Plug-in devices that monitor aspects of an auto insurance customer's driving are nothing new. And it's nearly impossible to miss the commercials touting the savings that good drivers might enjoy if they try out their carrier's usage-based programs.
But what is still only whispered about are the potential downsides: surcharges for bad driving. Most auto insurers go out of their way to insist that their driver-monitoring programs exist only to reward safe drivers and that the worst outcome for trying one is that drivers don't get the advertised savings. And even then, insurers say, drivers will gain valuable feedback and be able to make positive changes in their driving.
But in spring 2015, Progressive announced that it would begin charging some members of its Snapshot program a surcharge for aggressive driving behaviors.