Several insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who install drive-tracking devices, but Chicagoans should be careful before agreeing to them. The data is used to track the driver’s behavior, but it does not track the behavior of other drivers. When motorists are involved in accidents, the insurance companies might use the data from their drive-tracking devices to try to deny coverage without accounting for the actions of the other involved motorists. In many accidents, a single driver is not 100% at fault and will instead share liability with the other involved motorist. However, if the injured victim has a drive-tracking app installed, the app might flag defensive driving behaviors such as including hard braking, as negligent driving behavior, leading the insurance company to try to dispute the claim.
Data in Accidents Involving Uninsured Drivers
In Illinois, accident victims can recover compensation for losses as long as they were less than 50% at fault under the state’s comparative negligence rules. When an insured driver has an accident with an uninsured motorist and has a drive-tracking device, the insured driver might file a claim with his or her uninsured motorist policy. The insured driver’s automobile insurance company might review the data from the drive-tracking device to try to assign him or her a higher percentage of fault. The company may do this to reduce the amount it might have to pay or to try to avoid paying the claim.
When Both Drivers Share the Same Company
In some cases, both involved drivers will share the same insurance company and have the company’s drive-tracking device or app installed. In this scenario, the insurance company will be incentivized to use the data from both drivers to argue that the fault was nearly equal. This is because an accident victim’s damages are reduced by the percentage of fault that he or she shared. For example, if the insurance company determines that one driver was 51 % at fault while the other driver was 49% at fault, the driver who is assigned 51% will recover nothing while the other driver will be limited to recovering 51% of his or her losses.
When the Drivers Have Different Companies
If the driver with the drive-tracking app has a different insurance company than the other driver, the data might show that he or she was less at fault. However, the insurance company might not want to share the information with the other company.