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Reason Foundation

Driving with Big Brother III

Ted Balaker
January 18, 2005, 10:10am

Wouldn't it be nice if car insurance premiums really reflected risk? Sure they do in some ways--teenagers pay more because they're a greater risk and location matters as well. Where you drive is an important factor in assessing risk, but when you drive is important, too. If you drive when traffic is light, you're less likely to get into an accident. Why should you pay the same as someone who mixes it up in rush-hour traffic every day? Well, now insurance companies are beginning to use "Big Brother" techniques–actually, voluntary Big Brother techniques–to offer deals like this: you let us look over your shoulder more, and we'll lower your premiums. This approach could help us deal with all those dangerous teen drivers hepped up on hormones and mall cinnamon rolls: Maybe some day this will help relax rush hour traffic for the rest of us. Who knows how many people would avoid driving during rush hour if tweaking their commuting habits would save them some dough. For more, see this and this.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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