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Smartphone Apps That Can Save Money On Car Insurance

Telematics is the term used to describe devices installed in vehicles, or apps on smartphones that record information about your driving abilities as you drive. By using a combination of mobile technology, a GPS signal and telemetric data from your vehicle, a range of apps are available that have many benefits for drivers.

There are many security and safety benefits to using this kind of driving technology and the EU has begun legislating that insurance providers offer this type of service. Drivers will be rated on their individual driving ability to qualify for lower insurance premiums instead of being lumped into one category based on age, gender or other unalterable factors.

Some statistics suggest that over 40 million European telematics users will be on the road by 2017. The following are some of the apps and services that are already available in the UK:

MyDrive - Autoline app

- Service activated when the smartphone is plugged into the vehicle's power source.
- Records all data on a second by second basis.
- Turns on automatically when the driver travels at over 10mph for longer than 10 seconds.
- Sends and records data about your driving style.
- Records the level of aggression, smoothness, anticipation and consistency of the driver.
- Aggregates road type information (motorway, highway, A-road).
- Collects driving conditions information (heavy rain, traffic).
Available in Northern Ireland for young drivers only at the moment.

AXA Insurance UK - Drivology app

- Rewards safer driving in addition to checking if basic insurance premium criteria are met.
- It uses GPS information and other data from the vehicle to record and analyse driving habits.
- You can update your insurance premium and quote on 3-, 6- and 9-month intervals based on your current driving ability.
- Each journey is monitored by the app; you get journey info and journey feedback afterwards by e-mail and are advised of your driving score.
Driving score can be updated twice per day and ranges from 0-100. You need to be always higher than 70 to keep or improve your current premium.

Aviva Drive app

- This app also monitors your driving activity using the GPS service.
- Offers financial incentives and bonuses for good individual driving.
- Each drive is rated on a score out of 10.
- Does not need a mobile phone signal, but a GPS service is required.
- Manual or automatic journey recording.
- Begins evaluating your driving only after 200 total miles driven.
- 11 badges to display on your Facebook or Twitter profile as your driving improves.
The app is designed to determine the quote you should receive based on your driving ability and is not used to change your premium later on should your driving ability change.

MORE TH>N DRIVE app

- This is a free app that you can use to monitor your own driving; it does not send information to any insurance provider.
- You get all the benefits of an app from an insurer, but keep the privacy.
- You can test your own driving abilities and improve your driving skill before going for a quote.
- App allows you to earn badges as you go and post them to Facebook or Twitter.
- Can invite your friends and family to join you and compare results; compete to be the safest driver!

As these devices become the norm across Europe, the UK and eventually the world, they might be used for other purposes too; such as levying higher road taxes on users that actually use the roads more than others to offset carbon omissions. They can also provide black box information in case of a car accident and when used with other security solutions such as a dash-cam, will cover business owners who are liable for a fleet of company vehicles.

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