How does usage-based insurance work?
Traditionally, calculating insurance premiums involves reviewing various factors to determine how risky a driver might be behind the wheel. Age, sex, location, accident history, and other factors go into the calculations.
With UBI, your premium may start based on these factors, but is then adjusted according to actual measurements of your driving habits. The data points collected vary between insurers and may include things like:
- How fast you drive compared to the speed limit
- How hard you brake
- The times of day you drive
- How many miles you drive
UBI plans may look at additional factors, such as how fast you take a corner, how often you sit idle, and whether you use your phone while driving. These days, data is generally collected by a smartphone app, rather than the car-connected dongle that early UBI programs used.
Some insurers offer UBI programs that only look at mileage rather than safe-driving habits. These kinds of UBI policies can save money for drivers with short commutes or who otherwise drive fewer miles than average.
UBI programs that focus on safe driving usually don't factor the number of miles driven into the "good driving" discount, though they may still use mileage to put other data in context.