Allstate Drivewise review

PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier/Getty Images

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 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.

Looking to save money on auto insurance?

Compare rates & save

The Allstate Drivewise® App

The Allstate Drivewise® mobile app is available for Android and Apple devices and is easily downloadable. The app enables insurers to manage claims, payments and drivers all through your mobile device. Additionally, you can display trip information and cash rewards on your dashboard.

Drivewise® also offers a nice benefit to the insured as it can allow you to receive an additional discount with safe driving. You can also receive custom insights to your driving habits. Simply by downloading the app and driving safely you can receive cash back rewards as often as every six months.

Users who try to “cheat” the Drivewise® process by attempting to alter or modify the app and/or the data it connects (among other things) can lose their discounts, rewards and service. In some cases, Allstate may take legal action against users who tamper with the Drivewise® app.

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.

Drivers in states where the maximum speed limit exceeds 80 mph and who regularly travel on these roads may wish to consider whether Allstate Drivewise® is the best program for them.

Does Allstate Drivewise® actually decrease rates?

Allstate advertises saving around 40% off of auto insurance premiums with its Drivewise® program.

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 does Allstate Drivewise® track?

The Drivewise® app monitors your speed, the time of day you drive, location app usage and performance, as well as 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 also monitors your trips and maps within the app, however Allstate employees who service policies will not have access to any location data, although agents will be able to access it.

Looking to save money on auto insurance?

Compare rates & save

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 in high density urban areas where congested city streets often result in frequent hard breaking. Individuals who live in these areas may feel the app counts this against them when it comes to rewards or premium discounts.

But since Allstate Drivewise is a program designed to provide you insights into safe driving behavior rather than a program used to determine premium costs, it should not raise your rates if you have to use 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.