Sears, Roebuck and Company launched Allstate in 1931, originally selling auto insurance through the mail. Over nearly a century, Allstate has expanded its portfolio to include business, condo, home, life, motorcycle and renters insurance products.

In a 2018 survey, the Insurance Information Institute ranked Allstate the fourth largest auto insurance company based on the number of direct premiums written. The Better Business Bureau gives Allstate an A+ rating, while AM Best rewards the carrier with an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating.

Most Allstate auto insurance customers already know about the provider’s many discount programs. Allstate also offers a high-tech program for reducing your policy premium, called Drivewise. The Drivewise program uses your car’s technology to monitor your driving habits. Drivewise is a great way to review and improve your driving performance, and if you consistently practice safe driving habits, Allstate will reward you by lowering your premium.

How does Allstate Drivewise work?

Drivewise is Allstate’s usage-based insurance rating program, which offers discounts for policyholders who drive safely. To enroll in the optional program, contact your Allstate agent or call the Drivewise toll-free customer support line.

To qualify for the Drivewise program, your car must have a diagnostic port, also called an OBDII port. Most OBDII ports are located under an automobile’s dashboard on the driver’s side. Mechanics use the port to connect diagnostic equipment that can detect problems with your car’s engine, electrical system or onboard computer. To participate in the Drivewise program, you must insert a small device into the OBDII port, which will record your driving habits.

Allstate will send the device in the mail after you enroll in the Drivewise program. Turn off your car before inserting the device. When the device’s indicator light starts flashing, it’s ready to start recording your driving habits.

Once the Drivewise device begins to collect driving data, you can review your performance in your Allstate online account or using the Allstate mobile app, which is available for Android and Apple devices. In the app’s Drivewise tab, you can see your current discount and projected future discount based on your driving performance. The app also breaks down your performance based on the individual habits it monitors.

Because the Drivewise app plugs into your OBDII port, it can also collect vehicle diagnostic data and send you an alert via email when it detects a problem. The app can even estimate repair costs and help you find a certified mechanic.

The Allstate mobile app does much more than display your Drivewise driving habits. You can use it to access a digital copy of your insurance card, contact your agent, file a claim, pay your bill, request roadside assistance and review your policy documents. You can even use the app to create escape routes within your home in case of an emergency, like a fire.

What driving habits does Drivewise monitor? 

The Drivewise program calculates your performance rating at the end of a policy term and applies your discount, if any, upon renewal. The Drivewise device monitors five driving habits, acceleration, braking, mileage, speed and the time of day you drive.

  • Acceleration: Rapid acceleration, like punching the gas pedal to pass another vehicle or when trying to get through an intersection before the traffic light turns red, can indicate unsafe driving. Moderate your acceleration habits for the best Drivewise performance results.
  • Braking: Drivewise users should avoid hard braking. At times we all need to apply our brakes suddenly to avoid accidents. However, if you habitually apply your brake just before reaching an intersection instead of slowing down beforehand and applying the brake softly, your Drivewise performance could suffer.
  • Mileage: Insurers charge higher rates to drivers who live behind the wheel because the more you drive, the more likely you’ll have an accident. When enrolled in the Drivewise program, limit your driving to under 18,000 miles per year.
  • Speed: Speed demons shouldn’t enroll in the Drivewise program. In 2018, 9,378 people died on U.S. roads and highways due to excessive speed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To achieve the best Drivewise discount, keep your speed under 80 mph.
  • Time of day: For the best Drivewise results, avoid driving late at night. According to a survey by the National Safety Council, 37 percent of drivers reported falling asleep behind the wheel. The most dangerous times to drive include morning and evening rush hours and between midnight and 2:00 a.m., when many drivers experience fatigue. Driving late at night also increases your risk of getting into an accident with an alcohol-impaired driver.

Can I get a discount on my insurance? 

Allstate claims auto policyholders can receive up to a 10 percent discount for enrolling in Drivewise and save up to 25 percent on their premiums if they maintain safe driving habits.

Drivewise users are also eligible to participate in the Allstate Rewards program. You can receive 5,000 rewards points when signing up for Allstate Rewards, plus an additional 10,000 points for enrolling in Drivewise. By participating in both programs, you can maximize your benefits, because Allstate Rewards awards: 

  • 200 points for completing 10 trips without speeding or hard braking
  • 200 points for completing three consecutive days with no hard braking
  • 200 points for completing three consecutive days with no excessive speeding

You can redeem Allstate Rewards points for:

  • Automobile rental
  • Electronics auctions and sweepstakes
  • Gift cards
  • Hotel rooms
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Merchandise

You can enjoy additional savings when you qualify for Allstate’s discounts, including:

  • Anti-lock brakes and anti-theft device discounts
  • Automatic payment discounts
  • Early signing and pay in full discounts
  • Electronic billing discounts
  • Good student discounts
  • Multi-policy discounts
  • New car discounts
  • Responsible payer discounts

What happens with my personal data? 

Allstate only makes your Drivewise driving performance data directly accessible to Allstate customer service representatives, your Allstate agent and you. Allstate employees who service your policy don’t have access to your location services information.

Companies that administer Drivewise can also use the data to provide incentives and rewards based on your driving performance. Allstate requires companies that support the Drivewise technology to adhere to its data security and privacy policies.

Allstate reserves the right to keep your Drivewise data indefinitely. The provider may also share your data with state regulators to support insurance filings or use it when internally reviewing pricing and underwriting models. When filing a claim, Allstate may review your Drivewise data to investigate an accident.

Pros and cons of Allstate’s Drivewise

Pros

  • Additional benefits for Allstate Rewards enrollees
  • Enrollment discount
  • Improve driver safety by reviewing driving performance
  • Parents can monitor their teens’ driving performance
  • Potential premium savings for good driving habits

Cons

  • Must limit driving to under 18,000 miles annually
  • Must limit nighttime driving
  • Rate may fluctuate every six-month policy term

Bottom line

Allstate Drivewise can be a helpful way to improve your driving habits and even help you save money. Talk to an agent if it’s something you’re interested in.

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