Auto insurance company, State Farm in collaboration with a telematics company is now offering its customers certain in-vehicle communications systems as well as a chance to avail discounts on their auto insurance rates.
This is a joint effort and is called In-Drive and it uses a technology that is developed by the Atlanta-based Hughes Telematics Inc. State Farm will start offering this optional service to its customers in the state of Illinois, sometime in September and will possibly offer it in the other states by next year as well.
The features in this technology is very similar to that which was provided by OnStar, which is a subscription-based service, which GM started building into its vehicles some 15 years ago.
State Farm already has a partnership with OnStar in 5 states and that includes Illinois as well. It offers driving performance-based discounts and mileage-based discounts through these programs which are called Drive Safe & Save. As of now, motorists must have the OnStar equipment as well as subscriptions in order to participate, except in states like California where they may choose to do some self-reporting when it comes to mileage. The data that is collected by the OnStar is then transmitted to State Farm, following which drivers can avail discounts for maintaining a low mileage as well as good driving habits.
This new venture between State Farm and Hughes Telematics will open up new opportunities to State Farm customers, especially those who do not have OnStar.
Through this program the auto insurance customers will be provided with the telematics device which is about the size of a cell phone and can be plugged into the vehicle’s diagnostic port, which is situated beneath the steering wheel. This technology helps in providing a host of security and diagnostic features which includes tracking capability. The system will work on most of the vehicles that have been built post 1995.
With these options, you can easily follow the driving habits of family members. There are 3 subscription-based services that would be offered through State Farm. The basic package would be free for a period of 6 months after paying an activation fee of $10. The rest of the packages will range between $5 and $14.99 per month inclusive of taxes. A number of things are included in the basic package such as engine diagnostics, maintenance and service reminders, information on the carbon footprint of the vehicle, stolen vehicle assistance etc.