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balthazar

Big Brother could save you money

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>>"A new discount plan from GMAC Insurance gives a discount on premiums to drivers of General Motors vehicles with the OnStar service if they let the insurer track the number of miles they drive. Other companies have been experimenting with similar programs, which is causing concern about how much privacy drivers may unwittingly give up in exchange for savings.

The only information OnStar would share with GMAC insurance, both companies said, would be the number of miles driven each month. GMAC would use that information to help it calculate risk. Drivers must enroll in the OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics service to get the discount.

The biggest discount of 54 percent would go to those who drive fewer than 2,500 miles per year. The smallest discount of 13 percent would go to those who drive between 12,501 and 15,000 miles per year. No discount would go to those who drive more than 15,000 miles per year.

The plan will be available in 34 states, but will roll out in more states next year, the company said. OnStar currently claims over 5 million total subscribers.

GMAC Insurance has been offering the discount on a test basis since January, 2004. So far, according to the company, 10,000 people have signed on. GMAC Insurance, which is 49 percent owned by General Motors, insures all types of cars, not just GM cars, the company said, but this program would only be available to GM drivers.

Progressive Insurance offers a similar program in a few states. It's called TripSense, and it requires participants to plug a computer chip into a port in the the car's dashboard. The chip collects data, including the number of miles driven and time of day when the vehicles is driven. Participants remove the chip on a regular basis and connect it to a computer to upload the data to Progressive's computers. In exchange, they receive discounts of as much as 25 percent on their insurance premiums, according to the company.

Progressive (Charts, Fortune 500) also collects data about vehicle speed, acceleration and braking, but that information is used only for research purposes, the company said, and it would not be used to set rates, or as a basis for canceling a policy.

The GMAC/OnStar announcement may spur larger insurers to begin experimenting with programs like these soon, said Brian Sullivan, publisher of the insurance industry newsletter Risk Information.

Spokesmen for State Farm and Allstate (Charts, Fortune 500) said their companies are looking into it.

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Complete article here: http://finance.yahoo.com/insurance/article...-save-you-money

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That's interesting because Allstate already tracks my mileage for a discount. Yes, I have to report it manually.

Maybe on my next Buick I'll check GMAC insurance out. However, Allstate has never treated me with anything but respect with my homes and cars. It'll be a hard sale to make me switch.

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I agree it's a slippery slope, and I love OnStar but, I would never agree to do this. It reeks of violating my privacy!

You're right...First and foremost it's all about your privacy
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I'm glad that I will be dead in 20 years or so. Big Brother is everywhere. Watch the movie Minority Report, if you want to see where we're headed as far as Big Brother. ON Star is great, but the insurance lobby is way too powerful and will get there way. They offere discounts now (to soften us up and get us used to the idea), but in 10 years some sort of tracking devices will be mandatory.

There are some upsides (finding a stolen car), but the downsides are enormous with the potential that any vehicle can be tracked anywhere it is. Sure, I think we would all agree that a Sex Offender's vehicle should be 'tagged,' but where does that end. Remember, only 35 years ago, ordinary gay people were considered sex offenders.

I have personally seen how fickle the strong arm of the law can be, how glacially slow democracies are in reacting to real dangers, and how tenuous our 'freedoms' are. I am not optimistic about the Brave New World.

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I'm glad that I will be dead in 20 years or so. Big Brother is everywhere. Watch the movie Minority Report, if you want to see where we're headed as far as Big Brother. ON Star is great, but the insurance lobby is way too powerful and will get there way. They offere discounts now (to soften us up and get us used to the idea), but in 10 years some sort of tracking devices will be mandatory.

There are some upsides (finding a stolen car), but the downsides are enormous with the potential that any vehicle can be tracked anywhere it is. Sure, I think we would all agree that a Sex Offender's vehicle should be 'tagged,' but where does that end. Remember, only 35 years ago, ordinary gay people were considered sex offenders.

I have personally seen how fickle the strong arm of the law can be, how glacially slow democracies are in reacting to real dangers, and how tenuous our 'freedoms' are. I am not optimistic about the Brave New World.

Sadly, I have to agree.

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Slippery slope.

I hate Onstar.

I love OnStar and think it is a GREAT feature (safety stuff not the bells & whistles)

BUT this makes me very nervous. :huh:

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