The opportunity to save money entices many drivers to enroll in the good driver programs offered by their insurers. Insurance companies track the driving habits of participants using smartphone apps or devices installed in drivers’ vehicles. This information, in part, helps them to determine whether participants meet their requirements for continuing in the program when it comes up for renewal. However, could this data also be used against you?

Below, Goldberg Finnegan discusses user-based insurance tracking, including what data is being collected and how insurers could use this data to devalue a future claim.

After an accident, having a qualified attorney handle your claim helps to ensure your best interests are protected throughout the legal process. Our car crash attorneys in Silver Spring have extensive experience handling claims for injured accident victims, and we charge no upfront costs.

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What Type of Data Does the Insurance Company Track?

Insurance companies may not all collect the same data. The information collected varies by the insurer, vehicle and the type of device used to collect data, but could include:

  • Data and time of any driving event
  • Speed, including speed at impact if you crash
  • Seatbelt usage of the driver and front seat passenger
  • Phone usage while driving
  • Acceleration data
  • Engine RPM
  • Braking details, including attempts to stop before a crash
  • Hard cornering
  • Number of miles driven
  • The angle of your vehicle’s steering wheel prior to impact
  • And more

How is My Data Being Collected?

Insurance companies use telematic devices to collect data about your driving habits directly from your vehicle. Most newer vehicles have a pre-installed system that your insurance company can use to collect your driving data. However, on vehicles without factory-installed systems, the insurance company could use:

  • A device that plugs into the on-board diagnostics of your car through the OBD-II port
  • Various smartphone apps that pair to your vehicle via Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth-capable tags that pair with your vehicle or a smartphone app

Could User-Based Insurance Data Hurt Your Claim?

The insurance company could take the data gathered about your driving habits and manipulate that information to damage your credibility in a car crash claim. If the insurance company is successful in their attempts, you may be unable to recover any compensation for your injuries and other losses. Maryland follows a strict contributory negligence rule, which means you are barred from seeking compensation after a crash if you are even one percent liable.

Your driving data could be used against you:

  • If you claim to be a safe driver, yet your driving data shows you regularly travel 10 miles or more above the speed limit. Even if you did not contribute to the crash, this information can be used to make you appear dishonest.
  • When you and the other driver have policies with the same insurance company. The insurer could use data, both from you and the at-fault driver, to effectively show you both contributed to the crash.
  • If the other driver is uninsured and you file a claim with your own insurer. The insurance company could use this data to show you did not apply your brakes or take other corrective measures to avoid the crash.

There are many other ways insurance companies may use this data to devalue or deny your claim. As user-based insurance data has increased in reliability, it has become more common to present it in civil lawsuits to establish a defendant’s innocence or provide evidence of fault.

Call Goldberg Finnegan for Legal Help Following a Car Crash

If you were injured in a car crash caused by another’s negligence, our licensed attorneys are ready to help. We have decades of experience, a successful track record, and we know how to deal with insurance companies who try to avoid paying a valid claim.

At Goldberg Finnegan, we have recovered more than $130 million in compensation for injured clients. Get answers to your legal questions in the free, no-obligation consultation we offer. We are available to take your call anytime, day or night.