Telematics Programs Prompt Changes in Driving Behavior, But Not All Changes are Permanent

According to a new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 80 percent of drivers change their driving behavior while participating in auto insurer-sponsored telematics programs, but not all of the changes are permanent. After participating in a program, 42 percent of those who made changes say that they now drive “pretty much” the same way as before. Just 15 percent say the changes made are permanent, while 19 percent say they only rarely engage in their old driving habits, and 24 percent admit to occasionally reverting to old driving habits.

Insurer-sponsored telematics programs typically involve auto insurers providing participating policyholders with individualized advice and tips on how they can reduce the risk of accidents by changing how they drive. The feedback provided is based on information about actual driving behavior collected during program participation.

“These findings suggest that telematics programs play a beneficial role in promoting safe driving and reducing the frequency of auto accidents and their associated costs,” said David Corum, vice president of the IRC. “The findings also highlight an opportunity for insurers to do even better by offering suggestions and strategies drivers can use to make the positive changes permanent,” said Corum.

Other issues examined in the study include:

Reasons for not participating in a telematics program when offered
Concerns about how information about driving behavior is used
Factors that encourage participation in telematics programs
The impact of participation on insurance costs
How drivers use their smartphones while driving
The IRC report, Auto Insurance Telematics and Smartphone Use: Consumer Survey Report, is based on an online survey of 2,099 drivers age 18 and older conducted in March 2020 by Dynata on behalf of IRC. For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact David Corum at 484-831-9046 or by email at Visit IRC’s website,, for information about purchasing a copy of the report.

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Insurance Research Council

The Insurance Research Council is a division of The Institutes. The Institutes are the leader in delivering proven knowledge solutions that drive powerful business results for the risk management and property-casualty insurance industry. Institutes knowledge solutions include the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU® ) designation program; associate designation programs in areas such as claims, risk management, underwriting, and reinsurance; introductory and foundation programs; online courses; research; custom solutions; assessment tools; and continuing education (CE) courses for licensed insurance professionals and adjusters through The Institutes’ CEU business unit. The IRC provides timely and reliable research to all parties involved in public policy issues affecting insurance companies and their customers. The IRC does not lobby or advocate legislative positions. It is supported by leading property-casualty insurance organizations.

David Corum, CPCU