Big Brother, Thy Name Is… Jake from State Farm?

Mar 3, 2016

  1. Brian Anderson

    Brian Anderson Executive Editor

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    Today there is Progressive’s “Snapshot” keeping an eye on hard braking and more. Tomorrow, auto insurers may be getting all up inside your business.

    Judging by 4 new patent applications, not far down the road State Farm may want to monitor how their policyholders drive by checking their pulse, breathing, eye movements and how much they sweat.

    Here’s an excerpt from CBS MoneyWatch:

    In four patent applications State Farm with the U.S. Patent Office, the Midwestern insurer describes how it could make you sit up straight; keep your eyes on the road; plant your hands firmly on the wheel rather than your cell phone; and, perhaps most important, avoid road rage.

    If you do see red, State Farm will try to calm you down by using "appropriate stimuli," such as turning on soothing music. Conversely, if you're a hothead who tends to ignore the ministrations of your benevolent backseat driver, you might find your car insurance premiums going up.

    But hey, maybe it won’t ever become an issue. By the time they might put these potential patents into practice, we may well all be escorted around in driverless cars anyhow…;)

    Why State Farm wants to watch you breathe, sweat and swear - CBS News
  2. Heather

    Heather Guru

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    New York
    Taking all the fun out of driving why have a V8 if you don't want to go fast when you can do so safely with out your insurance knowing? We'll all have to crank up the A/C so we don't sweat, take Xanax so we don't get upset or have our blood pressure go up. If you jam to rap music with swear words they will think you are swearing. I assume they also will find away to tell if you are chewing food and driving. They may also figure out your menstrual cycle to check for PMS and irritability. They will know if you have a bratty smart mouth teenager in the backseat. Anything you say could be held against you in a court of law.
    Not liking this idea at all, other than assisting a sleepy driver who is about to fall asleep I think it is going to far.
    Heather, Mar 3, 2016
  3. InsCommentary

    InsCommentary Guru

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    Look for insurers to buy all kinds of data about you. They can discover from your Facebook postings that you're not getting enough sleep. There are many ramifications from data like that, ranging from helpful to you to increasing your auto premium or worse at renewal.

    And that telematics data your insurer is collecting, has it logged in the GPS coordinates of that bar you spent 6 hours at Friday night? How might that data impact your insurance? Who might want to buy it?
  4. ModernInsurance

    ModernInsurance Super Genius

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    Allstate has been doing this with their "Drivewise" program for the past few years as well. While they all claim it is to monitor specific driving habits to potentially (the operative word here is potentially) reward safe drivers with reduced rates, the reality is they're aggregating and selling this data. That's where the big money is - data. Not premium.