USAA Is Finally Rolling Out a Popular New Car Insurance Plan

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USAA is expanding SafePilot, its telematics-powered car insurance. In 2018, the company launched the program in four states. This year, the company made SafePilot available in 12 new states, with plans to continue adding new states to the list throughout 2021.
USAA is not the first insurance provider to adopt the use of telematics. Other insurance companies have offered their own user-based, pay-per-mile programs for over a decade.
But what is telematics? How does USAA’s program work? Where is it available? And how can it help you save on car insurance?
Cars parked on the side of the road
USAA is not offering its telematics program in more states | Twenty20

How car insurance companies use telematics

Telematics is simply information transmitted over long distances. Phone calls are telematics. The Internet is telematics. You can use Bluetooth telematics in your car for things like GPS, music streaming, and paying for tolls and gas.
In the context of car insurance, providers like USAA use telematics to track your driving habits. They collect data through phone apps or a device connected to your vehicle’s computer and then use that information to give you discounts on your insurance.
Having your driving habits tracked can sound a little creepy, but telematics has the potential to make car insurance policies fairer. Telematics makes car insurance usage-based, bypassing non-driving factors like credit score and location and encouraging safe driving practices that prevent accidents.

USAA’s ‘SafePilot’ program

USAA collects your driving habit data through the “SafePilot” app, which customers download onto their smartphones. The app collects information about where and at what time you drive, how harshly you brake, and how often you use your phone while driving.
After your trip, you can open the app and see how well you did. The app provides the details and gives you a score out of 100. Your discount is based on your score over a period of time and USAA adjusts your discount every six months.
Just signing up for the program and downloading the app gives you a 10% discount on your car insurance plan. Based on the data collected, your discount can reach up to 30%.
The SafePilot app does more than collect your driving habits. It also provides you with advice on how to drive more safely so you can improve your driving score and reach that 30% discount.

Is USAA’s SafePilot available everywhere?

While USAA is nationwide, its SafePilot program is not. The company started the program in four states—Virginia, Texas, Arizona, and Ohio. Oregon and South Dakota followed suit earlier this year. USAA announced in a recent press release that the recent expansion brought the total to 16 states.

Other ways to save on car insurance

Telematics programs like SafePilot are not the only way to save on car insurance. Jerry can help you find all the right coverage to bring your policy payments down. Jerry compares prices from up to 45 different providers so you know you’re getting the best deal.

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