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Ford hopes you'll trade some privacy for discounted car insurance

It's offering usage-based coverage with promises of lower rates.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 22, 2020
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Ford thinks it has a way to make car insurance more appealing: taking advantage of the data available from connected cars. It's teaming up with Nationwide to introduce its own take on usage-based insurance. If you have one of several 2020 Ford or Lincoln models (like the Mustang you see above), you can sign up for a policy that uses the vehicle's built-in modem to track your driving habits and adjust your rates accordingly with each renewal. The technology tracks distance, your aggressiveness with pedals, idle time and night driving. You'll get a better deal if you're a gentle commuter than a foot-to-the-floor enthusiast, in other words.

The companies are promising discounts of up to 40 percent, although that will likely vary. The insurance is available now in 39 states with notable exceptions like New York and Washington, although it should reach other states "over time."

This is more convenient than other forms of usage-based insurance. You don't need to buy a separate dongle, and you can sign up through the Ford or Lincoln apps with some of the details already filled in. The problem, as is often the case, is that you're trading a degree of privacy for the bargain. While there aren't indications that Ford or Nationwide will misuse tracking data, the truth remains that you're sharing your driving patterns with third parties.

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