Progressive Insurance was the first company to offer drivers an alternative when it came to the rates they paid for vehicle insurance, partially basing premiums on the actual amount of driving someone did. Now Allstate has joined the ‘Drive Wise’ program, offering New York drivers an alternative company to choose for their pay-as-drive insurance coverage.

The ‘Drive Wise’ systems requires the driver install a GPS tracking device in their vehicle. This device records not only how much time the vehicle spends on the roads, but also where they go, how well they drive (tracking the speed of the vehicle primarily) and essentially every destination they visit. It means surrendering some elements of personal privacy, but in return, if you drive less than the norm, and safer, you will actually pay less for your insurance.

The ‘Drive Wise’ program is available in New York, Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, Arizona, Ohio and Illinois already and similar programs are being considered in just about every state. For the insurance companies this represents the easiest way to reduce premiums for some drivers (those who earn it by driving less and driving defensively) by helping them identify those drivers more at risk of a collision. it seems logical to think of people who drive more as a greater risk than those drivers who leave their cars parked most of the year. The odds are in your favor if you only take your car out once a year than if you drive it every to and from work, or school, or wherever.

It is not a requirement that you have a GPS tracker installed in your car. This is a voluntary program meaning if you don’t want it you can just pay the same rate as everyone else. Also, it might not make sense for every driver to apply for the program simply because if you drive a lot you also might not see a reduction in rates. But those who do qualify the money they save in insurance premiums seems to be well worth the trouble of surrendering a little privacy.