Automakers Are Helping Insurance Companies Spy on You

How your automaker might secretly share your driving habits with insurance companies, leading to higher rates, and what you can do about it.
March 17, 2024
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GM cars on Detroit factory floor

Without your knowledge, your automaker could be sharing your driving behavior with insurance companies, leading to higher rates. 

Automakers have started offering optional features that track and rate people’s driving. Customers opt in because automakers do a great job of linking these features to developing safer driving habits. But what customers generally don’t know is that these automakers often sell the driving behavior data collected from these features to third parties.

General Motors (GM) shares “select insights” of drivers using their OnStar Smart Driver feature regarding hard braking, hard acceleration, speeding over 80 mph, and drive time with two data brokers: LexisNexis and Verisk, per The New York Times. According to their websites, LexisNexis and Verisk have several customers in the insurance industry.

The following automakers are also sharing data, per The New York Times:

  • Kia, Subaru, and Mitsubishi share data with LexisNexis
  • Ford, Honda, and Hyundai share data with Verisk

Look, usage-based insurance, where an insurance company calculates your premium based on your driving behavior, is not new. Many customers prefer it for the cost savings, and lawmakers prefer it for the public safety benefit. But, the issue with this method, where customers are enrolled without their knowledge, is drivers don’t have the incentive to drive safer, and therefore, there are no cost savings or public safety benefits.

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