Mike Graf agreed to let us test Allstate's "Drivewise" device on his 17-year-old son Chase who has only been driving for about a year. Mike said Chase had a ticket within the first couple weeks he started driving, but since then he has promised not to speed or drive reckless.
"You know my son tells me how great he drives and how slow he drives now and how careful he is and I want to know if it is true or not. I don't think it is, but hopefully I'm wrong," Mike said.
Mike installed the device on Chase's truck without him knowing and we tracked his driving for 30 days.
"He thinks I drive like a maniac," Chase said.
Thirty days later, to the surprise of his dad and us, Chase got an A+ on his speed and braking.
The average Drivewise customer gets an A- on speed and B on braking-- and those are people who know they are being tracked.
"My fear was that he was going to come back with a lot of Fs," Mike said. "He did pretty good. I tried, not knowing."
Each program claims to save money depending on your driving habits and not be used against you.
Allstate Insurance Agency Owner Donita Hunt encourages many of her customers to try it for six months.
"I think it's great if you have teenage drivers because you can kind of look at their driving habits and show it to them and give them ideas on how to improve what they're doing," Hunt said.
Once you sign-up, you get a 10 percent discount upfront and you can track driving on-line and through their mobile phone.
"We have customers who are little bit skeptical and I say, ‘What do you have to lose?' Worst case is your discount goes to zero, but if you like it you can improve upon that 10 percent discount," Hunt said.
She explains to customers not everyone qualifies. You are expected to drive 12,000 miles a year or less and not to drive speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. The device also counts against you if you consistently drive between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.
"Some of my customers have said. ‘I'm braking hard, I've noticed I braked twice today and it freaks them out.' It's not a big deal. You're going to have to brake when you have to brake, but it's a good way to manage your own driving habits if you're more aware of it, you're going to be a better driver," Hunt said.
Some people are skeptical with any device insurance companies want connected to their vehicle. They worry in the end, it's tracking more than speed and your braking habit and could end up costing drivers more in the end.
Allstate Spokesperson Justin Herndon said not to worry.
"There is a lot of skepticism out there about usage based insurance in general. The only thing that we can really tell them is this is an optional program," he said. "We're not tracking where you are headed, like with GPS for example. We're more interested about how you're getting where you are going not where you're going necessarily."
Herndon said his company's device is different from the others.
"With AllState we decided that we're going to make it a perpetual device, so after that first six months we're going to get a look at how you drive, but then we're going to offer you the opportunity to either increase that or potentially lower that savings and it will be a way for you to continual monitor your driving," he said.