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Reyno Rants: How to speed up getting lower car insurance

Credit: "HEAVY HIGHWAY TRAFFIC" BY WELCOMIA ON THINKSTOCK

Certain car insurance companies have apps that can track your driving; if you prove you're a good driver, you can reduce your rates up to 25 per cent.


Nick Reyno | Interrobang | Opinion | October 31st, 2016




Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Car insurance is downright robbery for young adults. It’s a good thing that we have tons of money to waste on over-inflated insurance rates though. It’s not like we’re trying to pay our way through college or chase down non-existent jobs or anything. Oh, what’s that? Just don’t buy a car? And do what instead? Spend $2.75 per trip for the luxury of bussing for an hour to an hour and a half on London Transit Commission? Most part-time jobs are only giving students three to four hour shifts anyway, so why should we spend over $5 and tack on an extra hour or two of commuting?

I digress; in my conquest to bring down my insurance rate I’ve signed up for my insurance company’s mobile app. The app can track my driving habits and will lower my rate based on how conservative of a driver I am. There’s just one problem with this: I’m not the only one on the road.

When I was learning to drive I was taught one thing above all: do not impede traffic. Well guess what, driving the speed limit impedes traffic like nothing else. I’m pretty sure that aggravating the seven cars stuck behind me, all of whom are tailgating each other, isn’t the exact definition of safe driving.

These apps are a great idea in theory: promote and reward good driving habits, but when a car slams on its breaks in front of me and I have to do the same, my driving score plummets. I’m busy trying to prevent a car crash because this maniac up ahead just realized he missed his turn and now my score is taking a dive from a 90 down to a 68. That’s fair right? It would be fine and dandy if I could tell the app, “Hey, did you see those lightning fast reflexes? I just narrowly avoided a full-on car crash, can I get a pat on the back at least?”

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the app, it can only analyze my location based on a GPS tracker and can’t take into account surrounding hazards. I’m not saying that I don’t have the capacity to be a preemptive driver and consider the surrounding dangers but certain things just can’t be helped. For example, a cat or dog running out into the road; I mean damn, would the insurance company rather I just hit this animal than having to be a little lenient with me here?

At the end of the day, insurance companies don’t actually have to do anything to help us reduce our insurance rates, so I suppose we should be grateful that they are. It’s not like they’re not questionably ethical ways to manufacture a higher score for yourself and exploit some of the app’s mechanics. However, I can’t have a clear conscience and promote putting your phone in airplane mode when you need to get somewhere fast, or advise you to tell the app you were a passenger during a trip that you had to brake quickly. No, those would be as unethical as turning on the app when catching a ride from your conservative-driving grandmother. Without a doubt, I do not recommend any of those money saving tips, but I would definitely recommend asking your insurance company if they have an app like this. With a high score you could reduce your insurance policy by up to 25 per cent and who in their right mind would pass that up?
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