This is a follow-up on a post I wrote last September.
I wrote about how I agreed to allow my new car insurer access to my every move in exchange for a lower rate. I sold my soul to the devil and already had a bit of buyer’s remorse the decision. From the reader comments I received, plus some
criticism constructive feedback sent offline by friends of mine, the consensus showed a clear distaste for such an invasion of privacy. The message was clear: “Dude, what are you smoking?“
So I’m here now to unequivocally report back that you were all correct: it really was a most unpleasant experience. It was like being on an episode of Big Brother without having any Power of Veto at one’s disposal.
Thankfully though, it all ended on a pretty good note: We got to keep the approximately $70 savings rate that was conditionally offered by being officially deemed as safe drivers.
As a reminder, we switched from the company represented by the green gecko to the ubiquitous woman below, who also wins the prize for best application of 1960’s-quality Avon product.
The further good news is that I will no longer have to participate in this monitoring program to keep our present rate. Which is another way of saying that this company will accordingly start to raise premiums wish each successive period just as it always would. All I really accomplished was to slow down the clock a little.
So was it worth it? Well sure, now that it’s all over and I survived unscathed. But I must admit that it probably worked out well because of the following conditions that are unique to us:
- We are like the proverbial old lady who drives to church and the supermarket only. Our daily routines are such that we’re out pretty much only in the mornings for gym, shopping, perhaps lunch, and that’s it. We’re usually home by 1:00 or 2:00pm at the latest and really don’t go out all that much in the evenings.
- I work only one day a week for my part-time job, an 80 mile round trip drive to Jacksonville.
- We live in a relatively quiet tourist town instead of a major metropolitan area with bustling, crowded roads.
- Neither myself nor Gorgeous are what you would call aggressive drivers. I always assume that the guy in front or back of us has a gun and is ready to shoot at the slightest hint of a provocation (note to international readers: I know!!).
That damn device under the driver’s panel is touchy like you wouldn’t believe. It is activated by any sudden or hard press of the brake pedal. It was maddening enough when a car would suddenly swerve in front of me, and I had no choice but to slam on the brake to avoid hitting it. But as aggravating as that was, I never blamed the Avon Lady; I figured correctly that it would be but a blip on whatever scale they were using to grade me.
There were, however, moments when it beeped in a tragically comical fashion; such as when I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic outside of Jacksonville city limits, and cars ahead of me would accelerate, only to again slow down in rapid fashion. Beep-beep! Beep-beep!, it would sound, as I quickly braked from a blistering 30mph down to a mere 15. It never seemed fair.
I also learned that traffic lights at intersections posed the biggest challenge. Do I speed up to race through them, or start to slow down in anticipation of the light changing? Normally you do what seems logical from years of driving experience. But with the monitoring device in place, one begins to dread that moment of a quick brake for a red light. It occurred to me on more than one occasions that these devices might actually encourage red-light running or otherwise careless driving in an effort to avoid being penalized.
The momentous day finally arrived last month with an email from the insurance company congratulating us on completing the six month period, confirmation of our rate discount, and giving instructions on how to return the device. I ran outside in a flash to retrieve it from the car. Freedom!!
Until next time…