Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2021

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There’s a new telematics device on the market to rival the existing Progressive Snapshot.

It comes courtesy of Esurance, the online insurance company acquired by Allstate a few years back.

What kinds of insurance coverage does Esurance offer?

Esurance offers the liability coverage (bodily injury and property damage liability) most states require by law, as well as collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

Additional coverage options include personal injury protection or medical payments coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, GAP insurance, rental coverage, and roadside assistance.

Along with auto insurance coverage, Esurance offers motorcycle insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and more.

Note: DriveSense is only available for non-hybrid and non-electric cars with model years of 1996 or later, but you might be able to get a separate hybrid discount.

Put simply, when you connect DriveSense into the ODB-II port in your car, the company is able to track your driving.

They tend to focus on the following driving habits:

– How much time is spent behind the wheel (mileage)
– Time of day
– Speeding
– Sudden acceleration
– Sudden braking
– Aggressive lane changing
– Fast cornering

This is similar to Snapshot, which uses these same factors to determine if your policy premium can be reduced.

And it’s much more accurate than simply asking you how many miles you drive each year, or just relying upon your driving records.

As the data is compiled, it is sent to your personalized website where you can monitor and analyze your driving habits on the DriveSense dashboard.

From there, you can ostensibly make changes to maximize your savings, assuming it identifies any high-risk behavior (events).

What do you get for signing up?

Esurance is offering an automatic discount of five or 10 percent depending on the state you live in.

This discount is in return for letting them track your driving habits. Once they track your driving using the device, you’ll be eligible for a discount each policy term based on your actual driving.

They claim that the safer you drive, the more you’ll save, and that they won’t raise your insurance rate based on program participation.

However, it is possible for your premium to change if your DriveSense discount changes.

Your ongoing discount is based on your driving habits, so it could go up or down from term to term, and if you don’t drive safely, you may not earn any discount via the program.

You can maximize your savings by driving less, driving more slowly and carefully, and avoiding late-night driving. The app will penalize you for driving over 80 miles per hour.

You can always check your current discount by logging in to the website.

[How are auto insurance rates determined?]

Where is DriveSense available?

At the moment, DriveSense is available in 31 states. It is notably absent in large states like California, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.

But it is available in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

They plan to add more states in the future, so be sure to check the Esurance website from time to time to see if your state gets added to the list.

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How else can you save money on Esurance auto insurance?

In addition to the DriveSense program, Esurance offers a variety of discounts you can apply to your auto policy. These include:

  • Safe driver discount
  • Anti-theft device discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Defensive driving course discount

There may be additional auto insurance discounts available depending on where you live, so make sure to ask about this when you get a quote from Esurance.

What’s the bottom line?

For the record, participation in the DriveSense program is free, but they will charge a fee if you don’t return the device after opting out or canceling your policy.

If you do opt out, you’ll lose the associated DriveSense discount, but your Esurance car insurance policy won’t be affected otherwise.

For those wondering how these telematics-based insurance products work, it’s probably best to check out the Snapshot comments for real-world feedback.