limoWould you be willing to let an insurance company electronically monitor your driving habits in return for a possible 25% cut in your premium? That's the deal now offered in 19 states by Progressive Insurance, as it works to take its MyRate program national.

The company uses three criteria for the MyRate discount: defensive driving practices, low annual mileage (under 10,000 miles), and little driving after midnight.


The device Progressive installs in covered vehicles captures speed and time-of-day data, and from this can identify risky behavior such as jackrabbit starts and panic stops. Drivers are able to access their driving history online to make sure they are in compliance.

In case you're wondering, the device is not GPS equipped, so it can't tell the difference between a trip to church or the nudie bar, as long as the distances are the same.

If your household is a blend of cautious and aggressive drivers, you can choose to cover only the car driven by the driver who would do well under these rules. A charge of $30 for the technology is added to the premium, so those who already enjoy rock-bottom prices might not realize the maximum savings.

Even if you consider yourself a safe driver, don't buy into this or any program without comparison shopping first. And be honest about your driving habits.

The Progressive robot you invite to ride along with you isn't your friend -- if you don't toe the safe-driver line, you can be sure it'll squeal on you.

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