Allstate Drivewise Review

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5 min read
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Allstate’s Drivewise program uses state-of-the-art telematics technology to monitor your driving habits in real time. Using a cell phone app, Drivewise tracks you while you drive and transmits that information to Allstate. The company uses the data to reward you for good driving. The best part? It’s a free program, even if you’re not an Allstate customer!

How Allstate Drivewise works and where it’s available

How does Allstate Drivewise work?

Every time you drive your car, Drivewise monitors your vehicle’s speed once it reaches 20 mph. You don’t need to do anything: it runs in the background on your cell phone or other device, and doesn’t interfere with any other activities, such as making phone calls.

The app records three characteristics: your speed (safe speed is considered anything under 80 mph), braking, and the time of day.

The app uses about the same amount of battery charge that other navigational apps use, so it doesn’t drain your phone’s battery. Allstate does recommend that you plug your phone in to charge while you’re driving, though. The company also notes that it uses little data, and that is only uploaded at the end of each trip when the phone is connected to the internet, either Wi-Fi or cellular.

Along with the mobile app, Allstate will send you a small device, about half the size of a pack of cards, that plugs into your dashboard.

This device assists in monitoring your car’s activity, and can also serve a diagnostic function, helping you to know when something has gone wrong, and even making an appointment for it to be fixed.

The Allstate Drivewise App

The Allstate Drivewise mobile app is available for Android and Apple devices and is easily downloaded. The app tracks drivers, not vehicles, and Allstate says it can tell whether you’re a driver or a passenger in the car.

One nice feature of the app is that it allows you to delete trips if, say, you had to make a hard stop and don’t want that recorded, or if you suddenly noticed you were going a bit over the speed limit.

The Drivewise app’s Dashboard displays trip information and your cash rewards bonus. The My Trips screen displays up to 50 trips and the My Rewards screen displays your rewards points balance and links to special rewards deals.

The Drivewise app also creates driving challenges, which you can complete to earn more rewards points. For example, you can earn 200 points when you avoid hard braking for three consecutive days and another 200 points for maintaining a safe speed for three consecutive days.

The Drivewise app includes handy features that can help you keep track of where you parked your car or remind you when you need to feed a parking meter. It also connects to Allstate’s Good Hands Rescue program for roadside assistance services and includes a Gas Finder function, which displays the locations of nearby gas stations. The app stores a digital proof of insurance and details of your coverage, as well as the QuickFoto Claim screen, which uses your smartphone’s camera to take photos when filing a claim.

How to enroll in Allstate Drivewise

To enroll in most usage-based insurance discount programs, you must be a policyholder. However, non-customers can use the Drivewise app to track their driving habits, too.

It’s simple to download the mobile app. You’ll create an account once the app is downloaded, select “Drivewise” and follow the directions on the screen.

Note, however, the Drivewise program is not available in all states, and rewards vary according to state laws. Contact a local Allstate agent to find out if Drivewise is available in your state.

Who should use Allstate Drivewise?

Drivewise is a great option for people who maintain the proper speed limit, drive mostly during daylight hours, and routinely practice good braking habits. Existing policyholders can receive a discount just for enrolling in the program, with the potential for further cash rewards following the monitoring period.

Parents can enroll their teen drivers in the Drivewise program and monitor the trip data to see how well their kids perform behind the wheel. Teens can receive instant alerts when Drivewise detects dangerous driving behavior and see tips to help them master their driving skills.

Does Allstate Drivewise actually decrease rates?

Allstate advertises up to a 10% insurance discount just for signing up for the Drivewise program, up to 25% cash back every six months for driving safely, plus rewards points.

You can earn reward points with safe driving challenges, or through non-driving activities such as redeeming promo codes from Allstate emails and filling out surveys within Allstate mobile.

You will receive your cash rewards when you renew your policy, but rewards points appear in your balance within a day or two of completing a driving challenge.

Rewards points and discounts can vary by state, and you’ll need to check with your local agent to find out if Allstate Drivewise is available in your region. Where allowed by law, Allstate users can redeem rewards points for:

  • Auctions
  • Car rentals
  • A daily deal with savings up to 80%
  • Gift cards
  • Hotel rooms
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Merchandise up to 40% off
  • Sweepstakes entries
  • Local deals

What driving habits does Allstate Drivewise monitor?

The Drivewise app monitors your speed, time of day you drive and your braking. To receive the best rewards, you must avoid driving over 80 mph, minimize hard braking and avoid late-night driving, which is when more road accidents occur.

Allstate Drivewise privacy information

According to the Drivewise terms of use, Allstate outsources the collection and analysis of Drivewise data to other companies. Support vendors must comply with Allstate’s data privacy and security standards.

Allstate retains Drivewise data indefinitely and makes the data collected viewable in each user’s online account. The company also reserves the right to use Drivewise data to improve its pricing and underwriting schemes and when investigating accident claims.

Only Drivewise users can access trip map data within the app. Allstate employees who service policies do not have access to any location data collected by the app. However, Allstate agents can access the Drivewise data used to evaluate driving habits.

The Drivewise app collects certain data, such as usage and performance, for analytics purposes. The app accesses the location services function of your smartphone and transmits the data to the Allstate servers. Allstate retains location information until you delete the app from your mobile device.

Allstate does not sell policyholders’ personal information and only shares customer information with its affiliate companies. According to Allstate’s privacy statement, your information may be shared with third parties:

  • For marketing purposes
  • To service your policy
  • To handle claims
  • For fraud prevention purposes
  • To comply with insurance regulator or law enforcement requests
  • To send push notifications
  • For credit and debit card processing
  • For research studies
  • To assist in auto repairs following a claim

How does Allstate prevent users from “cheating”?

Allstate does not reveal how the Drivewise app prevents “cheating” but it does address tampering in its terms of use. Users who alter, copy, disassemble, reverse engineer, duplicate, or modify the app can lose their discounts, rewards and service. In some cases, Allstate may take legal action against users who tamper with the Drivewise app.

Bottom line: Is Allstate Drivewise worth it?

For existing Allstate customers, Drivewise offers the benefit of potential savings with no risk. Usage-based programs with other insurance companies such as Progressive and Root decrease and increase rates based on telematics data. But Allstate’s Drivewise program only offers rewards to good drivers, without the threat of increased rates for poor driving performance. Drivers who do not have an Allstate policy can use the Drivewise app to monitor their driving skills and see if good performance might offer them a savings if they switch to Allstate.

Allstate Drivewise reviews are generally positive, with most users agreeing that the program does save money.

The exception would be city dwellers who are forced to use hard braking frequently in congested city streets, who feel that the app counts this against them when it comes to rewards or premium discounts.

But since Allstate promises that it will not raise your rates if you get dinged for hard braking or any other driving error, there’s really no risk involved in trying out Allstate Drivewise.

Enrollment in Drivewise is free and you can cancel at any time. With the potential to earn cash back and rewards points, Drivewise is definitely worth a try.