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Allstate introduces 'usage-based' auto insurance in New York

Allstate's "Drive Wise" device measures a driver's mileage,

Allstate's "Drive Wise" device measures a driver's mileage, braking behavior and speed, and the time of day when he/she is driving. Credit: Handout

Allstate has become the second insurance company after Progressive to offer “usage-based” auto coverage in New York State, which monitors drivers' behavior behind the wheel for possible rate discounts.

The program, called “Drive Wise,” was officially introduced Monday to New Yorkers as well as customers in Colorado, Michigan and New Jersey. It had been available since 2010 in Arizona, Ohio and Illinois. The company says it's available to most Allstate customers.

Under usage-based programs, a device is installed in vehicles to measure mileage, braking, speed and time of day when a customer is driving.

Upon signing up for the device, Allstate customers automatically receive a 10 percent enrollment discount. After the first six months of use, the enrollment discount is replaced with a performance discount based on the driving habits demonstrated.

Allstate says two about two-thirds of Drive Wise customers so far have earned a performance discount — averaging almost 14 percent per vehicle.

The Drive Wise unit plugs into the on-board diagnostic port found under the dashboard on most cars. Roughly 12 percent of all new customers enroll in the Drive Wise® program, where it is available, says Allstate.

Allstate says it won’t raise rates based on the driving behavior recorded but might reduce rates by as much as 30 percent. More info is at

While some other insurers offer similar systems to Allstate’s and Progressive’s “Snapshot,” only those companies have permission now to offer the systems in New York State, according to the state Department of Financial Services.

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