Monitoring driver behaviour – the risks vs the rewards

I was the most sceptical person when it came to Discovery Insure’s Vitality Drive monitoring system. I mean, why would I want my insurer to know exactly where I am all the time, how fast I drive, how harshly I corner, and how many taxis I beat off the mark once the robot has barely turned green?

Surely this would all count against me in if I ever had an accident?  Not so says Discovery…

“Your driving information will not be used in any way at claims stage other than to confirm the time and place of an incident but you may ask us to use the information to help prove that an insured third party was at fault.”

Okay, so that made me feel a lot easier about it all.  Afterall, the assessor alone (without a monitoring system) will be able to tell very quickly the velocity impact when an accident took place despite what one admits to the insurer.

Be that as it may, I decided to jump ship to see if Discovery was as successful with this as they have been with Vitality Health. I moved my car insurance to Discovery 3 months ago and prepared myself to be a guinea pig that was doomed to fail and prove to myself and my clients just how bad and flawed this new age thinking insurance actually was.

It started by me having to take my car to Tiger Wheel and Tyre to have my tracking unit fitted, as well as a multipoint check. This gave me points based on the vehicles condition, tyre tread and stamping of the service book. My tyres were almost kaput, and I had to dig deep for 4 new ones, however I got through my check unscathed.

There are a host of other online quizzes, goals and eye gym courses you can run through to improve your vitality drive point score, however I haven’t completed any of those. One of the goals is to drive 100km’s a week without scoring negatively on one pf the 5 criteria:

  • Harsh Cornering
  • Speeding
  • Using your cellular device while driving
  • Harsh Braking
  • Aggressive acceleration

Basically all 5 criteria are pretty normal sights on any South Africa road!

If I obtained this and went against the grain of what was now my habit, I would qualify for yet another Peanut Butter Bomb courtesy of Kauai and Discovery – and I was determined to make them pay! Another great perk was that if I filled up at BP or Shell, I would qualify for petrol back based on my spend and the level of my vitality drive points.

In the last 3 months here have been the Pro’s and Con’s of allowing my insurance to monitor me:

Pro’s Con’s
In 3 months I’ve has 12 smoothies = R49.00 x 12 = R588.00 benefit None
In 3 months I have received payments of R185, R202, R195

= R582 cash back

My usual mileage on a tank was scraping 500 km’s, now that I am keeping to the speed limit I easily get 650km’s per tank. This has saved me 1 tank of petrol every month. 3 month benefit at R800 a tank

= R2 400 benefit

My insurance costs me R512 a month. So my costs have been R1 539 over the 3 months.

My cash back & ‘benefits’ with fuel savings have totalled R3 579 over the same 3 months!

Important to remember that I haven’t participated in the eye gym online course or quizzes which could actually increase my vitality score and benefits.

So far I am seeing absolutely zero negative’s or con’s to being on this platform & and I am reaping the positives. On another positive note… the next time I need to replace my tyres I will qualify for a 15% discount thanks to my driving status 😊

The DQ driving sensor that Discovery puts into the vehicle will notify the emergency call centre if I have been in an accident – how insanely important is this if I am unable to do so myself!

My answer…. I was easily converted and now look forward to maximising my rewards through  Discovery’s recently launched Vitality Open.

Got my eyes on that trip to Mauritius…