Drivers have, for a number of years now, added certain after-market devices to their cars to help drive down the price of their insurance premiums. These devices are added mainly to prevent theft, e.g. tracking devices, immobilisers and other after-market locks, but now GPS companies have teamed up with insurance companies in Europe to track the driving habits of drivers.
Insurance companies have always categorised their clients according to "risk factors" like the area where you live, your age, your gender and the type of car that you want to insure. This is the industry standard, but it can be frustrating for drivers who are paying high premiums simply due to these factors. Well now you can prove to your insurer that you are a low risk client even though you may be a young male who drives a high-powered car, which is usually seen as high risk.
This type of technology has been around for a number of years already in tracking systems used by fleet managers, logistics companies and transport suppliers to track the driving habits of their drivers. This technology has now been incorporated in (PND's) personal navigation devices for light vehicles. The suppliers of these PND's have launched these new features to try and counter the stiff competition for mobile GPS's and GPS applications found on most mobile devices and app stores.
These new devices track the braking, speed, acceleration and distance travelled to give insurers valuable data of how the car is driven. If you brake gently most of the time, drive very few kilometres every month and take-off gently from stop signs or traffic lights then you can expect to get a discount on your insurance premium as you would be profiled as a "safer driver". The device can also track the amount of times that the driver exceeds the speed limit of the specific road that they are on and put this into usable data to be sent to insurers. The one slight downfall of this is that you would need to keep your GPS device on every time you drive in order to produce accurate data.
This is just another small way that drivers can save on their insurance premiums. This technology effectively puts you in control of your premium as long as you obey the traffic rules and drive in a safe manner. PNDs with this technology are expected to reach South Africa in early 2013, but no SA insurance companies have mentioned that they will endorse this technology as yet.