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Drivewise is an optional, usage-based-insurance (UBI) program that allows participating drivers to earn potential discounts of up to 40% off an Allstate car insurance policy. It also provides participants with additional features—such as driving insights and crash detection—that can be valuable while on the road.
TIME's Take: Drivers can potentially save a lot of money with Drivewise
Allstate’s Drivewise offers some of the biggest potential savings of the major car insurers’ UBI programs. If you’re a safe driver, and don’t mind sharing data with your insurance company, the program is definitely worth it to help you save money.
What is the Allstate Drivewise program?
Traditional car insurance bases an individual’s premium on general characteristics—such as age, gender, and ZIP code—rather than on their actual driving habits. Telematics-enabled UBI programs aim to change this. Introduced in the early 2000s, UBI lets a driver “prove” to their insurance company that they have safe habits behind the wheel, are less likely to be in an accident, and thus should pay less for insurance.
Allstate’s UBI program is known as Drivewise. It allows participating drivers to earn discounts of up to 40% off an Allstate car insurance policy. The optional program is available nationwide except in New York.
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How does Allstate Drivewise work?
You must have an Allstate policy to participate in Drivewise.
To get started, download Allstate’s free smartphone app (iOS or Android), log in (create an account if you're a new user), tap the Drivewise link and follow the prompts to enroll. If multiple drivers covered by a policy want to participate in Drivewise, they must all download the app and enroll.
After you enroll, you simply drive. The app will automatically detect your trips using the functionality in your phone—there’s no need to have the app open while driving. The app will collect various data, including:
- Driving speed
- Hard-braking incidents
- Trip time of day
- Amount of time spent driving during overnight periods (which are higher risk times to drive)
You can opt out of Drivewise at any time.
Allstate Drivewise discount
Once you’ve completed 50 trips, Allstate will calculate a performance reward (discount) based on the collected data. If you earn a reward, the company will credit it to your policy at your renewal. As you continue to participate in Drivewise, the app will continue to collect data, and Allstate will calculate any earned discount at subsequent renewals.
You’ll also earn a participation discount when your policy renews simply for enrolling in Drivewise and taking at least one trip.
The total amount of these discounts varies by state, but Allstate claims drivers can earn up to 40% off the cost of a traditional policy.
Additional Drivewise features
Besides giving you the opportunity to save money on your car insurance, Drivewise offers additional features.
Drivewise crash detection
A free and optional feature within Drivewise, crash detection uses sensors in your smartphone to detect that you've been in a major collision. The Allstate app will prompt you to call 911 or start a claim if a crash happens.
Drivewise insights, available through the Allstate app, help you optimize your driving habits to earn a performance reward. You can see how often you engage in hard braking, high-speed driving, and driving at high-risk times. This information is updated daily. Drivewise also shows driving data for each trip, including a map depicting your route and highlighting any unsafe behaviors.
Over time, your safe driving can earn you points to redeem on merchandise, gift cards, and other items through the Allstate Rewards program.
How to earn a discount with Drivewise
As mentioned earlier, Drivewise gathers various data about your driving then calculates your initial savings after 50 trips. While the occasional "slip up" shouldn't negatively affect your potential savings too severely, be sure to develop and practice overall safe driving habits to maximize your discount including:
- Driving during daylight hours.
- Keeping your speed within posted limits.
- Maintaining a safe following distance to help limit hard braking.
Other things to know about Allstate Drivewise
To fully understand Drivewise, consider the following additional information.
Your premium may go up based on your driving
Allstate notes in one of its Drivewise FAQs that “Drivers who have riskier driving behaviors are expected to see a higher price from participating in Drivewise.” The company gives no details beyond this, but it’s worth keeping in mind as you consider whether to enroll.
Drivewise requires your location services to be on
Drivewise uses your phone's GPS features to help gather the information it needs. Because of this, your location services must be set to always on. This could contribute to the draining of your phone's battery.
Drivewise does not know when you're a passenger
Drivewise doesn’t distinguish between vehicles and drivers. All the app knows is that you’re in a moving vehicle, and it assumes you’re the one behind the wheel. It will even track trips you take using public transportation or rideshare services. For this reason, you should check your insights regularly and indicate the trips you took as a passenger (the app lets you do this).
How does Allstate Drivewise compare to other usage-based insurance programs?
Many leading insurance companies offer UBI programs. Here’s how they stack up against one another.
|What It tracks
|Minimum review period to earn driving discount
|Can premium go up?
|Phone use affects discount?
Speed, hard braking, trip time of day, night driving
Liberty Mutual RightTrack
Braking, acceleration, trip time of day, rush-hour driving
$156 per year average savings
Hard braking, fast starts, trip duration, trip time of day of driving, distracted driving
Six or 12 months, depending on policy
Yes, depending on state and program version
Distracted driving, hard braking, cornering, road type, trip time of day
Yes, depending on state
Miles driven, hard braking, fast acceleration, night driving
State Farm Drive Safe & Save
Mileage, acceleration, hard braking, cornering, phone use, speed
Location, trip time of day, phone use, hard braking, hours driven
What makes Allstate Drivewise stand out from other UBI programs?
While these programs have many similarities, a few things help Allstate’s Drivewise stand out from the crowd.
How much money you can save with Drivewise
Let’s be honest, the number-one attraction of UBI is the potential for savings. Among the programs we compared, Allstate’s 40% is among the highest maximum discounts available.
According to recent data, the average annual cost of minimum-limit car insurance is $968, while the average annual cost of full-coverage car insurance is $1,949. Based on these averages, even a 20% discount through Allstate Drivewise would result in hundreds of dollars of annual savings.
It’s one thing for Drivewise to dangle potential car insurance savings in front of you. It’s another thing for the program to actually help you turn that potential into reality. Drivewise insights does that by giving you near real-time information you can use to earn a discount in the program as you become a safer driver.
You can log in to Drivewise daily to view your trips and identify times you could have slowed down or driven more cautiously to avoid hard braking, for instance.
Drivewise also stands out by offering customers additional rewards for participating and practicing safe driving habits. Rewards include merchandise, gift cards, and sweepstakes entries.
If Drivewise isn’t right for you
Telematics-enabled UBI promises to help eliminate some of the unfairness of traditional insurance pricing. And the savings available through Allstate’s Drivewise are considerable. But the program might not be right for everybody.
The good news is that Allstate offers a variety of discounts for car insurance, including those for having a new car, safety features such as anti-lock brakes, and multiple policies (such as car and homeowners) with the company. So even if you choose to pass on Drivewise, you can still save on car insurance.
If you’re a safe driver, and don’t mind using your smartphone to share data with your insurance company, you could save a lot of money with Drivewise. The UBI program from Allstate gives you a chance to prove that you deserve to pay a lower car insurance premium.
We based our review on publicly available information about Allstate's Drivewise program, along with information about competitive UBI offerings. As much as possible, we relied on information gathered from company websites. However, some information came from other third-party articles available online.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Does Allstate Drivewise track your location?
Yes. Allstate Drivewise uses the GPS features of your phone to track your location while driving.
Can you turn Drivewise off?
You can turn off Drivewise through the Allstate app in the Drivewise settings. However, when the program is off, it will not collect driving data. This could negatively affect your chance of earning a discount.
How much money do you get back with Drivewise?
Allstate claims drivers can save up to 40% with Drivewise. This could translate to hundreds of dollars per year.
How fast can you drive with Drivewise?
The Drivewise program considers speeds over 80 miles per hour to be excessive. Driving at such speeds could thus negatively impact your savings.
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