June 19, 2024

Is Your Car Spilling the Beans to Your Insurance Company? Find Out Here

Vehicle manufacturers of smart cars are sharing a significant amount of data that customers may not be fully aware of, as reported by the New York Times on Monday. This issue is compounded by the fact that automakers could be sharing details about customer driving behaviors directly with their insurance providers. If you prefer to keep certain driving habits private from your insurance company, continue reading for more information.

According to the report, instances where customers actively opt into various connected features have been linked to the data sharing. However, the manner in which customers consent, and their level of understanding of the agreements, varies among different manufacturers. For example, some OEMs like Tesla, who offer their own insurance services, make customers aware that their driving will be monitored. Third-party insurance companies also provide electronic monitoring devices that connect to the on-board diagnostic (OBD) port in vehicles.

On the other hand, some data collection practices are less transparent. General Motors, in particular, was singled out by the New York Times for sharing data with third parties with limited or unclear documentation. The optional OnStar Smart Driver service from GM tracks customer driving habits to promote safer and more economical driving, but may not clearly disclose that this data could be shared with databases used by insurance companies. Several owners of high-performance GM vehicles reported receiving higher insurance rates after using the service while driving on the track.

Various other automakers have acknowledged partnerships with third-party data collection firms but within more specific contexts. For example, Subaru’s Starlink service allows customers to request insurance tracking for quotes, or only shares odometer data with third-party providers. Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi offer optional driver score features that involve data collection sent to insurance databases, but only if customers opt in.

If you own a smart car, especially one from GM, it is advisable to carefully read the article for more insights.


Q: Can I prevent my car from sharing driving data with insurance companies?

A: It depends on the manufacturer and the specific features of your connected car. Some companies offer opt-out options, while others require customers to actively opt in to data sharing for insurance purposes.


Being aware of how your connected car interacts with insurance companies and data sharing practices is essential to maintain your privacy and potentially avoid unwarranted rate hikes. Stay informed and consider your options when utilizing connected features in your vehicle.

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