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Author Topic: My latest fun battle with corporate - progressive  (Read 5322 times)
nutballs
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« on: March 03, 2011, 10:30:13 AM »

This one is actually not a pissing contest, or anger, or me getting screwed somehow like google and amazon usually are. This is me realizing I just got put into a discount program that is possibly setting me up for failure.

Progressive now has this snapshot program. Stick a module into your dataport on your car, and for 30 days they collect stuff. Basically hard-brakes and trip duration and distance. Meh, whatever, except, i cant avoid hard braking.


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I have an issue with the SnapShot program and how the Hard Brake data is a no-win situation.

I will use math to explain my concern. This is not a whiney customer who has lost a discount, since I have not yet completed the program. I just am a data geek who noticed a catch-22. I understand that the math of how progressive actually calculates discounts is not quite this simple, but the definition of a hard brake, provided by progressive, is simple. How they are used, and what constitutes numbers that justify a penalty of course is not known by me, though I would love to know.

Item: Hard Braking is defined by you as reduction of speed of more than 7 mph/second.

Problem: The main road I drive is a 50mph road with traffic lights. The lights have a 4 second yellow light duration. That means that if the light turns yellow on me, I have as little as 4 seconds to stop. At 50mph that could be as little as 293 feet (0.0555 miles).

Answer:

I can't win. First extreme would be the light turning yellow when I am 4 seconds away, meaning, 0.0555 miles. This is an easy one to understand, since I would immediately brake, and ignoring the delay of reaction time, I would have to brake at a rate of -12.5mph/s.

The other extreme to look at is how far away i have to be, and how long I have to take to slow down to not be considered a hard brake. In order to not be a hard brake, I have to begin braking just over 7 seconds (actually 7.15 to be under) from the intersection. In case you missed the really important piece of info about this... I have to be psychic to "pass your test". I have to begin braking 3.15 seconds BEFORE the light even turns yellow.

So again, just to make it clear. I have 7.15 seconds to slow down from 50mph to 0mph, and not be considered hard braking. The traffic light is yellow for only 4 seconds. I need to start braking 3.15 seconds before the light turns yellow, not red, yellow, meaning it is still green.
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perkiset
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 10:41:46 AM »

I smell class action.

Of course they may be averaging, meaning that all slowdowns on freeways would be considered, even pulling into the garage.

Could be also that they're just looking to ensure grandma.
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nutballs
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2011, 01:16:37 PM »

Im sure. We also dont drive much during their "high risk" hours.
just on lack of miles alone im sure we get the discount. I just was actually curious how the hell you could actually accomplish avoiding "hard brake". There is no way. Especially since without blinkers, it is illegal to drive less than 10mph under the speed limit in most towns. lol
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perkiset
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 02:28:56 PM »

I totally agree. And it's doubly tough given that you are mister speedball as well. That'll make it more difficult also Wink
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 02:38:54 PM »

I agree, though I think that removing the large, leaded pad from your right foot could provide needed assistance in meeting the requirements of the program.   ROFLMAO

But yeah, it seems like a no-win.  I guess the missing piece of information, as Perks noted, is whether they are averaging things out or looking for individual cases of hard braking.

What happens if you refuse to participate in their little program?  Personally, I don't like the idea of someone attaching a monitoring device to my car, even for 30 days, one bit.  It sure seems like a slippery slope.
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nutballs
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 03:19:13 PM »

you get to pay full price eventually if you dont. Most insurance companies are heading this way, just progressive is well... progressive i guess.

I actually am just really curious of what they will say. I assume that my tiny bit of driving is not going to reduce my discount at all.

I also realized how to game the system.
go rent a car and just drive your car perfectly during low risk hours. A lot of work, but still, can be gamed.
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