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What is the Progressive Snapshot?

You may have seen Progressive's spokesperson Flo, with her bright lips and enthusiastic tone, talking about the Snapshot policy and how it can earn you discounts on your car insurance. Learn about what the Snapshot program is, how it works, and what the benefits are to decide if the Snapshot program is the right way to help you and your family save money.

How Does the Snapshot Program Work?

Snapshot is a program through Progressive that lets you plug a small monitoring device into your vehicle's diagnostics port to monitor your driving habits so you can potentially save money on your car insurance. Progressive's Snapshot device only keeps track of your braking habits, how many miles you drive, and the time of day you do most of your driving, making it one of the least intrusive monitoring programs available.

To earn discounts, simply plug your Snapshot device in, and then drive for 30 days so it can get a picture of your driving habits. Your initial discounts will kick in right away, but you will need to keep the device plugged in for five more months to determine your renewal discount.

How Does Snapshot Help You Save Money?

Snapshot is basically a way to earn safe driving and low mileage discounts. Traditionally, the only way to earn these discounts was to take a driver's safety course or go several years without any traffic tickets, and to bring your vehicle into your agent's office to have him verify the number of miles you drove for the year.

With many insurance companies making the move to online policy services so things are easier for customers, the Snapshot program provides an easy way to earn discounts even if you don't have a clean driving record to back you up.

Who Is Snapshot For?

The Snapshot program is designed for anyone who is interested in saving money on car insurance. Because drivers can earn discounts they may not otherwise qualify for, it is great for those who have recent tickets, as well as teen drivers who haven't had time to build up a driving history yet. It's almost like driving with a clean slate from the first time you plug in your device.

Benefits of the Snapshot Program

Besides saving you money on your insurance rates, the Snapshot program has some advantages over competitors' programs. Because it is one of the simplest programs, you don't need to worry about it monitoring all of your driving habits and tattling on you. It only keeps track of three things: your mileage, how often you drive between midnight and 4 a.m., and your braking habits. Anything else is off limits.

Another benefit of using the Snapshot program is that your rates can only go down. You don't need to worry about your policy going up because you work odd hours and drive home in the middle of the night, or because you have a heavy foot when it comes to hitting the brakes. Taking part in the program can't hurt it can only help you by lowering the cost of your auto policy.

Similar Programs by Other Companies

Progressive Insurance isn't the only auto insurance company to offer programs which let you earn discounts for driving safely and reducing the number of miles you put on your vehicle. Other companies offer similar ways to document your driving habits and reduce your rates.

Drive Wise by Allstate

Similar to the Progressive Snapshot program, the Drive Wise program by Allstate monitors your mileage, braking habits, and the time of day you drive. Just plug in the Drive Wise device you receive in the mail and you'll be ready to go. The Drive Wise program also adds accelerating habits and speed to the list of monitored items, so it is slightly more invasive than Progressive's Snapshot.

In-Drive Program with State Farm

The In-Drive program offers three distinct packages through State Farm: In-Drive Connect, In-Drive Guardian, and In-Drive Co-Pilot. In-Drive Connect monitors your driving habits including how quickly you accelerate, what time of day you drive, your speed, and your braking habits. You can compare your driving habits with average drivers through an online report card to see where your driving habits could use some work. You can also see a diagnostic of your vehicle to see if your car's health is at its best. In-Drive Guardian includes these features plus extra diagnostics that alert you when a problem happens and safety services. In-Drive Co-Pilot lets you keep an eye on your car with up-to-date location monitoring.

The extra features with the In-Drive program make it useful for teenage drivers and those who have less experience. The online report card not only lets you see where you can improve your driving habits like braking or turning it also gives you tips on how to improve them based on the way you drive. The diagnostics tools let novice drivers stay on top of needed maintenance and issues with their vehicles.

GMAC Low-Mileage Discount

GMAC Insurance has paired with OnStar to offer customers discounted rates if they drive less than 15,000 miles per year. One advantage of the Low-Mileage Discount program is that unlike most other companies you don't need to plug anything in to get the discount. Your mileage will be tracked through your OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics if you are an active OnStar subscriber. All you need to do for this program is let your GMAC agent know you'd like to opt into the program.

Whichever one you choose, pay-as-you-go insurance programs can help you not only reduce your insurance premiums, but they can also be great tools to get an idea of how you drive. Whether you are looking for a program that is less invasive or one that is more inclusive, there are a variety of programs out there to fit your needs.