A Hartford TrueLane Review: Is It Worth It?
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Have you ever wished your car insurance rates could be based on your current driving habits instead of your previous driving record? Well, now they can be. The Hartford’s TrueLane is a program by The Hartford insurance company that monitors your driving habits for six months to adjust your auto insurance rates prior to coverage.
The TrueLane app and other similar apps are changing the car insurance industry – but not every driver is willing to give up their privacy in order to save a few bucks.
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of The Hartford’s usage-based insurance program, so you can decide for yourself if The Hartford’s TrueLane is right for you.
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What Is The Hartford’s TrueLane?
For many years, car insurance companies could only guess at the likelihood of a given driver getting into a car accident. They could get a pretty good idea of how safely – or recklessly – you drive by studying your driving history, as well as your personal data, such as your income, credit score, or marital status.
These factors still can – and do – determine how much you’ll pay for car insurance, but now insurance companies have another tool at their disposal: telematics. Telematics is transforming the car insurance industry by letting policyholders track their driving habits in real time with a smartphone app or electronic device. Insurers can then use that data to determine their car insurance premiums.
The Hartford’s Truelane app is just one example of how this works. In 2008, Progressive changed the game by introducing Snapshot, a small device that plugs into your car and tracks your driving habits. Since then, other insurers have followed suit with usage-based insurance programs like Nationwide SmartRide, Travelers IntelliDrive and The Hartford’s TrueLane.
The promise for customers: Car insurance discounts for being safe drivers. The benefit for insurance providers: Vast amounts of data about drivers’ habits.
How Does The Hartford’s TrueLane Work?
When it first launched, The Hartford’s TrueLane required you to plug an electronic device into your car’s diagnostic port. After six months, you could return it to The Hartford and receive your car insurance discount based on the collected data.
Now, The Hartford uses a smartphone app that’s available in the iOS and Android app stores. That means you can stay enrolled in the program indefinitely. You don’t have to plug anything into your car, but you have to take your smartphone with you when you drive to qualify for a discount.
The mobile app tracks the time, your speed, and your location and sends that data to The Hartford, which uses it to calculate your trip distance and duration, as well as turns, acceleration, and braking. You can view your driving score, trip details, and driving tips within the app, helping you improve your driving behavior over time.
Enrolling in the TrueLane program is free, and you’ll get up to a 12% discount as soon as you sign up. Then, you can get a renewal discount of up to 25% when it’s time to renew your car insurance coverage.
What if you forget your phone at home? Don’t worry. Missing a few trips won’t matter, but the more drivers on your policy, the better. The app runs in the background, so it won’t distract you while driving.
The Pros and Cons of TrueLane
More and more insurance companies are getting into the telematics game, but there are significant differences between these programs. It’s important to make a distinction between different types of usage-based insurance.
Mileage-based insurance rates are determined by how much you drive. For example, an insurance company might give you a discount for being a low-mileage driver since the fewer miles you drive, the less likely you are to get into an accident.
Behavior-based insurance is primarily concerned with how you drive, but it might also take your total mileage and trip duration into account.
These days, most telematics apps incorporate both types of data, so keep that in mind when weighing up your options.
Here’s how TrueLane compares to other usage-based insurance programs.
The Hartford offers up to a 12% discount just for signing up with TrueLane, then up to a 25% discount for safe driving habits. Don’t expect huge savings, though. The company says the average discount is between 10-12%.
That’s less than other insurers’ advertised discounts. NationWide’s SmartRide program promises up to 40% off of your premium, while Travelers IntelliDrive offers discounts of up to 30%. Of course, the exact amount depends on how well you actually drive, so most users report more modest savings.
Some usage-based insurance programs track more data than others. Most insurers require you to share your location data, but not all of them use this to determine your discount. Some require you to use the device continuously, while others let you stop tracking your driving habits after 90 or 180 days.
The TrueLane app includes location tracking and also detects hard braking and other risky driving behaviors. According to The Hartford, “Data is collected from your phone related to braking, acceleration, cornering, speed, and phone distraction events.”
The Hartford states that personally identifiable information is not shared with third parties that don’t provide TrueLane services but that “anonymous aggregated data will be used for future program enhancements and understanding driving patterns.”
Other than that, the Hartford provides few details on how it protects and uses customer driving data collected in the TrueLane app.
The Hartford’s TrueLane Reviews
What do actual users think of TrueLane by The Hartford insurance company? Let’s take a look at some customer reviews:
The TrueLane app has 6.5K reviews in the iPhone App Store, with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5. However, some customers complained that the app was unreliable and used a lot of battery.
On the Google Play store, it has a 4.0 rating out of 3,000 customer reviews. One user complained they had to uninstall and reinstall it to get it to work, and others needed to contact tech support for help setting it up.
Putting the app aside for a minute, it may be useful to see how The Hartford auto insurance compares to other companies like GEICO or Progressive.
The Hartford insurance reviews focus on its highly-rated customer service and 24/7 claims hotline. It also has a network of 1,600 auto repair shops and a New Car Replacement program if your car is totaled within 15 months of purchase.
Other Car Insurance Discounts with The Hartford
The Hartford is closely linked with the AARP, so AARP members may get the most out of an auto insurance policy with The Hartford. In addition to a 10% discount for being an AARP member, you can get an additional discount when you bundle your car and home insurance (either renters or homeowners insurance) with The Hartford.
Other coverage options include RecoverCare, which covers up to $2,500 in household services that you can’t perform because of a car accident (such as cleaning, cooking, lawn care, and snow removal), as well as Accident Forgiveness and a Disappearing Deductible program.
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A telematics program like The Hartford’s TrueLane can be a great way to save money on your car insurance. But you may still qualify for a good driver discount, even if you don’t want to download a smartphone app or don’t have an iPhone or Android phone.
Whether you’re ready to try The Hartford’s TrueLane or another usage-based insurance program, we can help you save money on car insurance. Use our handy comparison tool to see multiple car insurance quotes side-by-side.
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