In an effort to fight global warming, the Washington State legislature is considering a bill that would allow auto insurers to use electronic monitoring devices to charge different rates based on a person’s actual driving habits, reports the Seattle Times‘ Chantal Anderson. Individuals who have reduced their car usage (by using bikes or public transportation to commute to work, for example) could save up to 15% on their Washington auto insurance premiums.
Auto insurance companies that are offering or planning to offer pay-as-you-drive programs in other states include Progressive Insurance (through its Progressive MyRate program), Allstate auto insurance, Hartford insurance, and Unigard. Progressive wants to keep its proprietary rating information confidential, and the senate bill will be rewritten to reflect those concerns.
Chantal reports that the bill looks likely to pass the state Senate, but could face opposition in the House. Privacy advocates are worried about the “Big Brother” potential of the tracking devices, although the data allowed to be collected and the ways in which it can be used must be approved by the insurance commissioner.