HOUSTON, July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Allstate said Wednesday that the insurer will be conducting widespread testing of its Drive Wise program among its employees before it rolls out in seven more states by the end of the year, adding yet another major announcement related to usage-based insurance (UBI) that has seen companies fighting for position in a burgeoning market, according to Online Auto Insurance News.
UBI programs track a driver's behavior behind the wheel and transmit that data to the insurer for rating purposes. Motorists can then check with their auto insurance company online for reports on their driving habits and possible discounts they can obtain through safer driving.
Currently, 700 employees are undergoing the "crowdsourcing" testing with more being actively recruited for further tests, according to Randy Birchfield, Allstate vice president of product operations.
Allstate plans to expand Drive Wise to seven more states by the end of the year, which would bring the total number of states with program availability to 10, Birchfield said.
Recent UBI-related announcements have come from several insurers, including Progressive, which said earlier this month that its long-running Snapshot program completed major testing showing that observed driving behaviors had more "predictive power" than other factors commonly used in coverage ratings. The insurer used the study as a launch-pad announcement that it would be offering Snapshot to customers at competing insurers as a 30-day trial.
In late May, State Farm announced a major partnership with Ford in which all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models equipped with SYNC connectivity systems would be able to participate in the company's Drive Safe & Save program. That partnership begins in Utah this year, according to the automaker.
And last week, Sprint announced that its telecommunications network would be made available to insurers seeking to establish their own UBI trial programs. The capability was tested through Sprint's Integrated Insurance Solutions (IIS) program, first used in a pilot program with Esurance.
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SOURCE Online Auto, LLC