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What is Usage-Based Insurance (UBI)?

If you’re a safe driver and looking to save on your car insurance premium, usage-based insurance could be right for you. Sometimes called use based insurance, user based insurance, UBI or telematics, this type of car insurance typically rewards safe driving habits or less driving with lower premiums. But what exactly is usage-based insurance and how does it work?

What is Usage-Based Insurance / UBI?

Traditional car insurance premiums are rooted in aggregated statistics of driving records, usage-based insurance makes the price you pay for insurance more reflective of your actual driving behavior. UBI is a type of car insurance that rates based on actual driving behavior.

Telematics programs usually involve the driver allowing their insurance company to measure their driving behavior. In return, the driver typically receives a premium, or price for insurance, that more accurately aligns with their actual driving habits.

How does Usage-Based Insurance work?

Drivers install a plug-in device or download an app on their phone that tracks driving behavior. Depending on the specific UBI program, the less a driver is on the road, or the safer they drive, the more likely their premium is to decrease.

Conversely, risky behavior, like hard braking, rapid acceleration, speeding, and sometimes distracted driving (via phone use) are events that might be brought to the driver’s attention to promote safer driving habits.

MAPFRE Insurance’s MotionSmartSM, a UBI program offered in Massachusetts, uses a convenient smartphone app to measure driving habits and make safe-driving suggestions. Though MAPFRE does collect data like location, time, and speed, this is to analyze your driving and calculate a more accurate premium.

MAPFRE isn’t interested in where you go, only how safely you get there. Your personal information and individually collected data is confidential.

Types of Usage-Based Insurance Programs

UBI offerings vary by insurance company. Some providers offer UBI policies, while others offer discounts on your car insurance premium based on your driving tendencies. There are several types of UBI programs that reward less driving or safer driver behavior with lower premiums.

Who should consider Usage-Based Insurance?

UBI programs are typically a good option for safe drivers looking to save on their car insurance premium. It may also be a solution for drivers who commute short distances or drive infrequently.

Usage-based insurance is a way for newer drivers buying car insurance for the first time to save on expensive premiums. Parents adding inexperienced drivers to their policy might also find telematics programs useful ways to help their new drivers cultivate safe driving habits.

What is MAPFRE Insurance’s MotionSmartSM?

MAPFRE Insurance knows how important the right car insurance coverage at an affordable price is. Beyond Annual Mileage discounts and Smart Driver discounts, MAPFRE now offers MotionSmart.

MotionSmart is a usage-based insurance program in Massachusetts where you receive a participation discount when each of the drivers on your policy registers in-app and starts driving. Additional savings are available at renewal based on how safely you drive during the policy term. To see if you could be saving on your Massachusetts car insurance with MotionSmart, get a quote online. If you have questions about MotionSmart or MAPFRE Insurance, contact a Massachusetts independent insurance agent closest to you.


Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide general information about commonly available insurance coverages. Except as expressly noted, this content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance.  No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article.  Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative. 

MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, including American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8), Citation Insurance CompanySM, The Commerce Insurance CompanySM, Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2), MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5), and MAPFRE Insurance Company of FloridaSM.


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