10:00am. When I can out to my car at 6:30 to go to the park my car would not start. I did not drive it after I plugged it in and the car worked perfectly fine last night. The battery has been changed in the last year and a half.
My alternator gave out while mine was plugged in. I don’t know if this little device really draws that much power to wreak havoc on the electrical systems, but who knows?
It does, I’m having the same problem. At first I thought it was my battery (so naturally I got it replaced) but that soon just died as well so I had to get a new battery just to get a diagnosis. I was finally informed that it is my alternator. I’ll provide an update as to if Progressive will be paying for it.
Interesting. I had to replace my battery and alternator just after plugging in the device too. I thought it was a coincidence but maybe not. I got it on a friday and my battery was dead after the long weekend. The new battery was dead a few days later. The mechanic said that the alt was not providing enough current all the time to keep the charge.
I just finished my initial 30 days and I had no hard breaks and they immediately applied a 30% discount which said was $86.00 to my policy. I just got a 6 month policy in Feb. 2012 and today got a new declaration page added to my contract that said $-66.00 and that when I renew in Aug. my insurance will be $146.00 for 6 months.I’m not sure if I will be mailed a check for the $66.00 or if it will be applied when I renew in 5 months. I always pay 6 months premium at a time. Not all states will allow the snap shot program, here in Virginia snap shot is allowed but I live 1.5 miles away from the Tennessee line and my sister in Tennessee not allow Progressive to use the snap shot program to see
You have some incredible rates–I remember paying well over $1,000 for 6 months of insurance not that long ago.
I’m curious to see how laws in different states will change over time to permit this kind of data collection, as I think more and more companies will go to a use-based model like Progressive.
My alternator went out as well about a month after I installed the snapshot device, costed me $146.00 that blew my savings on insurance
Shouldn’t have anything to do with the alternator failing. Likely coincidental.
I’m had my device for 4 months and my alternator just went out.
We lived in dallas fortworth. My insurance agency owner explain me about snap shot detail and saving in detail, first I was hasitate but tried it anyway and we got the check from Progressive. My wife got 26% and got the check for $62 in full coverage and I got the check for $32 in liablity on my 2003 nissan altima. We are happy and no complain like i was reading on reviews like problem with your electric system and etc.
Satisfied actual customer.
I used snapshot and wasn’t a fan. Where I drive, it’s mostly residential and small down. There are stop signs and traffic lights at 3/4 blocks. The speed limit is 25mph. The only time I use the high way is once a week to go to class. I work 1 mile away. Initially I did not get my discount because I had too many “hard breaks.” Which I do not understand because it’s hard to even get up to 25mph when you have to stop ever 200 feet. I also was aware of the hard stops and wouldn’t slam on the breaks. Just let it slow down and then tap the break a little. I was told to drive somewhere where I didn’t have to stop as much.
So, they told me to drive for another 30 days and now they just sent me a return box saying that they had no data from my device and I do not get the discount again. I had it plugged in and was checking the website once or twice a week where there is data showing up!
Not fa fan. I also switched to Progressive because they were about 200.00 cheaper and I was getting the same coverage amounts and perks. Except that I found out that I really didn’t get the coverage discussed on the phone. I got no rental or roadside, and less coverage on insured and uninsured sections, plus a 2000 collision deductible and comprehension! No wonder it was so cheap! So, then 2 months in they still weren’t fixing it, I get rear ended by a girl and had to get my bumper replaced. I had no rental coverage STILL after I was told it was added. $583.00 I had to pay out of my own pocket. The other girl’s policy was supposed to cover it, but Enterprise charged it to my credit card after all because of communication problems. I’m still fighting that and that was like 8 months ago! Now, I finally have the deductible I want and roadside and rental, but now my premium is about 80 bucks more than it was with Erie! And I can’t get a snap shot discount.
As soon as I find a better insurance company, I’m taking a hike!
I have switched companies 3-4 times in the last 10 years, and always bought my policies online so I could compare apples-to-apples before buying. It sounds like they really dropped the ball in your case.
Geico!!!! I pay 450 a year
So what if you drive way WAY more than average and hard brake 20 times a day and speed 20 MPH over do they increase your rates?
No, my own understanding of Snapshot is that it can’t be used to raise your rates, only lower them.
This is not true in my case, after my 6 months ended witht he snapshot and I did not pass. my insurance went up $10 a month.
Did you ask why your rate went up? I haven’t done the snap shot but my insurance went up around the same time yours did at about $10 a month. When I called and asked why they said it was a general raise in rates for everyone in my state.
I did not, but that seems to be the general consensus from readers. However, I looked at company-vs-company, not previous-vs-current payment. I don’t think there was any correlation between my Snapshot and my rates going up, although some readers have gone as far to suggest that may be the case.
I’ve had mine for 30 days and just got my initial discount of 22% and they credited my account $121. I live in Maine in a small city so I average about 23 miles per day and most are during the middle risk and a couple during the high risk. With my car being a 5 speed I usually don’t touch my brakes until I have to, so that stops some of my hard brakes. But I can’t avoid them all, since I live in a high tourist area and they just love to walk in front of my car and see how well my brakes work. The great thing is they are projecting a 30 % discount for my renewal. So I will see.
Factor Your Weekly Avg. Last 7 day Difference
Total high risk driving time (hr:min:sec) 00:11:51 00:13:40 00:01:48
Miles driven 157.88 145.83 12.05
Number of hard brakes 3.13 0 3.13
I was SO DISAPPOINTED when I received my initial discount after one month. I was so cautious with the device in, and was sure my savings would be in the upper percentages. I was SHOCKED when my discount came back as only 3%. I tracked my driving online, I didn’t do any late night driving, never drive long distances in my car, and really focused on my braking. I think this is a serious scam to get lure people in and give their car insurance a chance. I am so, so disappointed.
Do you have the report online? It is weird….I received 30% on both the initial discount and the permanent discount. I just returned the device a week ago and I am very happy.
I completed the first 30 days and Progressive gave me a 4% discount; $5. Since then, my battery has died and I have yet to replace it. Progressive complains they have not heard from my device. I think the device drained my battery. They have never sent me any stats. I can only assume I don’t drive often enough for them. I drive 1.1 miles to the grocery store about 3 times a week. I live in a rural area so there is no rush hour traffic.
I was wondering about the technology expense of $30 Amy talked about. So if you get score of 0% discount do they still hit you with that $30 charge or that only applies when you get discount > 0 ?
Tom, it depends on what state you are in only 5 have that fee. I am an independent insurance agent in FL and Progressive is one of my companies. I have had some people that were very successful in their credits. I have a doctor who has two daughters, 16 & 17, the older one has already had an at fault accident. They drive high end vehicles. Snapshot saved him a whopping $720 !!!!! For those that have young drivers it can be great.
Mel- you need to call you agent or Progressive and ask about this, if you post your stats I can tell you why you received such a small discount.
I’m encouraged that so many of you received a discount. Following my first 30 days I received no discount. I drive about 25 miles or less on average per day. Not sure how they calculate number of trips. The first day the device was plugged in, the report said I made 19 trips! In reality I had taken three kids to school and back and one trip to the store. While waiting in line for one of my kids I turn off the ignition until the line moves forward, or if I know I will be sitting through three red lights I do the same. Do they count a trip as begining each time the ignition is turned on? Glad to see that I can email Progressive to have them activate a “beep” when “hard brakes” occur. Most of my driving occurs in residential neighborhoods with many, many speed bumps, stop signs and small drainage ditches to cross. I’m not tailgating, or slamming on the brakes at red lights. I have a clean driving record, and really am not sure what I can do differently. The “beep” may help 🙂 I’m on my second 30 days, maybe something will change. At any rate, I am happy with the current premium, but would love to get at least some discount!
They count a trip as beginning each time the ignition is turned on. If you turn your car on and off 7 times, that is 7 trips…I suggest not doing that, because I believe that one of the factors that affect your discount is the number of trips, they may have an equation with several factors in it such as number of trips, miles driven, time of the day and number or hard brakes. I would suggest that you try to drive slow, so you dont get many hard brakes and also if you are doing 40 mph, you need to count at least 7 seconds to stop completely. It is simple, divide your speed in seven and that is the number of seconds that you need to stop without hard braking. I did it at the beginning and it became natural after a while and I got 30% final discount!. I had the device plugged for 5 months and just returned 3 weeks ago! Good luck!
I’d have to say the jury is still out for me on Snapshot. I appreciate the fact that there is a program to measure usage and provide a discount. For too long, in the absence of claims and/or violations, insurance companies have simply applied general demographics in determining rates. Thus, those who drive cautiously and seldom subsidized those who drove aggressively and often. As someone who drives very infrequently, I was excited to potentially be rewarded for my driving habits.
Well, I just completed the first 30 days of the program and was informed of my discount. It was 22%. What’s that you say? Pretty good and what am I complaining about? Well, here’s the deal. Of the thirty day period, the car was driven on a total of four days. Three of those days were weekends (morning and afternoon driving, not at night). The total number of miles driven was 102. This includes one Sunday excursion with a round trip of 81 miles. The other three trips were short trips to fetch groceries and one dentist’s appointment (the only trip that occurred during “rush hour,” albeit in the opposite direction of the majority of traffic). There were two hard brakes. At the time, I hadn’t read what Progressive considers a hard brake, and thought it meant slamming on the brakes to come to sudden stop. Their definition seems rather silly. Where I live, the interstate often has short exit and entrance ramps. Unless on decides to travel well under the speed limit (potentially pretty dangerous on an interstate) leading up to the exit ramp, one needs to slow down rather quickly upon exiting. So here you have a situation where you’re in a very low risk situation (no side-by-side or traffic coming the other way) and yet you’re getting dinged for hard braking.
But forget about the merits of the braking system. I read here that others are driving one or two vehicles daily 25 miles, including rush hour, and receiving the max discount or near it. This means they are averaging anywhere from 60 to 120+ trips per month, and 750 to 1,500 miles per month or more. Moreover, by their own admission, they are participating in the daily rush hour commute, which I am not (I live five blocks from my work, and walk or bike there). Now, I’m happy for you that you’re getting a nice discount, and I’m sure most of you are very good and cautious drivers, but something seems out of whack. Perhaps it relates to the fact that I am paying a rather low rate already (based on those generic demographic factors), so it may be harder to qualify for the maximum discount. However, I get the feeling that the only way for me to qualify for the maximum discount would be to not drive at all, in which case, why do I need insurance?
I’m also concerned that, based on what I’ve experienced so far, my discount will only decrease further. While I have no trips planned over this next 30 days, in mid-June, my wife and I plan to visit here relatives a couple of states over, as well as take a side trip. I estimate that during the week that is occurs, I’ll probably drive approximately 1,000 miles. Now, if you know anything about accident statistics, you know that an overwhelming percentage of accidents occur within ten miles of one’s home, precisely doing the sort of daily trips (work, shopping, taking kids to sports or other activities) that I don’t do. Yet, if what some are saying here is true (drive more than 30 miles in a day = bad), I will be dinged much more harshly for what is essentially an aberration in my driving habits. Moreover, while driving during non-peak times in only moderately populated areas, without the pressure of needing to be anywhere by a certain time.
I’ll report back my results in the next couple of months. Considering the relatively small amount the program is saving me in absolute dollars, and the risk of electrical/alternator problems some have mentioned, if I find the discount dwindling further, I may conclude the program isn’t worth the risks or loss of privacy.
Jim, Thank you for your thoughtful insights. I think that the issues you bring up will remain indefinitely, so long as Progressive is not transparent with their discount system (and understandably, they will probably never be). The demographic categorization you describe extends, no doubt, into the Snapshot program as well, so while the discount will work in most cases, it will look like a complete fail in others, like yours.
I have just completed my 30 days and received a 10% discount with a projected 19% at the end of the 6 month monitoring period.
I was a bit peeved thinking my discount should have been higher as I only drive in the medium/low risk period.
After reading this forum in its entirety, I guess I’m now grateful. I drive approx 150 miles a week with an average 3 hard brakes. I think I need to get the beep activated on the unit as I’d like to know which stops have prompted the hard brake, as each of the hard brake occurrences are multiples and I need to feel it in real time.
Terrific forum, I’ve learnt a lot!
Great forum! I’d like to share my experience and thoughts with the progressive snapshot program.
I signed up a few weeks after I got my new AUDI A4 in September 2011. Until today, I have driven a bit more than 6 000 miles. Mostly trips less than 30 miles, but also more than 300 miles a day. I am not commuting to work every day, so I don’t need to drive a lot in the medium risk hours.
My weekly average is: 155 miles, 3 hard brakes and a total of 40 minutes high risk time.
30 days after plugging in the device, I got a 30% discount/money back on my 6 month premium. Agreed… I always had the device and possible rebate on my mind!
Hard brakes… I was surprised how many times the device reported hard brakes initially. But I have adjusted my driving and used the statistics every day, to improve my own and my 15 year old sons driving.
When my last payment was due, I got a 25% discount and for the next time, I am expecting something between 25 and 30%.
Disadvantages: NONE. No matter how you drive, you will not pay more, only save less. And you can “pull the plug” anytime.
My son has developed a very good and defensive driving and I have adjusted/improved my driving too. It doesn’t take me longer to get somewhere and it doesn’t hurt to allow more distance to the cars in front of me and it did not hurt.
As a side effect, the gas mileage has improved significantly. Gas mileage of my previous Audi A4 with same engine was an average of 21 MPG over 50.000 miles. Now, it’s 27 MPG over 6.000 miles.
I have saved more than 50 Gallons of gas and taking current gas prizes into account, I have saved an additional $190.
My total savings in 12 months (until Sept 12): almost $600
I use snapshot and drive a lot and am past the first part and working on the rest. I’m projected to save the whole 30%. I only get like one hard brake a week. I hate when people slam on their breaks every time they come to a stop sign or stop light. It always looks like they are gonna run it. Usually when I have to hard break it is because of these people. You have pretty good stats. For the first 30 days you do have to drive every day or the days you don’t drive don’t count. I drive every day anyway. Between hubby’s work and kids school stuff it is hard to avoid. It is a great deal if you are a good driver. Good luck to anyone planning on trying it. Maybe the snapshot deal will make people more aware of how they drive. 🙂
I just completed my first 30 days and received a 30% discount. I am super excited about that. My monthly rate dropped from $110 to $74.62. I was peeved a bit at the program the last few days because my last two days of the 30 day cycle I stayed home, not driving at all. Having read the comments here I still went out to my car, started it, heard the snapshot beep, waited a few seconds and went back inside. Even by doing this it did not register my last two days of 0 driving. The next day was Memorial day and I was distracted with a car full of people and had 4 hard brakes. I had gone the whole month with only 2 hard brakes so to get 4 on one of the last days that shouldn’t have even been a day in the cycle…well I was pretty ticked.
I am happy with the 30% though and really hope I maintain it for the 6 month period.
My stats are as follows: an average of 1.06 hard brakes a week, 147 miles driven a week, and only 3 minutes of high risk driving time each week. I drive mostly turnpike in central FL and was worried the speed I drive would make me lose the discount possibility. I drive carefully, but with a speed limit of 70 I do go up to 80 at times. It is nice to know this really is not a factor it would seem. I’ll report back at the end of the program and see if I am still happy with the results.
I just got word my program has finished. I received the full 30% discount. Considering I saved almost 30% by switching to progressive that is a pretty nice overall savings. If it goes up next year as most companies do raise it then I will look around again..but for me this has worked out great.
If you are someone that does not understand what it means to drive with space in front of you, or without slamming on your breaks, or without speeding..and you opt into this program knowing how you drive and end up getting an increase in your rates..well you deserve that increase for lack of common sense.
It is not hard to leave space around you and go the speed limit. That is really all the program is monitoring. Are you paying attention enough to be safe – that is the underlying question. I drive in bumper to bumper traffic in central FL with lots of high risk areas and I managed to get by with an average of 1 hard break a week. The random event of a car cutting out in front of you or a kid running across the road is not going to be counted against you as it is a random event and should not be happening all the time. If that happens to you all the time, I got news for you..you are not paying attention. Stop texting while driving and you may not get such surprises.
Stay away from the program if you drive a standard..but other than that the program worked well for me and I am enjoying fully my 30% discount for however long it lasts.
How does it know the time of day and time zone you’re in if it doesn’t involve GPS?
Mark, I believe the device uploads live, so the system would know the time of day. As far as time zone, I have no idea, perhaps it doesn’t and just reports your data in your local time zone.
It’s uploading data like a cell phone. So I guess time and day are synchronized using mobile service provider data.
I’m a current progressive holder and was considering this but first decided to call around to the other insurance companies. Even if I go the full 30%, my 6 month premium would be just under $400. So calling around I got the same exact coverage for $320 for 6 months with Geico. I encourage others to call around first before enrolling in this program.
Not a fan. Was talked into getting Progressive by a friend who sells insurance. I thought that I could save a few bucks a month and maybe more with the snapshot. Unlike many of the above drivers, I live in a city and communte sometimes up to 150 mile a day. Some business trips will take me on trips up to 500 miles. Snapshot is not intended for anyone who has to drive for their work. I have been kicking myself for swapping insurance plans. I have been giving this a fair shot but Progressive is costing me more money and a higher deductable. I think I will be calling my old insurance company tomorrow and try to beg for my old policy back.
I was asked to remove my snapshot device this week and it’s already in the mail.
My final discount is 25% off!
Like some said, snapshot is not for everybody and yes, you should call other insurances and get a quote.
It works for me!
Hello I just signed up for snapshot and was curious as in why some people only are required to leave it in their cars for 30 days and others for a couple months? My renewal starts next month (July) and I should be receiving my snapshot in 5-7 days, just curious. By the way thanks for all the tips this forum was truly helpful. I am hoping for any type of discount, something is better then nothing…
I have not personally heard of anyone just having it for 30 days. The first month gets you the initial discount, but then you have to keep it in the car as long as they tell you basically, which for me was about 3 months.
The snapshot program was bogus for me….they gave me a 13 % discount on my plan only after jacking it up 200 bucks for no reason. Nothing changed, same car, same address, no accidents or tickets or even warnings. So the way I see it, they jack the premium up just so they can say they give you a discount
I agree with Chris. After reading that post, I went to Geico’s website and requested a quote for the same coverage that I currently have with Progressive. I was surprised that Geico’s price is the same as Progressive’s price after the 30% snapshot discount. So it makes more sense to switch to Geico, pay about 550 for 6 months premium rather than going with Progressive, paying about 800 for 6 months premium and then having to sign up for snapshot to get some discount…if you are lucky 30% that would put you to 550 (Geico’s price without any snapshot drama) . Progressive jacks the premium up just so they give you a discount, and you would be lucky if you get the full 30% discount so the price equals to Geico’s price, otherwise you would be paying more with Progressive.
I was enrrolled in snapshot and got 30%, I should just have switched to Geico and save all the trouble.
For what it’s worth, your experience is not the same as mine. My Geico rate quote was higher than my original Progressive rate before the Snapshot discount.
Oh wow, I believe the rates may change constantly, up and down…I just requested both quotes, geico and progressive this morning and based my post on that. Progressive was 30% higher than geico.
True, I change policies every 3-4 years for that very reason. What’s competitive today is way too high for me tomorrow…
Yes, it varies…as for now I will keep Progressive, to ”enjoy” the fake 30% discount.
I just finished my first 30 days of the snapshot program with Progressive. I averaged 141 miles a week and had 1.03 hard brakes. Got an email today that I received the full 30% discount and would be receiving a credit of $179 on my credit card since I paid the full policy up front. I always shop around for the insurance best rates and Progressive was by far the best. Hoping to retain the full discount when I receive my renewal.
Progressive will not pay for the alternator. I read this in the terms and conditions in their website before I got the snapshot. I was lucky that I did not get any mechanical problems.
Well, I’ve used the SnapShot device twice in the last year and a half, and here are some of my observations. I drive at least 60 miles a day, and average about 400 miles a week here, commuting to Orlando, FL. When I did the SS last year, I only averaged 1 hard brake per week, around 400 miles per week, and no midnight to four am driving, and I STILL received the FULL 30% discount.
I bought a new car on June 1st, so I enrolled again. I’m still driving a ton of miles a week, more than last time. My hard brakes are still one per week average, and I have done a little driving after midnight. Just looked at my policy this morning, and says I saved 20%!! Still, very happy about it, but I’ll be trying to cut back on my driving in the next few weeks of use to try and get the discount a little higher.
I’ve really learned a lot from the driving with no hard brakes over the last year and I’m grateful I’m no longer one of those d-bags that ride people’s bumpers. So, even without saving money, I’m glad I’ve used SS. With as much mileage as I drive, I say this still could be recommended to ANYONE.
Lastly, some of the people on here using the SS and getting a full 30% discount, and you only save like $35 bucks. If my insurance premiums were that low in the first place, I would have never tried to save a couple more dollars. I mean really? I’ve never been that much of a penny pincher. My dollar amount discount is around $300 in savings, now that type of money is well worth the hassle of the SS. So, $600 a year is awesome to me. BTW been reading this blog for months now. Good luck all!!!!!
I average about 40 miles daily on my commute.
Wondering if this would be worth it considering that “30 miles” milestone.
A couple of people above have had positive results driving >30 miles/day.
When I talked to progressive, they stated that the average amount of miles that other drivers in your area, was part of the deciding factor on the mileage. So if you live in a state or area where people might commute many miles, it will be on your side, but if you live in an area probably with a lot of retired people, that don’t drive very much, then maybe not. I really, really believe that he hard brakes are the most important factor.
On some level that makes sense, but not really. If the average miles/driver is higher, doesn’t that mean there are more people, on average, on the road? It’s counter-intuitive in my opinion to offer preferences to the areas with higher average trip length.
All I know is I drive in the Orlando, FL area and my average is 400 miles per week, and I still got a 24% discount. Last year it was the full 30%.
On the site it breaks down and tells you which of the three areas you earned your discount from. Both times, mine was fully under the hard brakes, but the high mileage seemed to not hurt me, either. That’s why I think having as close to zero in hard brakes is the most important to progressive.
I thought the snapshot was a one time thing. Use it 6 months, get your results and send it back. Are you saying you have used it twice? Do we have to keep doing this for 6 months every year to keep the discount? Not that I mind as it is working well for me, it’s just I thought it was a permanent discount from a one time thing. Thanks!
I drive over 50 a miles a day during the week. The weekends are 0-11 miles a day so it averages out to be well under the 30 mile a day goal. I was worried at first too but the daily average seems to be really a monthly average so you may be better than you think.
I bought a new car and had to use the snapshot device again, to see if I get a discount on the new car. If you don’t change cars, then no, you don’t ever have to use the device again. My discount stayed for at least two renewal periods, without going up yet. Very happy with Progressive so far.
Just like aftermarket stereo or light upgrades, the snapshooter could finish off a weak alternator or battery. A warning about that would be nice. I will not try it, and will cry when it’s mandatory. I like to spin tires and slam brakes at 2am. You can tell me my rate will not go up, I won’t eat that bull watse. They will hit me next period. Then put my hard brake world record on that insurance data base brain, all companies will see it just like wrecks and claims. Progressive is awesome! Gave me a lawyer for a whole year of court, till I won. Great rates. Till they see I drive like a maniac….. I would easily bet everything I own I can out drive anyone who has posted here, and 99% of famous drivers. I have prevented many wrecks to myself, and a couple times honked people into awareness before they wrecked. Do I get a discount for helping like that? Nope it would look like I slam brakes for fun. What about my old car with mechanical gears and brakes? What about kids running into the street making you look like a tailgating teddy? I believe if we regulated the Privilege to drive better insurance would go down if not away. Less road death and more jobs for driving instructors and taxi/bus drivers etc. Oh and American people might not be so overweight. Thanks Mr. Ford
Take it from a Mechanical Engineer working in the Electronics Engineering field; This device cannot possibly cause damage to the alternator or charging system of the car. The increased load and wear are less than 1% of a low power aftermarket stereo. Assuredly, using your power window fully once or twice used more energy than Snapshot does in its lifetime. To imply that the device caused any of the electrical failures, especially through its load, is completely baseless. Anyone with an education in technological fields would agree, and you can’t point fingers and make false claims on the internet anymore. Snapshot has not damaged an alternator, ever, guaranteed.
That said, I did not see any exclusion from Progressive selling your driving habits to your own insurance company should you choose not to switch. Why would any of you volunteer this information anyway? If you gave it up, quit crying when they jacked your rates. You asked for it!
Mike, thank you so much for your comment. Even if the device need power when the ignition is off… it can’t cause damage to the alternator. It is rather convenient to blame the device for any damage.
But anyway… it is a great offer and it is an opportunity to re-evaluate your own driving habbits and maybe make some changes… which in return saves more money by a better gas milage.
Think about it!
Mike, I’m an engineer too and agree 100% with your comments but trying to convince people that some external force didn’t do in their perfectly good five-year-old battery or the alternator in their like-new Yugo is fruitless.
I just got my 6 month review and according to snapshot I am not a very good driver. However, I have been driving for 36 years and have never had an accident. I also live in Cincinnati and it is very hilly, so unless you want to piss people off and drive extremely slow, you might pass the hard break issue. anyway my insurance went up $60 dollars a month now. Wish that I had never tried it or changed over to progressive. Now they have where you can try it for 30 days without leaving your current insurance coverage and also have where they will reward you for your previous driving habits. where was that when I signed up. It all to get you with them before they screw you over.
This is very interesting since I too saved 30% on my initial discount, but get this…when my policy was up for renewal, they raised my rates for no apparent reason. My snapshot account claims I saved over $200 upon renewal, but they raised my rates by $350, so the cost to renew exceeded the previous (initial) policy. I called a rep and he claimed the only difference was that I lost the signup discount of $50 and could not explain the reason for the remaining $300 increase except that “their costs went up.” Funny, because a friend of mine who is also a progressive customer (is not enrolled in snapshot) had his rates increase by less than $100 upon renewal and he was in an accident the prior year among other past violations and I have a perfect driving history. I think the snapshot is a joke and a scam to collect data and mislead the customer into believing they are saving in an effort to increase profits.
Exactly the same thing happened to me! I live in Florida and the rep told me the increase was due to a Florida rate adjustment, even though my sister also lives in Florida and wasn’t ‘adjusted’ when she renewed 2 months ago – she didn’t have snapshot.
Thank you so much for your blog and forum here. It has helped me make my own decision regarding whether to use snapshot.
please read this article, if I am reading it right, it says you should use hard breaks to avoid accidents, but progressive seems to penalize you for it. again, I wish I had never used the snapshot or changed to progressive insurance. http://autos.yahoo.com/news/4-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-driver-s-ed.html
Really interesting article, thanks!
Progressive better not pay for your alternators. It’s absolutely unrelated. Their device uses (FAR) less electricity than the cigarette lighter in your ash tray. Less than your headlights. Less than most accessories in your car. Much less power than an iPhone. It disgusts me when people assume that assume two things are related when there is no evidence what-so-ever. If you had installed an air-freshener in your car and your alternator failed, would you have blamed that?
I presume it also uses power when the car is off, UNLIKE your cigarette lighter, headlights, and iPhone. It’s absolutely un-provable that the two things are related, but when a bunch of people experienced the same problem, I consider that a “risk” to watch out for, and nothing more. I would still have done Snapshot, even with this knowledge.
Great article and comments! It made my decision to cancel my 30-day trial prior to using it (already ordered it, just haven’t got it yet). For two reasons: fear of alternator death, and stories of rates going up merely to be “discounted” for a false illusion of savings.
However, for those people that actually DID have good savings, congrats… just not sure I’m ready to risk it, yet. I have Ameriprise thru my CostCo membership and when I last checked 3 years ago, they were much cheaper than progressive; though I should get a new quote from various places, as many recommend.
Thanks again for the help!
I wrote on May 15th about the beginning of my experience with snapshot. Today my update is not as hopeful as the day I started.
I drive approximately 180 miles each week with about 3 hard stops and never in the high risk times. My final discount (Mar – July 30th) 21% pretty good!!
My premium in Feb’12 was $483.20, my new premium (including my $155.00 snapshot discount) – $520.68.
I call up for an explanation since nothing has changed in my driving patterns, claims, etc – the increase, I’m told, it’s due to a Florida rate adjustment. Strange, my sister lives in Florida and is with Progressive and never had a rate adjustment when she renewed 2 months ago. No point in going further, I’ve signed up with Esurance ( circa $420) when the renewal is due in September.
I guess I just regret, losing sleep each time I had to hard brake because someone slammed their brakes in front of me.
I also got my ‘Florida rate adjustment’ last week, and promptly switched to Esurance, like you. Now I have better coverage for nearly $200 less. I guess all good things come to an end.
I don’t understand why all Florida residents renewing their policies aren’t affected by this ‘rate adjustment’. I’m starting to think this adjustment only applies to snapshot users (those who dared to think their rates could be reduced).
Just put it in and it’s beeping when I start up and beeping for non hard braking, just applying breaks. Sorry, I think this is big brother watching your mileage for RATING purposes…e.g. pleasure use, work short, work long. I am an insurance agent and I do believe since they don’t check or ask for your employer when you fill out the app who you are working for, this is the way they will rate your policy. Anybody can say they drive 1-5 miles to work one way.
I recently finished my 6mo snapshot challange. It is impossible to get zero hard brakes unless you live in the middle of the sticks and the nearest person driving is 100 miles away.
1. STOP LIGHTS, the stop lights in florida turn faster than the lights in ny. My average speed is 30mph around town. If the light turns quickly when you ar 75 feet from it you will either hard brake or run the red light.
2. UTURNS, stopped at the light. The light changes, you are accelerating, start to make the turn and break….. Guess what, hard break.
3. GENERAL DRIVING, I cannot control the idiots in front of me…..need i say more….
Over all the snapshot is bull****! Dont enroll, you can’t do it!
Here is a hint for you…
You don’t need to control the idiots in front of you if your keep your distance, and pay attention.
And what about those drivers that pull out in front of you and they never look? You can be in control of your car and trying to leave the proper space in front of you but people who pull out in front of you without looking or change lanes when there is not proper room or slam on their brakes because THEY aren’t paying attention does cause you to have a hard brake. When you look in the mirror, do you see an idiot? Your response to Mike says yes!!
Your logic and those of many others here assume that Progressive wants to know how YOU drive, but that’s only part of the picture. They also want to know about exactly the kinds of road obstacles you’re talking about–people pulling out, road conditions, etc., because they also affect your chance of an accident.
I recently returned Snapshot via mail. I was informed that I didn’t qualify for a premium discount. My investigation revealed that Snapshot erroneously showed that I made numerous “hard stops”. Apparently, each time it “beeped” indicated a “hard stop”. I never made a “hard stop”. It beeped at times when I left a stop sign. I’ve been told that this is a problem with vehicles with standard transmissions. Also it appears that instead of a premium discount my premium has increased by approximately $4 per month. You should warn your customers to NOT opt for Snapshot if they have a standard transmission.
Interesting, is that because the car jerks around when you switch gears?
My husband just put his snapshot in today. He is one of the slowest brakers I have ever met…He had three small trips and recorded a hard break in each of the trips. I, on the other hand, am a well known hard braker and have been doing very well on this since I started a week ago. Husband drives a standard (manual) transmission and I have an automatic. After reading this post, I think we may just not do the snapshot in his car…
Checked my husband’s snapshot yesterday and he had a ridiculously high number of hard brakes. I called Progressive about it and they acknowledged that manual transmissions record shifting as hard brakes when they aren’t, but didn’t offer any solutions. The rep said that we’d still get the discounts for amount of driving and time of day. Still think it sucks that we won’t get full discount.
As expected, we got no discount for my husband’s car despite the fact that he had 0 minutes of medium or high risk driving time and averaged about 50 miles total driving in one week. I’m sure if I call it will be due to the “excessive hard braking” due to shifting being recorded as hard braking. I see no reason to keep it in his car so will be returning it.
Update: Got an email to return snapshot devices. As expected no discount on mitsubishi and supposedly a 9% discount on my Acura. Got my renewal notice today and the total cost on my Acura had a 22% increase over the last 6 months. Liability alone increased from $106 to $140. I fail to see any discount there. Interestingly, the mitsubishi “only” increased by 14%. I am sure when I call I will get some BS story about costs going up, etc. Guess I will shop around and see what others might offer. Renewal is not until Feb 1 so I have some time to shop around.
All I can tell you is that I saved a hige amount when I canceled my Progressive policy and switched to Esurance, which is now an Allstate company. But I am now only in my first six months, so I can’t tell yet if it was bait-and-switch or whether the favorable comparisons will continue from cycle to cycle.
i HAVE BEEN IN THIS B*** S**** FOR 30 Dys and at the begining i called progressive nd a lady told i have to use the device for 30 days, today i called and the guy told me that my initial discount is 12% and a projected discount at renewal of 14 % i begun to figth whit that guy by phone because nobody told that i have to use it for more than 30 days, and I had been driving like an old lady avoiding hards brakes notgoing out after 12 am. a nigthmare. when i told him ok I’m done whit this because this beep and take a hard brake even whn you are parking. today 4 hard brakes, 1 at 3.06: 27, i had to stop to yield to a police car in emergency. 2, 3 and 4th at 3.17:46, 3.17:47, 3.17:48 pm just parking in front of my house, disgusting, the guy from customer services just said sir if the beep is bothering you I can turn it off for you. Just imagine all the words that came out of my mouth. I’ve felt that they are just play whit me because the stupid lady at the begining didn’t said nothing about to use the device for the full 6 month policy. then he told me if you return the device now you are not going to get the initial discount of 12%. again went crazy whit this poor man. He only said I apologize for all the inconvinience you’ve had. etc. Now I really dont know if return it or just keep this gun in my head telling me take or live it. I dont know what to do.
I believe that you were rude with the guy at customer service. If you go to Progressive’s website, you could have read all the terms and conditions of using the device. It clearly states that you have to use it for a maximum period of time of 6 months. In my case, I had to use it for 5 months and I got 30% discount which traduces in 500 savings/year.
We have been Progressive customers for over 7 years now…they are the cheapest insurance that we have found. I have never had a problem with them. Actually I love their customer service and their ability to treat us as humans….not just another person. We have had 2 incidents…a rear-ender on a stormy and rainy Prom night and a guy ran a red light and hit my son. Progressive was on the claim immediately and continued to follow up daily.
We installed the Snapshot 3 weeks ago. I have just checked our stats. Needless to say, I am extremely shocked and quite frankly, upset at the amount of ‘hard brakes’ they have logged for our driving. They state a hard brake is a decrease of 7 mph within a second. That is the same as slamming your brakes hard enough to cause the rear end of your vehicle to rise while avoiding a rear ender. I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DRIVE LIKE THAT. On the contrary – my kids tell me that I am ‘too’ safe as I allow well more then the allowed distance between vehicles.
I live in an area that a 4 lane highway going East and West. 2 lanes each direction. You can’t go south or you end up in the ocean, and you can’t go north or you end up on a military installation. That road is the ONLY way to get anywhere around here…Period. So between the hours of 3pm and 6:30 pm, it is bumper to bumper traffic as there are several military bases (along with general work-force) that are trying to get home – all the same direction and on the same road. But I still will not tail-gate.
It will be interesting to see how theirs ‘hard brake’ stats affect my coverage. I will not hesitate to go elsewhere for coverage if they increase my premiums due to the data.
I kind of wish that I would not have participated in this. Maybe if they ride with me and see that I don’t hard brake, then they will realize that the snapshot might not be true and correct.
Reading up on some of the others….regarding our East/West only highway….if I am traveling East and want to pull onto MY road, I have to go past my road, pull into the turn lane, and turn around heading west.
This is everywhere where I live. No other way around it. And that is counted as a hard brake?
Uggg. not sure I am liking this snapshot.
On the contrary, I think that 7 miles/second is a rather low threshold. That’s a whole 7 seconds to come to a stop from a typical traveling speed of 45-50 mph around here. If you’re stopping at a sudden red light, that can be more like 3-4 seconds, so it’s easy to see why so many people are having problems with “hard brakes.” If you do anything but just touch your brakes lightly, you’re in danger of logging a brake.
I took a chance and enrolled into snapshot program. I drove my car for nearly 4 weeks and progressive came with a discount of $125. Which is way over my expectations. I had few hard breaks. I drove only once between 12 to 4am which they consider as a high risk zone. I drive 16miles daily for my commute and few miles here and there for other stuff.
Overall I am pretty happy with snapshot program. Hope this would help others to decide to choose snapshot program.
Great post. I was just considering for snap shot. This persuaded me from it. Thanks! And what do you like about your new insurance company?
I’ve been with Progressive for ages. Upon my initial switch from Allstate, I was saving over $50/monthly with the same coverage, PLUS roadside assistance, which I didn’t have with Allstate. But throughout the years the insurance kept increasing and per their reps, it was because of the state. I went up $35/month. No accidents, no claims etc.
I decided to try the Snapshot. I’m almost done with my first month and have noticed some things about the device. It counted my “waiting for the light to turn green” as an extra trip. It actually beeped as I started driving. It stated that I had more than I recall, hard brakes. I checked my progress online after I DID have a hard brake, and the device beeped, and that’s how I found out about the other things that happened, when in reality they didn’t. I contacted the customer service, and was told that the “extra” trip that the device accounted was because the device must have lost the satellite signal. I said, okay, so if it did it once, it will do it again, and I am being penalized for something I have no control over. To which their rep said ” the number of trips is not accounted into the discount, only the mileage”. KEEP THAT IN MIND NEW SNAPSHOT DRIVERS.
I asked about the extra hard brake that was showing, to which I was told that I must have let the speed drop too quickly without actually hitting the break. I personally thought that a HARD BRAKE is exactly as it states HARD. But there you have it, if you do that, it will go against you, oh and the device did not beep and will NOT beep, per their representative.
Initially I was informed that the participation in this program can only give you a possible discount, and the rates will NOT increase, and now after reading some of these comments, I seriously wonder if it will increase, because as the history shows, my premium has increased quite a bit for no reason other than the State I live in decided to increase the GOOD drivers insurance. Okay, whatever, I guess I’ll let you all know the outcome.
States don’t rate insurance rates. Insurance companies DO though for various reasons. The company may say your state has a higher rate of accidents this year compared to the past few years. The average age of the drivers in your state may have increased. Many people may have changed insurance companies, so those left behind have to make up the difference. The CEO orders the company to make a higher profit margin. Any of these things can be the “unofficial” reason an individual’s premiums go higher every year – even with zero claims.
You’re right. The reps did mention that it depends on the higher accident rates in the city/state, and I thought well maybe that IS true because I live in a city where a lot DWI happen, Austin,TX is huge for drunk driving. But to pay more on my premium because of their decisions to drink/drive/ and possibly injure themselves or another, makes me want to slap all the drunk drivers. Regardless, it’s going up way too quickly and pretty soon it will the same amount as it was with Allstate, and then what? Switch to another and keep doing this every year or two?!
I just plugged in the snapshot and look forward to see the results, I thought i would just have to have it plugged in for 30 day but I see the 6 month thing and thought Oh hell….
I drive to mexico a lot…
Contemplating to get it but am worried about messing up my alternator. I drive low risk hours mon-fri for about 2 miles (I think).
Just got my 30 day discount. Only 14%. Estimated savings at next renewal is 19% Averages were 0 high risk minutes, 109 miles per week, 3.1 hard brakes per week. Will be interested to see my husbands. He has 0 high risk minutes, averages 70 miles, but has an average of 18 hard brakes due to his car being a manual transmission. Our insurance is pretty cheap so I am getting a $32 refund.
I have progressive and Snap Shot. I had it for about 3 weeks… And then my car got stolen! I checked online, and sure enough the shit heads driving habits were on there, and it wasn’t pretty! LOTS of hard breaks and speeding during the high risk time period. I told progressive about this, they assured me this would not count against me, and that they could not track the cars location using Snap Shot. I have my car back now, and they are sending me a new Snap Shot device (since the thief also stole the original device). So we will see if they end up using that data against me after all.
I just completed my first 30 days of trial with Progressive Snapshot. During this initial test period, there was no day on which I drove as many as 30 miles. There was no day of driving between midnight and 4 a.m. Keeping in mind that every start and turn-off of the engine counts as a “trip,” I logged 156 trips, with a total of 34 hard brakes, or about 1 hard brake per 4.5 trips. My total mileage was 720. I live in an urban area -Henderson, NV, adjacent to Las Vegas- with many starts and stops and many traffic lights. For example, one 5-mile trip I make several times a week involves 9 traffic signals.
So I receive an e-mail from Progressive, telling me I failed to qualify for any discount whatsoever. I called Progressive and talked to a gentleman in the “Snapshot Department.” He looked up my record and said he couldn’t believe that I am not receiving a discount. He said he’ll kick my file “upstairs” for review and I should be contacted next week. I asked the rep whether he thought my results should qualify me for some sort of discount, even a small one, and he agreed.
On balance, I don’t care. Progressive jacked up my rate on my recent renewal. There are plenty of other insurance fish in the sea, and I have -virtually- a perfect driving record, my only accident happening 30 years ago when another vehicle slid into mine during a terrible snowstorm in the Boston area.
Bottom line: Unless Progressive does an about-face and treats me as I expected to be treated, I”ll be shopping over the nearly six months left on my last renewal. Ameriprise offer great rates through Costco, and there are others I’ll be looking at.
It was a horrible expeirence for me personally. I was very gald to get rid of the snapshot.
I am a driver who doesn’t ahve a single ticket in 20 years of driving and I had no accidents other than being rear-ended twice by people on the phone while waiting at a light.
I drive in heavy traffic, on a highway in rush hour at 85mph 20 miles each way. There are enough crazy people around that you simply cannot break at less than 7mph. The other thing is the red lights – when youare on 50mph road and orange light is only 2 sec you don’t have enough time to stop. So, you have to decide – do you break hard or do you run the light.
If anything, the snapshot was making me an unsafe driver because I was trying to keep a lot of distance in front of me on a highway but then people would constantly get in front of me and cut me off.
If you drive in rush hour conditions, snapshot doesn’t work.
Progressive states on their website that you must have a car new enough to have a port to plug the snapshot device into. It’s not really discrimination. It’s an entirely elective program that they’re not in any way obligated to offer. (And, with an older car, your insurance is already substantially cheaper).
Snapshot may not work for certain vehicles past a certain age because the percentage is low on those older vehicles currently on the road. Snapshot may also not work for certain Makes, IE Jaguar. Jaguar limits the access to the vehicles computer which inturn won’t allow Snapshot to gather information.
A note to the author of this post. It’s not good to bounce around from One carrier to another in a short period of time. This is one of many major reason as to why premiums increase aside from the carrier suffering high loss ratios based on zip codes.
if you had progressive or any company really for say 2 years. They handled all of your claims with ease and the most important part, “PAID YOUR CLAIM”. Now the company, because they are good on paying claims, you up and leave because your rate was increased. Now the carrier has paid your claim, stood by your side and you thank them by leaving to another company..
So everyone knows, just because you have had a company for 10 years and have no traffic violations or claims. That does not mean your premium will decrease or increase..
If the carrier has a high loss ratio (paying claims) in your area. Most State Statutes require the insurance carrier to maintain their loss ration below a certain percentage or they will be forced to purchase re-insurance. Yes, insurance companies also have to buy Insurance. Most of the money claims come from are not all from the carrier but from a re-insurance carrier. So since the loss ration is high, the re-insurance company will gladly allow the company to buy more re-insurance. But now at higher rate. that rate tends to me alot more vs simply asking the state to allow for an increase. This works both ways, if the insurance carrier a very low loss rations, they will ask the state to approve a rate dcrease… At the end of the day the State has the authority to deny or approve an increase or decrease in premium.
So for argument sake, say Progressive paid $10,000 for your claims but only earned $4,000 in premium while you were insured by them. Now you up and left.. Progressive now has a $6,000 whole to fill. Now their loss ration is up and they raised the rates because people are constantly switching companies. Just stick around, show them you are loyal and it will pay off in the long run. Alot of companies give major discounts for being loyal. You may have Progressive in a different state than mine (Florida) so it may work a bit different for you. In Florida, Progressive provides a discount at 6 months (Silver), 1year (Gold), 3 years (Platinum), 5 years (Diamond), 10 years (Emerald) and even 20 years(Crown) This also counts in your favor if you were with the priro carrier up to 3 years, which means you would start with progressive at the Platinum Level. At the 6 months level (Silver), Progressive gives you small accident forgivenes. hint; that’s why they didn’t raise your premium when you had your claims. but once you would of hit the 3 year mark, your rate would of again dropped. probably lower than what it actually was raised to then rate would of lowered again at 5, 10 and 20 year. But now you will never now since you just started with Esurance and by going back to Progressive or really any other carrier, you would start from scratch. Now you will actually need to stay with Esurance for atleast 2 or 3 years to show any other carriers that you are once again loyal.
So speak to your insurance agent, communicate with him/her and ask questions. If your agent says, that’s just the way it is.. Or doesn’t really give you a reason as to what causes rate to change. You should seek another agent, one that will educate you if you ask them to.
I have been an agent for 5 years. I used to pay alot for my car insurance.$300 per month… the average rate in Florida is about $120 per month. We are one of the highest in the state. So, now one was really telling me how insurance really works. All i would hear is, don’t worry, you have full coverage… LIES LIES LIES. that term oes not exist in the insurance industry. We are tought when first get our Insurance license by the state, to NEVER say that… it’s not true. I used to have $10,000/$20,000 (per person/per accident) in liability and $1,000 deductible in collision & comprehensive. That is not full coverage, if i hit someone and send them to the hospital with head injuries which result in $100,000 in medical cost. Now i’m on the hook for the rest. I decided to get my license just so i can be more educated. I learned how to shop for the right company and how to maintain good rates. In two years time, my rate is now $93 per month and i have 1mil in liability with $0 deductible in collision & comprehensive.
So, speak to your agent, review your policy, ask about what options the carrier may offer in the future. Insurance is not about right now but about tomorrow..
I have had snapshot for a week now. I didn’t know about the “hard braking” and also think their standard of 7 mph per second is ridiculous. I just checked my stats and yesterday I had 24 hard brakes by their definition. I called progressive and she explained if I had to slow for a light turning red it could cause more than one hard brake to show up. I live in a residential community with speed humps. I am driving 20 mph and then braking for the humps and it almost always goes off. I drive a mile to and from work when i don’t ride my bike and the most I have driven on any one day is 23 miles. My mileage is low and my driving isn’t during peak times, and I will certainly be more dilligent about riding my brakes so I don’t have the hard brake thing–I’m afraid that may ruin my discount though since I already had quite a few because I didn’t know it would be set off by going over speed bumps. I am anxious to see if I get a discount at all. Will keep you posted.
I got my device installed couple of days ago. I want to return it back. Did a mistake by switching from State farm to progressive. I drive around 60 miles a day on freeway. 95 % of that is cruise. I cancel the cruise when i need to slow down or use the decelerator. The device treats this as hard brake. What nonsense? It’s discouraging and preventing my wife from applying brakes when we drive to downtown where every 50 ft you have a light and pedestrian crossing while driving at 15 miles or less per hour. The device treats this as hard braking…imagine.
I am currently enrolled in SnapShot. The reason for getting snapshot was because I work 6 days a week, 3 miles away from home, so as you can tell I don’t drive often. My intial discount was 30% and I received a check for $252. I have a month left for my 6 month period and I still have a 30% discount. I do agree that there have been a few times while driving, I have blown a red light, in fear of setting off my snapshot if I slammed on my breaks to stop at the light. I do have to drive a lot more cautious and slower for that reason alone. I drive an average of 10-20 miles per day, and only average 1 hard stop per week. I do travel very often, sometimes up to 2 weeks per time. These days while my car wasn’t used, WAS included in my 30 day trial, AND my 6 month period. When I first installed my snapshot, my battery did die. It may have been a coincidence, or it may have been snapshot. It did break my snapshot, so I had to return it and wait another 7-10 days for a new one. Meanwhile, those 7-10 days were included on my 30 day trial. It sounds like it may be different with everyone.
I now believe the Snap program is a scam, because just like you we had the snap on all 3 cars, which is a pain, but we did receive discounts based on our driving. But like you, upon renewal of our policy our rates were increased and another rate increase is planned upon the next renewal. The Progressive Customer Service rep tried his best to make me think these were state mandated rates, which is totally false. Bottom line, save yourself the trouble of dealing with this snap program and shop around. I firmly believe Progressive is pulling a ‘bait & switch’ scam; luring you in with a short term discount, only to raise you soon thereafter and hope you THINK you are getting the best deal. Screw them at their game if you want by taking the quarter or two rate discount and them dump them the moment they pull a rate increase.
I have recieved my first 30 day snap shot. IMHO it is not worth it. I drive no less then 40 miles per day for work. That cuts me out of any discounts right off the bat. I am a very easy going driver, I own a Jeep Wrangler, no need to speed and it is definitely not a sports car. I cannot control another driver that dicides to cut me off no matter how slow I go or how much space I keep between cars. Let me assure you I maintain both distance and careful driving. Snapshot does not know why I just applied a hard brake, but I can guarantee this I am NOT going to have an accident just so I don’t hard brake. I have decided to send the unit back and monitor my Progressive policy closely for any increases in my premiums. I do not have to stay with them.
When you say it’s not worth it, what do you mean? It does not cost you anything. And the usage of hard brakes means that you are in an area where you need to use them more.
The very fact that you say that you need to slam on your brakes to avoid an accident means that you are statically more likely to get into an accident no matter how well YOU drive. (and I’m assuming that this is a regular experience for you if you need to mention it?)
Insurance is based on the probability of you getting into an accident. And you are far more likely than someone that drives out in the country with no other cars around, even with the same attention to the road.
It may seem unfair that you should be penalized for someone else’s bad driving, but if you get into an accident that someone else caused it’s also unfair to everyone else that they have to pay for it when they don’t drive in areas with higher risk.
Also hard brakes and few other things are what they GATHER. It’s a simplistic view to assume that that is all they use in their formula. They can combine this data with all of the other information, that may also seem irrelevant, like you credit rating. What this does is focuses your insurance more to a personalized level.
Follow-up to my comment of September 15. A Progressive rep did get back to me and said the number of my hard brakes was excessive. I don’t consider 34 hard breaks over 156 trips in a highly congested urban area to be excessive. So I shopped around and have switched to Esurance for almost exactly half the cost of my Progressive policy. Even if Esurance gradually increased my rate, it would take many increases to equal what Progressive wanted to charge me. — The major flaw in the Snaphsot program is that it does not take into account the demographic area in which a customer lives. City dwellers, with their many starts and stops, traffic signals and stop signs, and the need to drive defensively, are treated exactly as are customers living in sparsely populated areas, such as in a prairie area, where you could drive many miles without the need to apply one’s brakes at all. Goodbye Progressive, it was nice knowing you!
Actually they do take into account the starts and stops and use that to figure out that you are in a heavy traffic area where you’ll more than likely be involved in an accident than a person out in a prairie.
But then if you could save half, why were you trying to get just a 30% discount. Of course you should shop around.
Regarding Kyle’s comment, I am not always the type who shops around for a big-ticket item if I have a good relationship with a vendor and feel I am treated fairly. So I was not looking for another insurer, and didn’t know I could save so much with Esurance, until I failed to qualify for any sort of Progressive discount. In 52 years of driving, my only two claims were for accidents that were determined to be the other driver’s fault. I was with Liberty Mutual for 45 years until cost finally became a big factor in my retirement years. It certainly wasn’t a matter of credit rating, something referenced in an earlier comment, as my latest FICO score is 812.
Not sure what to say. I live near New Orleans and pedestrians don’t even bother to look as they walk out in groups into the street. I just started this snapshot. I undoubtedly will be traveling in the city and on the interstate. I haven’t had any problems yet and I haven’t altered my stopping rate any.
But even still I would think that 22% of the time you need to use hard brakes is a bit much even in a stop and go environment.
I also don’t understand why stoplights would cause you to need to stop hard. Especially if you know where they are and there are lots of them close to each other.
There is some validity to what you say, Kyle. For comparison purposes, perhaps you can periodically share your daily tracking information from the Progressive site and ultimately report on the discount you earn.
I doubt it would compare much. So far I’ve driven a total of 8 miles in 3 days (and not three days in a row). I just don’t drive that much, so I should get a discount. I’ll let people know if my rates went up since so many people claim that happened to them. Although even if my rates went up, but overall payments went down, It’d be hard for me to find a reason to complain that I’m paying less than I was before.
Also I think in Louisiana, the max might be 25%. I can’t find anything that says so definitively.
I got the 30% discount. No raise in rates. I’m also a diamond member, (meaning I’ve been a customer for 10+ years) so I get discounts for that. I doubt I’d have a better rate at a company if I kept switching when they give discounts for staying.
So much for all the hype everyone gave.
Rates do tend to raise over time, but that’s true for everything. My payments are lower now than when I first started driving.
Note as I said above, I don’t drive that much. I only drove an average of about 60 miles a week getting about .5 hard brakes a week.
The snapshot is a “Guilty until proven innocent” device. I’m not buying it. Progressive should be focusing on people with a high number of claims and leave those of us with no claims and no moving violations alone.
But you can’t buy it. And progressive does raise the rates of those with a higher number of claims. Like all insurance companies do.
And what do you mean leave you alone? You want free insurance? That’s not how it works.
Sorry, I mean I don’t buy their clever twist on reality (not the device). …and I’m sure they already raise prices on those with a higher number of claims. When I say leave me alone, I mean give me the lowest rate possible based on the metrics available; driving record, age, geographical location, and yes even credit rating, even though that’s a croc as well. It bothers me how they offer you this device and claim this is for your benefit. The reality is that this is a carrot to attract more customers/profit. Do you really think Progressive wants show a decrease in revenue to stockholders? We, as a society, buy into this garbage not realizing that this is a free market system. If you really want a better rate, leave and take your money elsewhere. Simple economics suggests that any company will automatically lower prices once the demand goes away. No invasion of privacy and no need to “prove” that you’re a safe driver by allowing them into your car. When I think of the “Snapshot”, I think of a police officer coming to my door asking to mount cameras in my living room under the guise of an increased security level. I’d rather he mount his camera’s outside. This is a completely different scenario but just as ridiculous, if you ask me. I’m happy to pay for any service I receive. I’m a firm believer in the phrase “You get what you pay for” but don’t leave me hanging once I need assistance. How many times have you heard stories of denied insurance claims once someone is in need? They’re happy to take your money and invest it for profit but leave you out in the cold once things get tough for you. I once had a car that, unfortunately, was a little too popular with those willing to take what doesn’t belong to them. Using a tool of some sort, they pried my hood open in order to disconnect the battery so they could get access to the inside of the car. My insurance company at the time was progressive. Whatever deal they worked out with the body shop resulted in a “used” replacement hood. My car was in excellent condition. They took the cheap route putting a “used” part on my car rather than a new one. Read these posts. People are changing their lifestyles; counting off the seconds it takes to slow their car instead of concentrating on the road ahead and adjusting the times when they leave the house and where they want to go when they do leave. Don’t demean yourself to save a buck. If you want a better rate, shop around.
I fully support Ray’s comments. After my own Snapshot disappointment, I shopped around and cut my rate by nearly 50 percent. Let me make an analogy of sorts, because I firmly believe there is an element of psychology at work: Even if we haven’t had the experience of being the victim of a home/apartment burglary, an auto theft, etc., we’ve heard much about the victims’ sense of feeling personally violated. After a lifetime of nearly accident-free driving, a very high credit rating, never receiving a moving violation, etc., I felt personally violated when Progressive notified me that I didn’t qualify for any discount whatsoever. So my reaction, if you’ll pardon my French, was to say “F*** you” and shop for a better deal, which I found with little trouble. THAT is why there is an inherent risk of Progressive disappointing many people with its much-touted Snapshop program. And as the operator of a blog with more than 3,200 active readers, I won’t be hesitating to share my negative Progressive experience when the occasion is appropriate. And believe me, I know the difference between using the Internet to commit tortious interference with a company’s business vs. using it to influence people by simply sharing an experience.
You feel victimized because you have the same rate as before? That’s not quite a good analogy to being robbed. You could’ve shopped around anyway. 50% is quite a huge discount.
But then you risk the bait and switch that a lot of people say they find when they go to these lower rate places.
The reason you used snapshot was for a discount, but it didn’t occur to you to shop around as well? And now you plan to try to disrupt their business because you didn’t get that toy Santa promised you and now you’re sad? Seriously?
I find it hard to believe that with no hard brakes, no driving at bad times, and no driving long distances, you still got a 0% discount. I would be calling them up to find out how the hell that happened. Not trying to sell my past driving record as an exception for the device, thus making it pointless to even have it at all.
So what was your snap shot driving data like to get this no discount if I may ask?
Kyle Morgan, you are misrepresenting my previous comments. For one thing, I have already reported my Snapshot results on this message board on September 15, which in part were the following:
“I just completed my first 30 days of trial with Progressive Snapshot. During this initial test period, there was no day on which I drove as many as 30 miles. There was no day of driving between midnight and 4 a.m. Keeping in mind that every start and turn-off of the engine counts as a “trip,” I logged 156 trips, with a total of 34 hard brakes, or about 1 hard brake per 4.5 trips. My total mileage was 720. I live in an urban area -Henderson, NV, adjacent to Las Vegas- with many starts and stops and many traffic lights. For example, one 5-mile trip I make several times a week involves 9 traffic signals.”
So as you can see, I never stated that I had no hard brakes. My hard brakes averaged 1 per every 21 miles driven in a highly congested area.
In addition, I didn’t say that I started shopping around just because I wanted to shop around. Rather, I began looking elsewhere when Progressive jacked up my rate by a lot -more than $100 for the next six months- with no apparent reason for doing so. No claims since I became a Progressive customer about three years ago, and no violations.
I would never tell my more than 3,200 blog readers not to do business with Progressive, as it is a free market out there. But I WILL relate my personal experience and disappointment and urge them to shop around.
@David Well, I didn’t memorize each name here. I though you were someone new. But as I said before, 22% is a bit much to me.
So far in my first week I’ve driven 80 miles and have had one hard brake. Five of my round trips were just 2 miles. (I actually noticed I was taking a longer route to get there looking at the data, even though the time seemed about the same, so I’ll save a few dollars inadvertently from that). One 47 mile round trip to my sister’s house. And another 30 mile round trip to the city.
My one hard brake was one the interstate going to the city when someone that had stopped along side the road decided to get back onto a 60 mph traffic flow when I was there. Pretty much the only way he could have done it. There was no risk of a crash, but I wasn’t going to swerve lanes to avoid a “hard” brake” that I knew I was going to get. As this particular scenario is extremely rare, I don’t count it as something that is going to happen to me much, so I still expect a low number of hard brakes overall. In general I was expecting to be getting a lot of hard brakes the way people are talking here.
I’ve also driven once during medium risk times. I haven’t really changed my driving behavior at all. I think this might help me save gas just based on the advice given here about not rushing to the next red light. Driving slower in those (and some other cases) isn’t more dangerous.
I think people who do alter their driving behavior are trying to guess how the algorithm works. It could lead to your disadvantage if you don’t know what they are basing it on. I doubt it’s as simple as something like Total Discount = TD – (TD * [# of Hard Brakes / 100])
For me personally it would be more trouble to shop around as I pay almost nothing anyway. Just basic coverage. These Gieco people who are here for unknown reasons posting what they pay would be higher than what I would pay if I got even some discount. In any case I’m not going to waste my time switching companies every six months over a few dollars anyway.
Although I’m puzzled why people are coming here to bash on the program and say it invades their privacy (especially after they chose to use it). If you don’t want to use it, then don’t.
They don’t throw out the other system in lieu for this. It’s combined. It’s also voluntary. You’re right, it’s to lure in customers, but it’s better than All State’s giving you a check for a good driving record carrot. It’s like the people on this thread that think that since progressive sends you a postage paid box to send the device back in that it’s free. Of course it’s not free, you just aren’t directly paying for postage.
You also get discounts for staying a member. I don;t know if other companies do that. And yeah, that’s also to get customers.
And simple economics? Outside of a lemonade stand, where do you find that? A large company isn’t going to care if a few people leave if that means overall more people are joining.
I never heard of anyone being denied their car insurance when in need. Health maybe, but car?
And progressive did all the work when you had damage? You could just get money and have it fixed yourself.
Unless there lying in this one
One time a car rear ended me and I actually made a little money off of it.
But them knowing you pushed your brake is an invasion of privacy? Get real. That’s just a bit too paranoid for me to worry about. I’m too busy living in the real world to believe that I’m so special that everyone is spying on me. And even if they were, I still would care.
Honestly unlike most people I’d like to live in a world where that chip that’s implanted in me will allow me to buy stuff by walking in and out of a store and not have to wait a half hour in checkout lines. Stores like rite-aid already do that with the discount barcode thing.
I’m glad their computers are “watching” me. My credit card company has already block three different attempts of someone trying to use my card because they are tracking what I buy and comparing it to millions of others to determine that I unlikely was the one that bought that item.
Technology is taking us further in that direction. Only the paranoid are so afraid of it.
I am on my second go round with SnapShot. I drive a standard. The reason for me being on my second go round is my driving habits changed from the first time I had it and I also was at a renewal period. I had to wait 30 days in between the two times. My first go round I was driving a lot since I worked outside of my home. Now I work from home and drive my boys to school two miles from my house. I have not noticed my shifting counting as hard breaks. And I have learned since having it the first time, I will say it did change my braking habits. I have had a significant amount of less hard brakes this time around. I am only two weeks in but have noticed a difference. The only thing that may count against me is that I drove in the high risk area this past week when I traveled to Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights from Tampa. And I’m planning on taking a trip to my moms who lives 80 miles one way from me. I have noticed that I have had some slight electrical problems. ( I drive a 2006 Civic) and my temperature lighting seems to have issues. This seemed to start after I plugged in SnapShot the first go round and did not correct itself upon removal. I did notice that my rates did go up at renewal and was told it was the Florida rate increase. I paid $620.97 at renewal for full coverage, and have no accidents or tickets and at my previous renewal paid $596.66. A difference of $24.31 not a big deal to me. And I went from having PIP to full coverage at a slight increase. I will see what it says about SnapShot after my 30 days. And will update then.
I am also a Platinum member with Progressive.
Just wanted to give everyone an update. I went on the Progressive website and saw that it was time to return my snapshot device. I looked and my discount was the full 30%!!! I’ve replied a few times above by the name of ‘Terry’, and my initial discount was 24%, and I wasn’t expecting more this time around. I was averaging 350miles per week, and 2.1 hard brakes per week, with maybe 30 minutes of driving after midnight to 4 am. Like I told people on here, the hard brakes are the most important thing that Progressive is judging us by. That and how many miles the average driver in your area does. (Discussed this with a phone rep for the snapshot program, and she told me this) I figured with me now driving 350-400 miles per week, I wouldn’t get any discount, but since my hard brakes were so low, and let me tell you I struggled keeping them low in bumper to bumper traffic every day in sunny Orlando, I still got the max discount. So, consentrate on those hard brakes, as silly as it may be, because you can get the max discount! Good luck!
if you are driving a manual like me, you can pretty much avoid using brake at all!
i can just do engine braking and put my hand brake( i have unplugged the hand brake wire, so the brake light don’t light up)
easy to fool progressive snap shot for a term or 2, then promptly jump ship to get even lower rate from other company as they now also consider you as safe driver
I was under the impression Snapshot calculated braking based on your rate of speed change, not by actually sensing a brake applied. So does it really matter how you “brake” as long as you’re braking?
The only benefit of this is to the insurance company. Funny how upon renewal the rates were raised considerably. I also don’t buy that they don’t look at your speed. Obviously they record it so they have to look at it. I’d never ever put this in my car.
But they do look at your speed. How else would they know you made a “hard brake.” They just say they don’t care if you’re speeding, and that coupled with no GPS, they wouldn’t know what the speed limit was anyway. True that you have to trust that they aren’t tracking your location via other means.
Besides it’s safer to speed in some cases. Like if on the interstate everyone else is going 80, you don’t drive at 65.
Plus they’re an insurance company. They don’t care if you break the law if it isn’t causing crashes. Speed limits are made up by committees, not necessarily by how fast safe truly is.
Also they wouldn’t advertize something like not stopping fully as a metric. For example if they determined that people that don’t come to a full stop (at say a stop sign) aren’t as likely to get into an accident, people might start doing that and get themselves killed to save a few dollars. Why would that matter? In a heavily congested area, you pretty much have to stop and wait for the cars to pass. More cars = better chance of an accident. So they can indirectly tell that you are in a low populated area. That and the stop and go driving, all calculated from the speed you are driving. Being a safe driver doesn’t change the fact that others aren’t and rates go up for everyone to cover these accidents. So why should a driver in a low populated area pay more for somewhere they don’t drive?
Weird thing is is that if you grew up with the idea of only this device and they wanted to ADD the ability to check your credit rating, most people would be up in arms over that invasion of privacy as it’s more intrusive. Plus everyone can already see you on the street when you drive anyway so why shouldn’t the insurance company since it would affect how much you pay. Yet right now, no one is fighting the fact that they already do look at your credit rating. No one would believe that they would only look at the score. Who would trust a big company.
Also it’s HIGHLY unlikely that they would say that something like 70% (or whatever) of people save money if everyone’s rates were raised. They might have gotten away with that before the internet, but today… not possible. It’d be figured out by a few of the millions of people and make a few news stories to say the least. You may as well suggest that aliens land a ship in central park and only a couple of people tweet about it.
I also find it interesting that people are so bothered by this in their car, but could care less about buying a car that has OnStar, which makes this seem like a joke as far as intrusion goes,
As a retired Higjwayn Patrolman I would never place one of these in my car. This is entirely for the insurance companies benefit. Don’t think it’s not. There are many variables in using this that side with the insurance company in creating a larger bottom line. There are those drivers that know their habits and will still have this installed and then shocked to see how terrible their driving habits really are when confronted with the stats. It’s like asking a drunk driver to take a breathalyzer when they know they won’t pass. If you think saving 19% is a lot in an average of $250 a year or $20 a month is worth having a 25% justifiable increase in a shorter period of time – you better take a remedial math class. We all make mistakes. But it’s going to to one mistake that will be just that, a mistake. But by using this for one incident in court will result in years of misery whether civil or criminal.
I just finished the snapshot program at the end of Oct. 2012.
After the 1st 30 days on the snapshot, I received a 30% and 17%.
After 6 months I received 30% and 16%,
I received the renewal rate, but it was not much less then the original premium.
I did some math, but could not figured out how they came up with the new premium.
I called to speak to someone, they told me I did received the 30% and 16% discount. she was rude when I asked her to explain the saving, I hung up, then send them an email aking where is the saving. The first email respond with the same as the call I made, they just said I got the discount. I then send them a 2nd email with the math I worked out, Finally, they admitted the rate for the 2nd 6 months was higher then the initial rate. So this is how it work out to be using the snapshot, which was supposed to saving you money. Progressive did give me the 30% and 16% discount, but they did it by hiking my rate up, then gave me the discount of 30% and 16%.
1st 6 months premium was $629 without any discount.
2nd 6 months premium was $754 without any discount.
I want to share my disappointing experience with Progressive and its Snapshot device—
I took my first auto insurance policy with Progressive in August 2012 (this year) and I opted-in for the Snapshot device.
The device arrive by mail and I plugged it in as instructed. 2-3 weeks into driving, I realized that the device had had gone silent. I also received emails from Progressive asking to reset the device and I followed the procedures with no luck. The device had just stopped working.
I called up the customer care and spoke to a guy. THIS WAS THE WORST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER HAD. He *rudely* told me that the device had blown up a fuse on my car dash and that I had to get it replaced out of my own pocket! While the cost of a fuse may be trifle, the principle that their device blew up a fuse in my car (which was working without a problem for 11 years) and that I have to pay for it, is pathetic. Moreover, he had the nerve to suggest that, if wanted, I could file an insurance claim for the fuse!
I would have let go of the issue entirely if there was an iota of friendliness in his tone and if he had just apologized on behalf of Progressive for blowing up my car-fuse.
The last nail in the coffin was when I mailed the device back 2 weeks ago via USPS and I continued to receive emails from Progressive asking me to return the device. Finally, fed up, I called their customer care today and they confirmed that they received the device “today only”… yeah right!!
Thanks Progressive, I’ll definitely be in the market for a new policy as soon as mine ends.
Great detailed information about how the device worked/didn’t work for you. Linked to it in Techlife, my syndicated column – “Data Racing League: Cash For Your Driving” – http://bit.ly/XiErLq
I’ll bet the same people saying how outrageous this program is probably think it’s OK for the government to molest and spy on us. At least this program is voluntary. I want to prove that I’m a decent driver to pay less in insurance. How else am I supposed to do that?
I signed up about a few months ago and got a 10% discount. I average about 5 hard brakes, 4 hours of “high risk” driving and 170 miles per week.
The device does not always beep during a “hard brake”. You have to check online. And the biggest reason for the hard brakes are traffic lights. You get penalized for stopping safely at a red light, but you wouldn’t get the “hard brake” if you just rolled on through.
I’m hoping this is not a “bait and switch”, where the premium ends up being even higher than my original rate at the next renewal. But my last 6 month premium dropped by $100. If it does change, I’ll just switch insurance providers.
I’ve seen where a lot of people talk about how the Snapshot device has no effect on your alternator or battery, I have to say I disagree. As for the alternator, I can’t say one way or the other. It did not do any damage to our alternators. However, I have had the device plugged into three vehicles for about two weeks now. My Ford F-150 and Subaru Legacy have had no problems, but my wife’s Mitsubishi Eclipse is a differenct story. It causes her battery to discharge enough that the car won’t start. One night, my wife tried to start her car and the battery was too low to turn the engine over fast enough to start. I jumped started the car and she drove it for awhile. We called Progressive and the CS Rep. told us to remove it and see if the problem stayed. I removed it from the car and it started right up. I plugged the Snapshot device back in and the next evening, the car’s battery was drained again. I’ve removed the Snapshot device from the car, call Progressive and removed only that car from the program, and will be sending the device back to them today. Since it has not had any effect on the other cars, I am leaving it in them to see what effect it will have on my rates.
I wasn’t quite clear on one thing. I had the Snapshot device in when the battery was drained. I called the Progressive CS Rep. and he recommeded I remove the device and see if I still had a discharge. I waited until the next day before starting the car again and it started with no problem. Then I reinstalled the device and waited until the next day to start it and the battery was drained again. If it had been the battery, I would have expected it to drain overnight while it is good and cold outside, but it had no problem. It wasn’t until I plugged the Snapshot device back in that the battery was drained again. Has to be something with the combination of the car’s systems and the Snapshot device’s draw on the battery that leaves it too low to start the engine.
What a garbage program. I quit it after 7 days.
I drive a 5 speed and hardly use my brakes at all. I downshift until I have to use the brakes. I was averaging 1 hard brake a minute driving in city traffic in a hilly area. I took a 5 mile trip with 2 stops and got 5 hard brake incidents when I never came close to any other car and I was trying not to get a hard brake incident. It seems stopping to park, at the pump or in my driveway was considered hard brake incidents.
By Progressives standards if you are going 36 mph and stop in 5 sec’s you incur a hard brake incident because you HAVE to have at least 1 sec where you slowed down more than 7mph/sec.
In my opinion Progressive has no intention of giving discounts and is using this device to gather information that will be used for other than stated purposes.
I would question what happens in the case of a accident with you at fault. Do they check the device for how fast you were gong? Do they look at your speed if you are speeding since they have that ability?
I’m under the impression that police can already do this with your airbag computer if your airbag was deployed in an accident, but I can’t remember for sure. I know it was a big privacy rights debate earlier this year.
I plugged it in on a Monday and the next day my factory alarm shut the vehicle down. Now I am waiting for the drbIII readout to see if it was caused by the device. I have also contacted Progressive concerning this. The device plugs into a diagnostic port which CAN short out the electrical system. Just because it doesn’t draw much power doesn’t mean it can’t short the vehicles computer. The claim person told me that if the readout states that the Snap Shot was the issue, then they are going to cover it. Especially since it might be the computer or PCM that shorted out.
I live in the high elevations of northern Arizona. I signed up for Progressive and their snapshot service, with the latter beginning in early September, which means I’ll use it until March.
Overall I’m okay with it, I’m not much of a person for keeping secrets, so I’m not someone who feels my privacy is being violated by this…I really don’t care. However, I’m pretty unhappy with the inaccuracy of the system. We have had a bit of snow these last two weeks. Three times in the last two weeks I’ve got “hard brakes” because of the snow, slush, or ice. Once my wheels were spinning as I attempted to start moving, so I applied the brakes to stop the wheels and start over. Beep beep beep. It was only a hard brake because the wheels probably made the speedometer register a speed more than seven, and of course the brakes were used only to stop the spinning wheels as opposed to the momentum of my truck….so the wheels stopped very quickly.
Am I at a higher risk for an accident driving in the snow? Maybe so, I won’t argue with that. However, it irks me tremendously that this gets registered as a hard brake. I’ve got three in two weeks when I’ve gone a month with only one before it started to snow. Other times I’ve got four in one braking action, or two in one action. There should be a timeframe such that you can’t get more than one in any five or 10 second period, for example. I stopped for one yellow light, but you call it four?
I’ve felt like yanking it out when it gives inaccurate beeps. I have had hard brakes, but I’ve recently been tagged with some that weren’t. Chances are there are no means of recourse or ways to remove them. I can only assume if I complain, they will offer me to remove it, send it back in, and not get any discount. I’m still going to use it, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone in snowy areas. If you live and drive in the snow…wait until the summer to use this feature.
Finally, Progressive, call a spade a spade. I appreciate the opportunity to get an additional discount, but there are some anomalies in the system. Can anything be done to correct these or to challenge the system?
Have you considered that in a cold, snowy climate that they factored in that wheels spinning would tell them there’s snow.
Not sure what the complaint it. You’re getting a hard brake for a hard brake. I could understand if they had it written up as Hard brake while driving fast. But technically it is accurate.
It seems to me that you have an easy solution to the problem most wouldn’t. Just take you foot off the gas, or lightly use the brakes. If that’s not possible, then you’re just not happy with the phrasing they use?
You also want to rip the device out. Easily emotionally upset drivers tend to get into wreaks more often. 🙂
I find it odd that you and some others are getting multiple brakes in a row. I’ve slammed on my brakes a couple of times and never had that happen. I can only imagine this has to do with the sheer number of different vehicles that exist and making a universal perfect device for every type of car is difficult. I’d might want to inquire why you’d get multiple brakes for stopping once, but I doubt the people answering the phones would have any useful answers.
On a side note, I find it interesting that people call up progressive to try to learn how the device works so they won’t get hard brakes. I’m so sure the people answering phone for a living would have technical knowledge on how it. And why would progressive *help* you beat their system to artificially lower your rates anyway? Bad drivers will still get into accidents more often and I don’t think statically safer drivers would appreciate paying more because of this act which nullifies the value of the device in the first place.
I also find it amusing that everyone here is the greatest driver in the world. Especially the ones that have said they have gotten into accidents. 🙂
I recently signed on with Progressive. I bought the insurance for my 19 year old daughter & this is her 1st new car. I was with Allstate and Geico, whom had higher rates (although not by much). I am shelling out a whopping $175/mo premium and couldn’t help but try the Snapshot out. I installed it 12/11/12 and it recorded 5 days of driving, and then a “contact error” occurred. She does a lot of driving in the city, measuring 31.67 miles on the high day of driving with 5 hard brakes and 5.43 miles on a low day and in which the device encountered the error, so no hard brakes were recorded. I am afraid that her being a beginning driver (got her license at 18), there will probably be no discounts…but I’ll keep you posted either way.
I bought in to Snapshot almost a year ago. It’s a bait and switch. Even though I drive only during the daytime and log less than 5,000 mi/yr,I went from the 30% bait to 27% as an INITIAL discount. After another 6 months on it, it went down to 18%. When I called and eventually talked to a higher up at Progressive, I was told that hardly anyone has ever qualified for 30%, and that the average discount is 8%.
I started the Snapshot program November, 2012…after 30 days, I got the full 30% discount…I drive about 30 miles a day…during that trial period, I only have a total of 7 hard brakes—yay! My policy was due 12-25, of which they gave me the full 30% discount on the premium for the car that the Snapshot was used on…not the whole policy, which makes sense.
We have just today enrolled the second car in the program…we will see how this one goes since it is a 20 yr old female.
I do not have a clear understanding of how long I will have to keep Snapshot plugged in in the first car…but I don’t really mind it, since it makes me “mindful” of my driving. Most of the hard brakes I have had were because other people stopped short in front of me…no fault of my own. So far, I am happy with it.
Good for you susan! Glad to see its working for you. I got it for my daughter …she is 19 and she has alot (over 30 hardbrakes) & she has had it for about 30 days. So much for the discount idea. I am sure if I had it, I would be more mindfull. She is 19, not mindfull at all:)
One month and I’m taking it out for good and never ever putting it back in. I drove two hours and it says I took 27 hard brakes. I am a meticulously cautious driver and I find this offensive. Is this because of icy conditions and the ABS working? Is this my fault? Totally not worth it. Every other time it lists at least one incident of a hard brake as well.
I’ve written on this thread about my past unhappy experience with Snapshot, which caused me to leave Progressive for Esurance and a 50% savings, so I won’t be writing about that again.
But I WILL say this: In a prior life I was a public relations consultant, and it is clear to me that a corporate initiative that has generated the level of unhappiness I’ve seen here, even if the gripers are a minority, is not good public relations. Marketing programs such as Snapshot are concepts designed to build customer loyalty and good will, and when that doesn’t happen to a very substantial degree, there are obvious flaws.
I think the program has good intentions…the POSSIBILITY to save you a little cash, but the truth is, it does not for most good drivers. My problem IS with the driver…my 19 year old who doesn’t give a rats ass about saving money, especially my money (her mother). I am taking it out of her car, too. I get online to take a look and holy cow! Not only does she do a crazy amount (20 in one day), she also logs a lot of miles. It causes us to argue and its just not worth it. I am taking hers out and sending it back.
Not worth it? You don’t pay for it. You don’t even have to use it. You spend two minutes taking it out of a box and plugging it in your car.
If you don’t get any discount, then you’re just paying the same as before. In fact it would have taken longer to find this page to write that “complaint” up. Which doesn’t come across as suspicious at all 🙂
As for who fault it is? Who cares. Being a good driver and getting into an accident cost everyone else the same as a bad driver that gets into an accident. (Unless you can convince nature to pay for your wrecks)
No different than a person that drives at night. It may not be their fault that a drunk driver hits them, but it’s still more likely to happen at night.
Or how about those 100+ car piles ups that occur on bridges with foggy conditions. Sure you can always say it’s not their fault that someone else was driving too fast in low visibility, but since these type of wrecks are such a well known occurrence, the better driver won’t even go on the bridge in the first place.
Based on this thread, everyone believes they are as good driver. Come to think of it, I’ve never heard anyone say they suck at driving. This seems to contradict what I see out on the roads everyday however.
Just trying this program out starting this week. My policy is about to renew 2/28. I figure, even if they do jack up the rates next August, I’ll still get some sort of discount for the next six months. If my rates go up and they can’t explain, I’ll switch. Simple as that. May as well take advantage of the discount while I can. In my experience shopping around every now and then, my rates with Progressive are similar or lower than most other insurance companies for the same amount of coverage. I don’t think finding another rate similar to what I pay now will be a problem, if Progressive turns out to be shady. Better to know that now than when I need them to actually cover a claim.
Just got the first result of my daughters driving record…and Progressive will not be offering her the discount. Ha Ha. Didn’t think I could save a little money with her driving, but it was worth a shot. I will be taking the snapshot out of her car…or else her insurance premium will go up in the next few months.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This program is a PR disaster. Just go back and count all the negative posts in this thread and ask yourself if that’s what the company intended. I can just imagine the geniuses in the Progressive marketing department sitting around a conference-room table saying, “Well, four or five out of every 10 who try Snapshot will be turned off by it, but that’s not too bad.”
You might want to actually read those few negative posts. You’ve got your paranoids that think they’re being watched 24/7, your idiots that believe that a device plugged into a diagnostics port could somehow destroy an alternator??? (which makes as much sense as blaming it for ruining your relationship with one’s daughter), others that think a rate increase in the area was meant just for them, and the rest who are upset they didn’t get as much savings as they would have liked to have.
You find me a company as large as this one where you have 100% customer satisfaction and I’ll give you a gagillion dollars.
A few million people NOT complaining is hardly a PR disaster. Most companies would love to be able to say that.
“Marketing programs such as Snapshot are concepts designed to build customer loyalty and good will.”
Wrong. It’s made to pull customers away from other companies. You’d actually think a multibillion dollar company couldn’t figure out if this is costing them more money than not? C’mon.
Yeah, they’re all sitting around the board room #$%^ing their pants wondering what the next post HERE will do to their company stock. Please…
I imagine your two wreaks you got were from stopping to suddenly. Even when you are considered at fault, you can often avoid the accident by paying more attention. Insurance companies know that. They also know that if you get into an accident for any reason you are more likely to get into another one at some point.
May not seem fair, but statistics sure as hell don’t lie.
Just started Snapshot about two weeks ago. It still needs 13 more days of data to calculate my initial discount. So far, I’ve logged a total of 475.39 miles, with a grand total of 9 hard brakes, and no driving during high-risk hours. Most of my driving, except the little bit I do on weekends, occurs during medium risk hours on the drive to and from work.
The main thing that bothers me is that for hard brakes, it counts per second. So if you apply a “hard brake” for three seconds coming up to a light, it logs it as three separate hard braking incidents, rather than just one.
Overall, though, it hasn’t really given me any problems so far. I drive more than 30 miles per day, so I’m not expecting the full discount, but my previous insurance (State Farm) premium was around $692 every six months. I’m saving over $200 for an equivalent policy just by switching to Progressive. Anything extra will be a welcome bonus, and if I don’t get a discount, then no harm. I’ll send the device back when they tell me to, and just keep an eye on my rate. If it creeps up too high, I’ll shop around again. This is my first time changing insurance…I’d had State Farm for 12 years.
If I remember, I’ll reply here once I see what my initial and projected discounts are.
I got 0% discount! I’m so mad! Do you think I’m bad driver. Take a look. no driving during high-risk hours only low-medium risk.
Miles driven: 31.12 – 173.65 – 142.53
Brakes: 1.97 – 7 – 5.03
In the email tells me to leave the unit plugged. I’m SO MAD!
I totally agree Ricardo. I drove once in the high risk at 11:50pm to 12:30 am cause I attended a movie. I had 7 hard brakes the entire 30 days(4 were because a quick change in the light to red so I didn’t want to run it) and I drove an average of 20 miles a day. Its a crock to get the 30% or even close. My discount was 15%.
I don’t know if you’re a “bad” driver, and I’m not sure how to read the data as you presented it (looks like you get a hard brake for every 24 miles???), but for my last week, I drove about 120 miles with 0 hard brakes.
On average I drive about 53 miles (I don’t drive that often and that may have something to do with it,) with an average of 0.48 hard brakes. I was initially told I’d be getting the 30% discount after the first month, and have been using this for a few months now, so I have no idea what my actually discount will be.
Although based on what others here are reporting, I’m thinking I’ll be getting a good one. I’ve never met the person that thinks they are a bad driver. Usually everyone thinks everyone else is. 🙂
From what I’ve noticed from my own driving and braking, as long as you don’t press down on the brake the whole way, you shouldn’t be getting a hard brake. Just keep a good distance from the drivers in front of you and the moment you see them start to slow down, start braking yourself about a quarter of the way down. You shouldn’t be in too many situations where you HAVE to press down all the way, except to avoid a crash, which shouldn’t be happening to you more often than anyone else. You should never have to be stopping hard for a red light.
As I approach a light, I either will cruise along (I usually find that I’m actually just doing the speed limit), or start braking long before I get to it, in the event that I have to actually brake. If you press your foot down, you WILL stop if you gave yourself enough time. You don’t have to keep pressing further and further down.
And for all of those people that keep getting hard brakes at red lights, I’m not sure where you guys live, but where I live we have these intermittent lights called yellow lights. They give you that advanced warning that the light will turn red.
Generally speaking they’ve calculated that if you are going the speed limit, you will have enough time to stop when the light turns yellow, or just go thru it. You have to realize that the other side won’t see green until you’re side has at least turned red, and in some cases will stay red for all sides for a few seconds. And their cars start at 0 miles per hour, so it should be fairly hard to get hit by one of them.
If you can’t see the light, then your driving too close to a vehicle that’s bigger than yours. If your worry is that driving slower will bother others behind you, oh well.
There’s a reason it’s called the speed LIMIT. You can drive a bit slower than it. Now if you’re on the interstate and everyone is doing 70 in a 65, then it makes sense it also go that speed for safety.
In stop and go traffic, I don’t use the gas or brake that much. I can’t drive through the cars in front of me, so I just roll along more or less and slow down long before I have to actually stop.
For anyone that says they are getting multiple hard brakes from one stop, I’d call to find out about that. I’ve had to slam on my brakes once to avoid a crash and that only counted as one. But of course it is a computer system, and just like a program that’s buggy, to make a device that will run perfectly on every make and model car there is seems unlikely.
For that guy who said he got 7 hard brakes in a month, and is complaining that he’s ONLY getting a 15% discount. I’d think he should be happy they don’t take his license away. 😀
But seriously, in over four months, I got nine hard brakes. But the number of miles I drive is very low also. You can’t really complain that you’re at a lower risk of getting into an accident if you drive more often. It really doesn’t matter that it’s not your fault that your job or whatever requires you to drive more often or further.
I just installed Snapshot in my car a couple weeks ago and I cannot stand it. I think it must be malfunctioning because I noticed today that it started going off and I hadn’t even touched the brake. It also goes off every time I park and frequently while I’m driving even though I barely brake hard at all. My discount will be awful because of this in sure.
If your not a ” perfect driver”, which non of us are, you will probably get no discount. They track you driving so that they have ground to stand on when they increase your premium…of course that will happen when its time to renew your current policy. Some do get a minimal discount if they have zero hard brakes, but thats few and far between.
What are you basing this on? Many have said they have gotten a discount. And why would they need any “ground to stand on”? That makes no sense at all. Do you really believe that people are so stupid that they can’t figure out they are paying more after they use the deviec? They would just go to another company. And if they didn’t, who cares. 5 hour energy drink is super overpriced. I don’t see anyone on a mission to inform people they are paying $3 for 10 cents worth of caffine. And movie theaters charge $5 for a drink. No one needs to tell them they’re idiots. They wouldn’t understand anyway.
“Some do get a minimal discount if they have zero hard brakes, but thats few and far between.”
Where’s your source for this? Personal experience excluded.
I searched the internet for this avalanche of stories, but could only find whiny people who were complaining about how they didn’t qualify for the discount or much of one (almost all had terrible driving records they refused to think were bad, like .8 hard brakes per day). Not many saying they ended up paying more for using it though.
Quite a few, as here, say that it wasn’t worth the “trouble”. I never knew that taking something out of a box and plugging it in a socket was so damn hard. I guess that minute of your life can never be returned.
“Not many saying they paid more” ? There are two in the first five comments here, you also didn’t look ,,,,,,well I was going to say hard but apparently you didn’t look at all.
Read the last one as their are ‘surcharges’ that apply in many states and of course progressive has the right to change the rules at anytime so while they state now they won’t raise your rates they can tomorrow. They said I got a discount but it can’t be used with the pay in full discount also they told me my increase was due to state mandated increases however a friend with progressive had no such increase, hmmmmm. Just sayin’ BULL!
Cmon. 10 million users, and I’m supposed to be worried that you found 3 people that found a problem with it. The fact that not everyone here is complaining or saying their rates were increased means nothing to you?
It’s hard to take the complainers seriously. One even said that they only use this data to sell to other insurance companies. Where THAT come from. lol
It sounds like they’re just making something up with no basis whatsoever. I’m not even sure why they would even want to help their competitors.
The people complaining on here have also said that this little device has damaged their alternator. I’m waiting for the post that will somehow blame it for causing the car to run out of gas quicker. Dumb people love to make stuff up they know nothing about.
I got a discount and my rates didn’t go up. Who should I believe. Me or me? haha.
I also love the posts where people complain that progressive is doing this to make money. Now unless you just got off a plane from a socialized country, when did progressive become a non-profit charity?
And this link says something bad? http://smartshopyourcarinsurance.com/Blog/?p=50
[Keep in mind this blog was written Feb 21, 2012. With many details out of date. It’s $50, not $75 if you don’t return it; surcharge???, need to drive for 75 days?, etc. Nothing like the “updated” version to get your info from.]
All it says is a repeat of what you can find on the website itself. In a nutshell, it says that the device monitors your driving habits and uses that info as a basis for a possible discount.
Kinda like what the commercials say. I don’t know why anyone should think this is an automatic full discount device.
Although I found #7 funny. “Also, do you want to have second thoughts about jamming on your brakes if you need to stop suddenly, when another driver, cyclist, or pedestrian does something stupid?”
Really?! I’m going to have the time to think and choose to maybe run down a pedestrian because it might save me a few dollars.
Who’s the stupid one in this scenario? lol
You don’t have to be a neurosurgeon to know that your brain can’t possibly process information at that speed. You’re going to react on reflex, not whether it can save you money.
“I can’t imagine the device has any value to thieves, but that does not mean the device won’t be damaged or stolen if a thief or vandal breaks into your car.”
That silliness was actually the third on the list of problems. Of course they are going to change you if you break it. And if they charged you a small fee of $10, many people might not even bother to return it, which would add up in cost. And much like shoplifting, those “savings” are passed down onto customers.
“Know the rules & fees in your state to make sure the Snapshot program is worth your time, and will save you enough money.”
Thanks for the tip. What even an eight year old knows is being stated here. No one ever said you have to switch to progressive just because they made a commercial.
Oh and progressive can change the terms and conditions at any time? You mean like my credit card companies, bank, websites, ads for products in stores and online, every computer program’s user agreement, a Netflix subscription, my high speed internet provider, etc, and of course all other insurance companies policies? That odd thing we never see?
All insurance companies have in their rules that they can change the rates. How are you singling out progressive and what does it have to do with this device anyway? My rates were going up and down long before I even heard of this thing.
And you’re saying that the state mandated increase is a lie? This you can’t verify?
Did your friend have the exact same policy as you? What was added? Was he paying for that already?
Do you even know what your policy covers. The fact that you are learning about progressives rules from a blog is just weird. They do send you all this information, so none of it should be a surprise.
Years back the state I live in changed the rules and it forced me to pay for coverage that I wasn’t paying before. So yeah, a rate can definitely go up and someone elses might not if they are already paying for that.
Pretty much common sense will tell you that if you have to search this hard to find anyone that complain about a product, when millions aren’t having the same problems. It says a lot.
For what it’s worth: The June issue of Consumer Reports magazine contains ratings of 24 auto insurers. Progressive ranks 22nd.
Progressive increases your rate, but tell you it is ‘a rate increase across the state’ when asking a friend that has progressive and their rate didn’t increase whom should I believe? I’m glad they removed tech fee as I did it under the my rate program, this new snapshot tells you how bad of a program, they had to change the name. I left progressive because of this and will never return. Progressive has no idea why you braked, the fact that you slowed greater than 7mph in one second is a hard brake, this is not crap goes flying speeds, many wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to come to a stop slower so it does trigger a hard brake. Say you are going 25mph you would have to take 36 feet to come to a complete stop in more tha 3.3 seconds and that is coming close to a hard brake by deaccelerating at 8mph per second. It is a scam to gather your data and sell it to other insurance companies as a basis for rate review. Not to mention it can damage your vehicle ESP. If you have onstar, check out others comments online. More at autosavant and dslreports. I can’t believe how many people also had their rates increase and told ‘state mandated increases’ sounds like a lawsuit waiting, sign me up.
You just don’t get it do you? Progressive isn’t trying to find out HOW you drive, they already know that from your history of accidents, tickets etc. What they want to know is WHERE and WHEN you drive and can tell this from the so-called “Hard Brakes” (Which, considering the threshold deceleration speed and the multiple numbers of “Hard Brakes” assigned to single braking incidents, are essentially a sham!) the hours and the distances. The more so-called “Hard Brakes” you have indicates, as do your driving times, that you are in dense traffic. The more people on the road the more chance you have of having an accident. Simple! As for increased rates, you not only have to thank the state you live in and its actuarial odds but the AREA of that state! In other words, if you live and drive in Miami you have lots more chance of an accident or vandalism than if you live out in the panhandle boonies. As for damaging your electrical system: Hardly a chance there. If you have an onboard digital clock they use about the same current and there is no concrete evidence that the circuitry in this Snapshot harms anything. I’m trying the Snapshots in four of my vehicles and at this point the jury’s still out. Just hit 30 days and IMNTBHO we should be getting a substantial discount. We’ll see.
I had Progressive 2 years in Florida for my old car and worked great till they have that State mandated increase excuse, then I changed to Geico and changed my car to a new year model, I will say Geico is pretty fair in their pricing but I can’t help to think saving a least a $100 that’s why I’m trying Progressive snapshot right now.
My questions is, how much will the policy increase for the renewal and if its worth it… Geico offers the 5 year good driver accident forgiveness which I will qualify soon so for this very reason I may stay with them.
to the creator of the Blog, thanks very detailed.
While you pose a question I think many of us are asking, I’m not sure that anyone will be able to give you a realistic or informed answer. Progressive contends that your policy can’t increase at all as a direct result of Snapshot, so it’s all speculation.
May 5, 2013 at 2:48 AM
For what it’s worth: The June issue of Consumer Reports magazine contains ratings of 24 auto insurers. Progressive ranks 22nd.
For what’s it worth a random website places it at 6/10 and doesn’t mention the snapshot program.
I don’t know what that’s worth. But vs an article that can’t be read without paying for it, it’s about as useful. Don’t think that just because some guy work at a magazine, he’s somehow has a better opinion about snapshot than anyone else.
And btw, how does it rank 22/24 when snapshot is unique to the company? You’re comparing apples to oranges.
Good point, though I think other insurance companies will jump on board soon with this technology. Which begs the question–are we all eventually going to have to drive with these plugged in to get insurance?
In a free market? I doubt. If too many people dislike something, any company that promotes that they do NOT force you to use it will start taking their business.
I doubt there’s any evidence that it would help you drive better. The government certainly can’t force a company to use this to help people save money as it’s touted as doing.
I’m not sure how you can get from where we are now with what this does to … they will force you to use it in order to get insurance….
That’s a heck of a leap, and insurance companies would rather keep customers than lose them.
Plus you have to have insurance to drive on the road. If your diagnostic port is damaged in some way, are you going to tell the government, sorry I have to drive without insurance because this thing won’t fit in right.
i don’t think insurance companies will push for the legislation to force people to have these in their cars. The resistance to that would be extremely large. It just doesn’t fit in with my non “1984” view of actual reality that some people think we don’t live in.
If it ever does happen, I’d probably dead of old age, because the world doesn’t change that fast.
I don’t think it will ever be forced by legislation, but I think if enough companies in the free market adopt it, you will be penalized financially for not using one of these devices because the company “doesn’t know how you drive.”
And I don’t believe for a second that this helps you drive better…you can’t change people’s ingrained habits.
But not everyone even has a diagnostic port. And people are predictable. Not everyone will allow this and they will go to other companies. I don’t see how companies will be able to legally drop people that have broken or missing diagnostic ports anymore than they can drop you for having a broken tail light.
Also companies don’t care how you drive. They make money whether you get into an accident or not. This is just a tactic to lure people to their company. I can’t imagine any scenario where they will feel the need to force it onto anyone.
I think for those people who are genuinely interested in saving money, like myself, whenever that thing beeped, I learned that I was braking wrong. Also, I learned that in my state of Ohio, there are no speed limits over 70 mph, and since it tracks speed, I am guessing and probably betting, they look at that. So, I never go above 70 mph even on a 65, whereas without the snapshot on occasion, I would go close to 75 in that same 65 zone to flow with traffic, now I let them pass me.
It has made me a calmer driver, but I do get infuriated everytime that thing beeps at me…6 times in the first week, I was ready to yank it and return it, but I figured maybe I should change my current driving habits first and see what happens, and sure enough, not a single beep since them. Now, I gamed it a little bit and the new driving habits aren’t teh best, but if that is what they want, no beeps, that is what they will get:) from me anyway…
@Matthew Cmon. Law makers set the speed limits, not insurance companies. lawmakers will even raise the limits for reasons such as to incentivize more traffic. Safety is rarly an issue when setting these artrabity limits
Driving faster than the speed limit when everyone else is also doing so will reduce the chances of getting into a wreck. Insurance companies couldn’t care less if you break some law. Why would they? They’re not government. Even the police don’t care probably since it seems to be mostly tax collection. Want to contest a speeding ticket? Show up on the Saturday if it is that cop’s day off. See how much they care to show up. Very few will.
This insurance companies isn’t trying to fine people. They’re trying to get more customers.
The beeping would only occur is you’re slowing to fast, which is usually due from driving too close to someone in front of you. If you just pace yourself, you’ll get to your destination just as quick. I’m not sure how it’ll make you a bad driver.
You said “if needed, I would roll past stop signs and into intersections or get really close to people that stopped in front of me to avoid a hard brake”
If you drove normally, you wouldn’t find that stop signs are popping out of nowhere. Or that if you allowed a good distance between you and the car in front, you would find that you aren’t slamming on the brakes to stop when they do that. Which is good for your rear end since the guy behind you may hit you if you keep stopping short like that. You would even save gas, because you’re not racing to the next light or stop sign.
You should always take your time when driving. Most people aren’t used to driving right, which is why about 100 people die each day and who knows how many more minor to major wrecks each day with just injuries.
BTW the rates you pay are based on these wrecks, which is why I like the program. People that drive bad are of course more likely to get into a wreck. So why should I or anyone else pay for their “driving skills”.
The ratings for auto insurers are not based on the opinion of “some guy working at a magazine.” It is based on a survey completed by many thousands of Consumer Reports subscribers. You can decide for yourself if the information has merit.
I don’t know. I still haven’t read it. What does it say about the snapshot program vs others?
Progressive may suck completely, but what does that have to do with a single discount program they have, which is what this page is based on.
Hope your esurance serves you well, I talked to them to get out of progressive, and yes, they were cheaper, but they did not offer the same coverage I currently have through progressive, and should you get in an accident, they admittedly told me they do not have any accident forgiveness; in other words, your rates WILL go up should you be in a fender bender and it will negatively affect you should you need to make claims. Yes, it is negative on all companies, but considering how long I have had progressive, I’m in a ranking that has accident forgiveness. I have never made a claim and would at least like to think that they would stand behind me should I need to make a claim after being with them for 6+ years. I didn’t feel comfortable with esurance after asking about coverages and specific types of coverages, they definitely weren’t as comprehensive as progressive… hope it doesn’t bite you!
I just got my 30 day initial discount and wanted to share here since I have been following this thread. Here were my stats first:
Factor Your Weekly Avg. Last 7 days Difference
High risk driving time (hr:min:sec) 00:00:00 00:00:00 00:00:00
Miles driven 179.39 183.39 4
Number of hard brakes per 100 miles 1.2 0 1.2
I had 6 hard brakes my first week and then after that, I had none. I drive 14 miles one way to work, the same coming back with a little extra driving on top of that. I had some trouble with the hard brakes at first, since I used to deliver Pizzas and liked to stop at the last second. I just had to re-train myself to pay attention way ahead of time, stretch out my braking, increase my following distance, and basically (I am not going to lie) if needed, I would roll past stop signs and into intersections or get really close to people that stopped in front of me to avoid a hard brake. In the event I thought I would wreck, I would hard brake, but I would push it to the limit to avoid the hard brake. I can confirm that I received 2 hard brakes at once for a 2 second deceleration that it counted twice,
Anyway, you can figure my averages above, but I never drove at their high risk times so I think that has a lot to do with it. I am getting an initial discount of 21 % and that is a savings for me of $110 for the 6 month premium! Whew…I need that money so this is great. I am expected to have my rates drop at my next policy renewal based on the length of time I have had my policy, will be 3 years, so even if this does change to a lower percentage I am still pumped and I will still be receiving another discount to help me out.
I hope this helps some of you out, and I wanted to mention that my policy started 5 days before the 30 day window on the snapshot, so I called to see if they could check the results early so I wouldn’t have to pay the full amount and wait for a refund, and they said no…so, if you are thinking about the snapshot, get it early, and once you do, take your time when driving:)
So far my experience with the Snapshot program is good. I am only 2 months into it but I have a renewal this month and the latest discounts for car A and car B are 23% and 12%. Intially they were 13% and 8%.
With this program, I have learned to brake alot earlier and control my own discount.
The cars we own are a 2009 chevy cobalt ss sedan, and 2012 chevy cruze eco.
My premium for both cars has been successfully reduced by $118 for the renewal 🙂
Im a bit shocked that the OP found Progressive increased their premium substantially by the next renewal period. I will have to keep an eye out for that. My guess is they saw too many hard brakes and considered you a “rate sucker”. My weekly average hard brakes are 2.91. mileage is 94 per week for the cobalt.
My wife on the other hand is having a hard time deciphering what a hard brake is but she’s getting better. she drive more than 30 miles a day with a weekly average of 325mi. averaging 5.67 hard brakes per week.
Still she has a discount applied to our policy so 30 miles a day sounds more like a recommendation than a requirement.
what about night shift workers, i would be driving after midnight for approx. 15 minutes, 5 nights a week
I must admit that I’m amazed at most of the comments above. Apparently most of you have no idea what Progressive is doing and why. As well, ANY discount is more than you are getting now so if you save a few bucks *shrug*. I currently have units in four of my five vehicles, three of which just today hit the 30 day mark. I am now waiting for my initial discount. But moving right along, what Progressive is doing is NOT monitoring HOW you drive but the conditions under which you drive. In other words; all of the data they are collecting points them to your odds of having an accident based on 1) Distance driven. 2) Time of day during which you drive that distance and 3) Conditions you drive under AKA “hard brakes.” Essentially your odds of having an accident go up when you drive lots during times when others on the road may either be impaired or there may be lots of them, and in congested areas. Face it, no matter what Progressive says, a deceleration of 7 mph/second is NOT a hard brake, but many of them indicate that you are driving in a congested area thus more chances for an accident. You can be the world’s best driver, as most of you posting seem to think you are, but if you drive lots in an area that is congested or when others may be impaired, your chances of having an accident go up, thus Progressive’s odds of having to pay go up, thus your rates won’t go down. I also have had no problems with any of my cars’ electrical systems. I’ll fill you in on the data and discounts later but just generally my most “hard brakes” are 1.37 per week. All the others are below 1.0 and no driving during the “red” hours. We’ll see . . . .
Just as an FYI. I switched to progressive last July and did the snapshot and got a 9% initial discount and 9% at renewal. At my 6 month renewal, my rate for my 2006 Acura increased 11.8%. At my next 6 month renewal, my rate increased another 17.4%. All with a perfectly clean driving record and a 4 mile commute to work. That’s a 31% increase in 1 year. When pressed about the increase all I get is a lot of bs about across the board increases. Guess who is no longer a progressive customer?
Can’t blame you, and if they do that to me I’ll be joining your ranks!
So I was considering on getting the snapshot for a discount, but it seems 2/3 things they check for, will already disqualify me. I work at midnight, so I constantly drive around during those “high risk” times. Which I see more accidents during the day than I do at night. Also, I drive 4 hours out and back, so a total of 8 hours of driving every Saturday. Is there any exceptions? Or do I have to continue to pay up the ass with this company?
OK – UPDATE: After 30 days we got the following discounts on our four vehicles:
30% – 80 miles / week and 0.17 hard brakes. Projected at renewal 30%.
25% – 28 miles / week and 0.50 hard brakes. Projected at renewal 28%
15% – 81 miles / week and 1.70 hard brakes. Projected at renewal 25%
One vehicle yet to be analyzed.
There was no high risk driving but there was about half in the medium area.
All in all we’ve saved about $150 over six months. Not bad, even though I’m disappointed in the initial 15% on the last car. It seems the mileage aside, it is the number of hard brakes that ends up controlling most of the discount and I am totally at odds with the way they are computed and the metric that determines them. IMNTBHO it’s totally asinine but you can’t fight city hall and I’ll take the hundred-and-a-half over nothing at all!
Will update again if warranted.
Wow, you must hardly drive at all. I am currently at 216 miles/week and an average 1.11 hard brakes per 100 miles. I also have no high risk driving time, most all of my driving is in the medium. I also am projected at 25% discount right now, it’s about 2 months into my snapshot.
My sister had the same amount of hard brakes as me the first 30 days, but I drive so many more miles than her that my hard brake average was nearer the 1/100 and hers was nearer the 2/100. It would appear that is really what they are focusing on, but I haven’t seen or heard from anyone driving more than 300 miles a week with low hard brakes or someone that drives in the high mileage times…I would be interested in that information. I continue to avoid the hard brakes in hopes that I can get the 30% while still maintaining my miles driven…
We have five vehicles, one of which is a pretty hot pre-96 sports car that we can’t put Snapshot into. If you add up all the miles my wife and we drive about as much as you, maybe even a bit more. Progressive’s “Hard Brake” metric really peeves me, especially that it’s additive over time-per-incident instead of solely per incident. For example: If I REALLY tromp on them and those big vented Brembos and tacky radials haul me down from say, sixty-three to zero in four seconds instead of nine, would that have counted as three had brakes instead of nine — or what? Alas, I have no way to find out.
I maintain that if I have to mash ’em that hard it’s more indicative of a problem that if I take it from 63 to zero in nine seconds or a bit less, but as I understand it the latter would count more against me more than the former. Thing is I can’t get any real information out of Progressive. Their “Snapshot Group” is either relatively clueless or won’t give out any real information. From my conversations with them I’m voting for the former. My guess is that I’d have to talk to an actuary and a programmer and that ain’t gonna happen!
In any case, ATM I’m happy with the aggregate discount.
I’ve gone from around 20 to a stop very quickly on 2 separate occasions and it doubles the hard brake. My sister just got hit with a triple hard brake (counts it as 3 separate hard brakes) for 25 to zero at a light she wasn’t expecting.
I’m not saying those weren’t hard brakes, or that we shouldn’t have been more mindful. I am just pointing out from what I have experienced and read, anytime your car decelerates at 7mph or greater per second it is a hard brake, even consecutively.
I am really happy with my discount and so far love the program, but every time I hear that beep, I want to yank that thing out and throw it…then I remember I am saving over $100 by keeping it there.
I’m just on day 3 with having the device in 3 our our 4 insured cars. One car is rarely driven, so good thing to know I need to start it up for a minute everyday it is not driven, so it can record and I can get credit for the day. I guess I’m not understanding why it is so hard to NOT have hard brakes, as so many commented on here. Granted, I’ve only had 7 trips so far with 124 miles, but I have had no hard brakes. Half of my 40 mile (each way) commute to work (3 days a week) is city driving, where I have to stop at a lot of traffic lights and any non work commute driving I have done is also city driving and I have had no hard brakes yet. I also read somewhere that the less coverage you have on your vehicle to begin with will also result in a lower % discount. Two of my 3 cars have full coverage and the car that sits in the driveway most days does not. It will be interesting to see if/how much of a discount I will get. Honestly, I’ll be happy with anything I get that helps the budget. I have had Progressive insurance for 2 years now and so far my rate has never gone up each renewal period – it usually goes down $5-$15 a month.
I just finished my 30 days and got 30% initial discount and 30% renewal discount.This is a huge discount if it is applicable. I have to keep plugging the device for 6 months to get the final and renewal discount.I have already paid in full for six months and I don’t know how they give me back my 30% initial discount , which is $155.They also changed my insurance declaration page from$720 to $489 which I have already paid for six months for full coverage )
I drive carefully and I usually keep my speed at 40mph ( Hwy max.60mph). I live close to my work place and my round trip is just less than 3 miles per day (for 5days=15 miles)unless I go to shopping or somewhere else.
For my 30 days, I have 7 hard brakes( 3 in one day, 2-in one day twice) and I drove 85 miles total in 30 days . My Weekly average is around 21 miles with one hard brake per week
I usually drive 1pm to 11:30 pm..which is medium risk( 12:am to 4am is high risk)
I will update about my initial discount ,if they give me back and of course my final renewal discount which is after 5 months.
By the way, 30% is the max.discount they can give in this program.
I don’t think they give you anything for the 30% initial discount. That’s just a projection of what you might get. And I don’t believe that it’s retroactive. It just applies to you after on your next bill. That’s what happened to me. You could just call them to see.
But you do 40 in a 60? I don’t think too many people will say that’s safe. If everyone is doing 80, so do you. Even my driving instructor made mention of this years back. You drive at the speed of the flow of traffic, whatever that is.
So I got my snapshot like 22 days before I had to start my new policy. So the 30 day initial discount that I got didn’t go into effect until 8 or so days into the new policy. I pay all at once which saves me $60. Well, I saved like $120 on my discount, but they only rated that for what I had left on the policy period, which was almost all of it. They still took a couple bucks off, but they reimbursed the payment method a few days later. I pay with my card, and my card got that money back. I called and they said that is how they would do it, if pay by check, they send a check, and so on.
I thought you might find that helpful because that was super helpful to me! I am currently into month 4 of the snapshot with a 30% projected discount.
Here are my stats:
Factor Your Weekly Avg. Last 7 days Difference
High risk driving time (hr:min:sec) 00:00:29 00:00:00 00:00:29
Miles driven 235.31 265.41 30.1
Number of hard brakes/100 miles 0.85 0 0.85
I do not drive in high risk times, which is evident by my average of 29 seconds driving time. I drive A LOT of miles, as you can see at around 235/week, but that means I hard brake around 1-2 times per week to get that .85/100 hard brakes. To me, that is the major contributing factor, the hard brakes. I get SO ANGRY when that thing beeps, and I have to remind myself that it is there to tell me I am doing something wrong. So I calm down, increase my following distances and pay more attention.
I hope this info helps, and I hope they stop watching me now that I am at 30%…I literally just got bumped up today!
Mine never beeped. And I’m glad it didn’t. It’s not like I can do anything about it after the fact. I got about 0.5 average/week. From reading this and people saying that they could call up and have the beep turned on, I’d think you could have it turned off as well.
They actually did refund $155 .I checked my credit card and the money is already there.
This is just update
. I checked my credit card account and They have already did a refund to my account. WOW!!! Unbelievable ..I got also e-mail saying If you paid in full ,”We will refund the amount the way you paid ” or” If you pay monthly we credit you the amount to the next payment.”
It was 30% initial discount which had to be over$200 , according to my calculation , but they gave me back $155.I am still happy with this refund.
I think they have different kind of calculation to give refund, otherwise 30% of $700 would be $210.
So, I can tell that Snapshot initial discount is real and applicable, BUT I read that a lot people say their renewal is going up even though progressive promised to lower according to the projected discount. I can’t wait to see my projected (renewal) discount after 5 months.I will definitely update the truth here to help other people.
The 30% discount doesn’t apply to the entire premium. It applies to a few things that make up the majority of your premium.
In the Terms & Conditions on their site, it states:
“The Snapshot discount does not apply to all coverages. We apply the discount to the premium for the three major coverages: bodily injury, property damage and collision, but the premium for some of the other coverages or expenses may not be discounted.”
Hi, I’ve had my Snapshot plugged in for 27 days and I just got my first “Hard Brake”. I was passing the hardware store and suddenly thought of something I had to pick up. When I hit the brakes, the device made 3 beeps and I knew what had happened.
I’m almost done with my initial 30 day discount, so I’ll let y’all know how it comes out. I live in a small town without any stop lights at all and work only 3.5 miles from work. We usually drive to the “big city” once a week.so I average about 23 miles a day travelling mostly “Low Risk”.
So I had the snapshot plugged in for the full 6 months…ugh. The website showed that I was consistently at a 21%, periodically I would go to 25 or down to 17, but generally hung at 25%. I had a disc slip in my back and had to increase my mileage by about 50 miles a week for doctor visits, any my lack of patience got the best of me more often…
Anyway, if you read my stats above, you know what I got for my 30 day discount. Here is what I ended my 6 months with:
High Risk Driving Time Weekly average(hr:min:sec) – 00:00:49
Miles Driven Weekly Average – 247.92
Number of hard brakes per 100 miles – 1.14
I ended with a discount of 30% and that saves me $152 on my next policy!
I hope that the info I have provided helps anyone thinking about getting the snapshot. This is great to save so much, and if I pay all at once I can save $40 more, so almost $200 off my policy is huge!!
If my rate goes up at all on the next policy renewal I will surely let you all know here first. Take care and ease off the brakes!
Good article. I recently also wrote a review of Snapshot on my blog. I think the fact that if you are not completely satisfied, you may return the Snapshot device, with no further car insurance purchase obligation is huge. I would say try it out you really don’t have anything to lose.
Received my 30 Day Initial Discount of 30% today.
1) I drive average of 20.5 miles per day (615 miles for 30 day period).
2) I drove 75% Low Risk (460 miles) / 25% Med Risk (155 miles) / 0% High Risk.
3) I had 1 hard break for an average of 0.03 hard brakes / day.
4) I drive a 1996 Ford Explorer v8 AWD.
5) My policy has two vehicles – 1995 v8 Thunderbird & 1996 v8 Explorer.
6) My police has two drivers – 46 year old male & 48 year old female.
EDIT: I’ve read how other people are posting their stats, so let me try this again:
High Risk Driving Time: 00:00:00
Miles Driven Weekly Average: 143.5
Hard Brakes / 100 miles: .001
I have two different cars. I used snapshot for 30 days and got a 30% discount on one of the vehicles. Returned it in 6 months as they requested. Ordered another for my other car. Used it for 30 days an got a 30% discount on that car as well. I pay quite a bit for insurance, mainly as I have a young driver on my policy (but less than through other companies), but with snapshot, I am saving $500 a year. How could I possible complain?
I question the accuracy of this device. My family is currently covered by Progressive, All 3 cars have the Snapshot and all were installed the same day. I checked the data online from the beginning and on day 4 the data from my husbands car disappeared. I called the technical support group for the snapshot program t o make them aware of this problem and I truly believe they think this device is 100% error free and I was from another planet when I told them their program seems to have a kink in it, to. In addition there are days my daughter drove her vehicle and no data was collected and on my car I have hard brakes noted online when the device never even gave off the beep. I question the credibility of this device and think the reps at progressive should be more receptive to the fact that their gadgets aren’t perfect. After the first month I did get 30% off my vehicle, my husband received 7% and my daughter received nothing
I just used Snapshot for 2 months and I did not accept their offer for a discount of about 12% mainly because their discounted quote was still above my current Geico rates. But I’m sure many people out there are saving some good money with Snapshot.
Generally, I like the idea. Safe drivers get to pay less and risky drivers pay up for their share of the risk. But, I have a big complaint about the device. I think these devices itself is a big distraction with their ominous three beeps. I found that the drivers with these devices were very conscious not to do a ‘hard braking’ and end up either jumping red lights or coming dangerously close to bumping the car in front.
And here’s another reason why this devices could be potentially dangerous. Most traffic lights have the yellows light up for about 1 second for each 10 miles of posted speed. So on a road with posted speed of 50 miles the yellow stays on for 5 seconds before red. Now, you might have 5 seconds or more to stop depending on how close you are to the stop line. If you are the kind of expert driver who can brake at a uniform deceleration, you need to decelerate more than 10 miles per second to stop before the red light turns on. But if you are an average driver like me who is not a precision braker, chances are high that you will hear that depressingly mean beeps.
So I kind of feel that Progressive is inadvertently penalizing safe drivers by setting the 7miles/second deceleration rule. At least, they should have given an option to turn off the beeps so drivers can concentrate on their driving.
I have it in my car right now and am obsessed with checking my stats on a regular basis. However, I’m confused. I want it done and over with and out of my car ASAP. Am I supposed to leave it in for the full 6 months, or is it just until the initial data is collected, which would be for another 8 days?
I mean, it’s totally interesting to see those stats, and the graphs, and the statistics, but it’s totally intimidating considering how much money I hope to save, but at this point, highly doubt I will. Looks like the statistics for this author’s vehicles were much better than mine are, and he still wasn’t even able to get half of the 30% maximum discount amount. Its sensitivity to hard braking irritates me to no avail; I do not believe that it’s the fairest measure of driving ability, and the fact that it counts the decelerations per second as individual hard brakes, as opposed to per brake session, is even more alarming. I’m essentially being penalized for having a quick reaction time and for road factors out of my control, as conceded in the article that the hard stop analyses more realistically indicate the driver’s situation (i.e, traveling in rush hour on main roads, or in urban driving).
But the mileage counter is eye-opening. I was aware my trip one-way to work was around 25 miles, and I work over nights, so the trip to work counts for the mileage on one day, and the trip back counts for the next. I’ve also realized that my preferred route of taking the interstate is, in my opinion, a time saver and all-around easier (once I’ve gotten on the interstate, anyway), but weirdly, not the least amount of miles. So should I consider taking another route to save on some miles? And any other round trip taken during a day is significantly more time-consuming than I ever realized….
Progressive will ask you to leave the device in until prior to your next renewal, usually 4-6 months based on my and others’ experience.
I got tired of mine beeping when I brake hard,swerve to miss a pothole or do a legal U turn. Progressive sends me emails about them. I disconnected it two weeks ago and they sent me another email today telling me they haven’t heard from it and to reset it by disconnecting for 10 minutes. I almost threw it out the window a few times. They might raise my rates.
Hmm from what i see on here, most of these reviews are pretty negative; if they increase my premium i am switching, there is no reason why they would charge you more for participating in a program that is supposed to be free. Thats like asking: “please increase my premium for no reason”… i have been using the snaptshot for about 15 days with no “hard breaks” so lets see how this goes.
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