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Internet-connected cars may share driver info with insurance companies, what it means for premiums

Mar 19, 2024, 10:43 PM | Updated: 10:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — About a year ago, the KSL Investigators went under the hood of some “connected” smart cars to see what kind of information they were gathering on us. University of Utah professor Sean Lawson told us consumers are sacrificing privacy for convenience.

“Definitely comes with a lot of risks in terms of the data that’s collected,” Lawson told us.

Now one of those risks is coming into focus. New reporting from the New York Times shows it could also cost you money. The paper found some internet-connected vehicles are sharing our driving habits with our insurance companies.

That news on top of other reasons we’ve reported on insurance rates spiking. Trisha Madsen of St George said she couldn’t believe it when she opened the latest invoice from her car insurance company and found her rates had about doubled.

Get Gephardt: What’s fueling the dramatic increases in auto insurance premiums?

“That’s kind of why I’m reaching out … I don’t want this to happen to a lot of people,” Madsen said.

It is happening to a lot of people, with average insurance rates up more than 20%. There are lots of factors at play, including cars being more expensive and taking longer to fix as well as just more drivers on the road post pandemic. But knowing that smart cars are telling insurance companies about driving habits could also be a factor.

If you think you’re a good driver, there are products you can get that are specifically designed to spy on you, but with your knowledge. You plug them in and they report back to insurance companies which say they use that information to possibly lower your rate. But if you drive an internet-connected car, you may be sharing your habits without your explicit knowledge.

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Internet-connected cars may share driver info with insurance companies, what it means for premiums