GMAC Insurance: Drive Less, Pay Less

People who drive fewer than 15,000 miles per year can save 13-54% on their GMAC insurance premiums under a GMAC Insurance’s new Low-Mileage Discount. All you have to do is opt-in to let OnStar monitor your mileage. The average annual vehicle mileage is about 12,000 miles, according to the Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Review ’06, so it looks like most people with GMAC insurance and OnStar could save under OnStar’s Low-Mileage Discount Program. With the need to save every dollar on your car, this could be a good program for eligible drivers to check out by calling 1-800-GMAC-123 or going to gmacinsurance.com.

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  1. mariospants says:

    I could definitely benefit from this because I walk to work and back. Unfortunately, we drive to Florida and back a couple of times a year, so that could get us up to that limit pretty quickly.

  2. zigziggityzoo says:

    Haha, that picture reminds me of “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!”

    But seriously, It’s kinda creepy letting some megacorp track you like that, but at least it’s opt-in. Big question is this: What else are they going to do with that data, if anything?

  3. TracyHamandEggs says:

    This sucks. It used to be they took your word for it that you were a low mileage driver. You told them how long your commute was and how much you drove and they figured out your mileage, now big brother needs to track your driving?

    Not a fan.

  4. Truthie says:

    I think the use of OnStar to monitor driving is a unique innovation, but many insurance companies have used annual mileage as part of premium determination for years. When I used to take public transit to work and only drove on the weekends I only put like 5-10K miles on my car per year and just showed the odometer to my State Farm agent to get their low-mileage discount.

  5. Taed says:

    I only drive about 6,000 miles a year, and I’ve always had an under-7,500 low-milage discount with State Farm. I’ve never had to show them my odometer, only self-report. I assume that if you had an accident or something, the milage would be reported and you’d be in trouble in some way if you had been lying, but I don’t know how it works for a fact.

    I used to be able to walk to work and probably only did 3,000 miles per year in those days.

  6. chrylis says:

    As mentioned, there is no good reason why a low mileage insurance discount needs anything more than an odometer reading.

    However, as with many “optional” features, I have a suspicion that insurance companies are going to try to make tracking devices effectively mandatory by pricing non-tracked plans out of most people’s reach.

  7. teh says:

    Question: Will they also be using OnStar to monitor speeds or other operating statuses?

  8. robdew2 says:

    My insurance company (Am Fam) already does this for me, and they don’t look at my odometer or anything else for that matter.

  9. josh1701 says:

    Progressive just started a similar program, MyRate, in select states. Under the program in New Jersey, customers can earn a first-term discount of up to 10 percent just for signing up. Then, when they renew their policy, their rate could decrease by up to 60 percent or increase by up to 9 percent based on their driving habits.

    Read more in “Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance coming.”

  10. josh1701 says:

    @josh1701: Sorry, here’s the correct link for the article I referenced:

    [www.philly.com]

  11. cmdrsass says:

    @mariospants: If you walk to work and only use your car on the weekend, you can get an even better deal from your insurer than this article describes by requesting a “recreational” rate.

  12. quickstrike says:

    I could get this insurance on my trans am, it sits in my garage all winter long, I’ll make a killing!!!

    This is good deal on collector cars every were that are not old enough to be call classic

    Thank you consumerist.

  13. AlexPDL says:

    @TracyHamandEggs9 is the bitchiest banana: True they used to take our word. But they only took it so far. If verifying with OnStar helps them create a more accurate guide for risk and therefore a lower price for lower risk drivers then I’m all for it. :-)

  14. Scuba Steve says:

    I drive maybe 1 or 2 miles a day. Still pay outrageous insurance because now I live in a “crash prone zip code”.. as opposed to driving 100 miles a day, of course.

  15. mike says:

    I’m with Allstate and they have a low-milage insurance program. It’s on an honor system. I write how many miles I drove every year (done by writing down my milage).

  16. RodAox says:

    For some reason to me this article with all honesty sounds like an insurance commercial… “You can save thousands by switching to us! Call us now or go to our website”.

    I got into two accidents with two different insurance companies. Both times rear ended, both times they refused to pay for the repairs stating it was too expensive, both times I had to tell them that I was going to sue somebody then. Apparently insurance companies scratch each others backs. You would not believe the amount of mail you get from ambulance chasers….

  17. failurate says:

    @teh: Yeah, that makes this whole thing sound like a horrible idea. I can see insurance companies dropping customers because they parked overnight in a high rate neighborhood or for exceding speed limits.

    I always make sure to reset the GPS devices in rental cars.

  18. Xerloq says:

    @truthie: Ditto. You don’t even need to go into the office. They mail me a form annually which I take in to my annual review, or I can simply give my word on one. I do the form to get both. (On a side note, that review is one I don’t mind because I walk out each year paying a little less than I did before with the same coverage.) Neither of our cars go more than 7K per year.

  19. toddkravos says:

    With Progressive, they have the “MyRate” wireless device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port. It’s based on “how” you drive, not how much you drive.

    From the site:
    “The MyRate program is Progressive’s Pay As You DriveSM insurance option that rewards safe driving. If you’re a safe driver, you can save money on auto insurance”

    It’s not offered everywhere, but it’s an alternative to research especially if you feel you are a good driver.

    Go to progressive.com and type “myrate” in the search box

  20. magic8ball says:

    Dear GMAC: what’s wrong with using the odometer, which is already in my car and is quite accurate?

    I also wonder how long it’s going to be before this goes from a “discount” situation to a “penalty” situation – i.e., instead of “we’ll give you a discount if you let us track you,” it changes to “we’ll levy additional charges if you don’t let us track you.”

  21. khiltd says:

    I drive less than 10 miles a week and their discounted rates (not including whatever OnStar services they make you sign up for) are more than I’m paying AAA for my current policy.

  22. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    My one and only car is listed as recreational under my USAA policy. I walk to work and just about everywhere else. It’s definitely an option people should look into, if they rarely use their cars.

  23. drjayphd says:

    (checks odometer, notes putting over 9,000 miles on a sparkling new Civic in five months)

    Yep, I’m not gonna qualify because of work. Harumph.

  24. HFC says:

    Damn, I drive 40,000+ miles each year, don’t have OnStar nor GMAC insurance. Can I use their special insurance, too?

  25. ShortBus says:

    @drjayphd: If you get in an accident while driving for business purposes, they won’t cover it anyhow.

  26. jjkean2 says:

    @RodAox

    You said they wouldn’t pay because the accident was “too expensive.” I’m guessing what the adjuster meant is that they didn’t have enough money on their policy to pay your claim.

    For example, in Florida I can get an insurance policy that only covers $10,000/per accident in property damage. If I were to hit a brand new Lexus, my insurance company wouldn’t be able to pay the entire claim.

    Typically at this point, they would try to secure a release of liabilty for them & me stating that they would give you the $10,000 in exchange for not suing me/them for the difference, but you are going to do that?

  27. thatguy01 says:

    @magic8ball: The insurer can try to stiff the insured owner personally if they find out that the low mileage affadavit was a fraud, like if they find out you really don’t have secure parking. But the insurer essentially is on the hook for liability and to the lien holder, regardless of the fraud, if the driver’s premium check cleared the bank.

    If insurers start refusing payment to lenders on the basis of mileage, lenders will immediately demand to self-insure all of their own customers.

  28. Skipweasel says:

    Two similar schemes in the UK have folded.

  29. Coelacanth says:

    @Scuba Steve: Do you perhaps live in Fremont, CA – or along any path of the San Francisco Bay Area man who went psycho and thought the roads were a real-life version of Carmageddon?

  30. blonderengel says:

    Not another monitoring system.

    No, thank you.

    I’d rather pay extra.

    On the slippery slope into complete surveillance, next stop: stomach monitor to watch if you eat sinful/fattening foods in order for insurance co. to jack up health insurance–if you have such a luxury to begin with?

    Might give a whole new dimension to the “I don’t swallow” line, tho.

  31. synergy says:

    @teh: You beat me to it. You know that if they can figure out who was speeding or who actually ran a light, etc. they’ll do it and self-reporting be damned.

    I’ve just been waiting for the insurance companies to start pushing this stuff.

  32. instant_karma says:

    The last thing I need is for my car to report back how I jump away from stoplights in impromptu drag races to the next light at least a couple of times a day and exceed 120 mph and generate massive lateral G-forces on the back road twisties.

    My insurance company really does not need to be aware of that shit. As far as they know my last speeding ticket was in 1998 and I’ve only had two in my life. Lucky me my car is registered to a very rural area with almost no crime or accidents ever, so yeah, I am paying next to nothing.

  33. barty says:

    I just called my insurance agent and told them we aren’t driving our Wrangler but maybe 2 days a week since we’ve started carpooling and he was able to immediately drop our rate about $100 a year. No tracking devices or affidavits required! It amounts to about a 15% discount on our policy.

  34. krunk4ever says:

    I’m not sure why they can’t just ask you what your current mileage is and when reported again the following year and it is below a set limit, apply discount.

    Tinkering your odometer is illegal and if caught, larger fines will be imposed. Lying about your odometer can disqualify your insurance contract as you’ve inputted false data, so you’d probably wouldn’t want to do that.

    I’m not sure I’m willing to give up my privacy by allowing them to track my car 365 days a year.

  35. alice_bunnie says:

    Our State Farm policy is “drives less than 12,000 annually” and we don’t have to report any odometer readings or anything like that.

    I would not allow anyone to monitor my driving, period. I don’t speed like I used to, but I really don’t care for the insurance company to know when I do. You can’t drive 55 in Atlanta!

  36. Syrenia says:

    @TracyHamandEggs9 is the bitchiest banana: I just did this with State Farm. Faxed them two service receipts (November 2006 and June 2008 in my case, showing a difference on the odometer of about 7,000 miles) and got a refund of $40 on my current six-month premium.

    I agree with the person who said the writeup reads like an ad for GMAC. From the comments, it seems like most car insurers have this option, and without the OnStar requirement.

  37. sillymeganlee says:

    The Hartford does this. However, it’s not something that is advertised. The less miles you drive, the less risk there is that you will be in an accident. Every two years we send out questionairres on odometer readings. If a customer disagrees with how many miles we’re rating them on, they can give us odometer readings from oil change receipts or something like that. It’s not necessary for them to send them in unless they’re being fishy in general. It works both ways, though. If you take a lot of vacations your annual mileage goes way up.