Drive Safe & Save: In-Drive, OnStar and SYNCState Farm customers can choose one of several ways to participate in the Drive Safe & Save program. The first is through a device called In-Drive that, like Snapshot, plugs into your vehicle's diagnostic (OBDII) port (most car models from 1996 on have them) near the steering wheel. In addition to mileage, In-Drive tracks when you drive, how fast you accelerate and turn and how hard you brake. The second is for customers whose cars come equipped with telematics-based subscription services such as OnStar and SYNC. State Farm receives odometer readings from those services every 30 days after you enroll and, after six months, adjusts your premium to reflect the mileage. Driving patterns are not monitored under these plans. Drivers in California have the option of self-reporting their mileage, and in Ohio, drivers can use their smartphones and the car's Bluetooth system to send in the information State Farm says you get an immediate 5 percent discount on your rates for participating in Drive Safe & Save. Also, according to the company, another 20 percent could be trimmed if you don't go above the national average of 12,000 miles a year. More small discounts may be tallied if you prove to be a safe motorist, do not drive over 80 mph and avoid driving between midnight and 4 a.m. With the OnStar and Sync plans, your discount of up to 50 percent is calculated just on your mileage.
Watch that mileage, be sure enrollment fee doesn't eat your discountEnrollment for In-Drive is not free, although the program comes with a one-year free trial. After that it costs $6.99 a month, which obviously cuts into any discounts you accrue. The insurer, however, claims the discount benefits offset the enrollment fee for most participants.
Also, beware: State Farm warns that some drivers already getting a low-mileage discount may see a rate hike. "If you currently receive a premium reduction for low estimated annual mileage (under 7,500 miles annually for personal use) and your vehicle is actually driven more than that, your premium may increase at a future policy renewal period. Drive Safe & Save is always a discount if compared to a similarly rated policy without Drive Safe & Save," states the company website.The insurer adds that customers can track their performance, and the progress of discounts, at State Farm's website. Other companies with PAYD, including Progressive, offer similar access at their websites. If you don't have an OnStar subscription but want to take that route with Drive Safe & Save, you can buy plans from OnStar ranging from $20 a month to $35 a month. The basic plan includes one-touch emergency response, roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics alerts and maintenance reminders, while the more costly subscription adds other features like navigational guidance and 30 minutes of hands-free calls a month.