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Geico’s telematics program, DriveEasy, allows policyholders to score discounts for safe driving in real time by tracking driving habits through a mobile app. All you need to participate in DriveEasy is a current Geico auto insurance policy and a smartphone. DriveEasy is currently available in 27 states and Washington, D.C. Bankrate’s research into the program could help you decide whether or not it’s right for you.
What is Geico DriveEasy
Like many of the best car insurance companies, Geico created its telematics program, DriveEasy, in an effort to help keep roads safer. The program currently helps encourage safe driving habits in the 27 states and Washington, D.C., where it’s available. The app is telematics-based, which means that your real-time driving information is transmitted to Geico via your smartphone. The app monitors your behind-the-wheel practices, checking for things like hard braking, how fast you turn a corner and even monitoring if you use your phone while driving.
Signing up for DriveEasy could save you money on your premium if the telematics data proves that you’re a safe driver. In addition, the program is designed to be easy to manage. Once you’ve downloaded the app and logged in, you don’t need to open it again when you get in your car. Instead, it automatically records trip data as you drive as long as you remain logged in. The app can even distinguish between when you are the driver or passenger, or when you are riding public transportation.
What does DriveEasy track?
Although DriveEasy can’t monitor every factor of your driving, it does have the capability to analyze simple driving habits that indicate how safely you drive, such as hard braking, fast accelerations, speeding and cornering. The safer you drive, the higher your driving score will be up to 100 points. The app can also log your trips, giving you a sense of how many miles you’ve traveled and where you might be able to make improvements to your driving.
Factors that impact your DriveEasy score
- Hard braking: DriveEasy can tell how quickly you decelerate when you press the brakes. Hard stops, where you slam on the brakes quickly, should be avoided unless necessary to avoid an accident. If DriveEasy determines a hard brake, predictive crash detection called Crash Assist will note your location and ask if you were in an accident, taking you to the claims section of the app to start a claim. Keep in mind that hard braking also impacts how much time the driver behind you has to come to a stop.
- Distance traveled: DriveEasy can monitor your trip through your phone’s location services. The app can also tell you about possible side routes you could take to save time and gas money.
- Time of day: DriveEasy monitors the time of day because it’s more likely an accident will occur late at night than if you’re driving in the morning. Lots of nighttime and weekend driving may negatively impact your score. If late hours are when you tend to do most of your driving, DriveEasy may not be the best option for you.
- Distracted driving: The DriveEasy app monitors distracted driving through tracking active phone use, such as handheld phone calls and any sort of typing or scrolling. Be aware, though; if a passenger uses your cell phone while you’re driving, it could count against your driving score.
- Road type: DriveEasy can tell if you’re engaged in difficult driving, such as rush hour on a busy highway, or easy driving, such as slowly cruising down a neighborhood street in the middle of the day. Road type factors into your driving score.
- Weather: Bad weather makes driving harder and the app includes this factor in your score as well. For example, it’s able to access weather data to see if you are driving in rain, fog and other bad weather.
- Cornering: If you take turns too fast around a corner, you could end up losing control at the wheel. DriveEasy will note risk cornering as part of the trip, which could affect your trip score.
- Acceleration: If you frequently change your speed, it could increase your chances of getting into an accident and also negatively affect your DriveEasy score.
- Speeding: Staying within the posted speed limit will help you stay more in control and limit your risk of getting into an accident. The less you speed, the better your DriveEasy score could be.
Is Geico DriveEasy worth it?
Many Geico customers use DriveEasy to earn savings in states where it is available. Geico determines your discount based on the data it receives from the app. If you drive carefully and avoid distracted driving, you could earn a bigger discount than someone who speeds around corners, stops short and/or uses their phone while driving.
Most insurance companies now offer a telematics program, such as Progressive’s Snapshot or State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save. Although each program has unique features, they are all designed to monitor your driving habits and reward you for safe practices. If you want to try a telematics program, but aren’t sure which one is right for you, it may be helpful to do some comparison shopping before making your final decision.
One benefit of telematics programs like Geico’s DriveEasy is that they can help you become a better driver by showing you when and where you are making risky driving decisions. If you have a young driver on your policy, signing them up could help them learn and practice safe driving habits. Repeated risky driving behaviors could increase your Geico car insurance rate when participating in DriveEasy in some states. Make sure you understand how your driving habits can impact your premium in your state through the program.
Who is the Geico DriveEasy app a good option for?
If you are a safe driver or want to become one, the DriveEasy app may be a good option for you. By collecting data on your driving habits, the program could highlight areas where you might need improvement and allow you to track your driving skills over time to see progress.
DriveEasy might not be a great choice for you if you don’t drive very much or if you suspect that your driving skills may score poorly with the app. According to the company, you may see an increase in your premium if you are consistently engaging in risky driving behavior.
If you have a strong desire to improve as a driver, you may want to try DriveEasy and utilize the tips the app provides to help you drive more safely. The app may make it easier for you to gain skills and monitor your progress.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, your rates could go up if you exhibit poor or unsafe driving habits while using DriveEasy. Geico’s online resources clearly state: “Riskier drivers may see a higher rate — depending on the state you live in.” However, the risk may be minimal if you are actively working toward improving your driving skills.
While there is no obligation for every car in a household to participate in DriveEasy, all drivers listed on a single policy will need to participate in the program to receive its rewards. Each car and each driver will need to sign up to be counted. To avoid losing out on potential discounts, all drivers registered in the program should actively participate.
DriveEasy uses technology that detects movement and relies on your phone’s sensors to determine if you are the driver or the passenger. It should also be able to identify if you’re on a bus or a train instead of a car. The technology isn’t perfect, but it’s possible to access your account and make changes if the app gets it wrong.
According to Geico, data usage varies, but a typical driver generally uses between 60-70 MB of data per month. The app conserves data and battery life when you’re not driving by going into sleep mode and will only upload data over your cellular network if there is no Wi-Fi available.
Yes, you can participate in DriveEasy more than once. You can log into your online Geico account, go to “Additional discounts,” find the DriveEasy enrollment and complete the steps to re-enroll in the DriveEasy program.