6 Awesome Apps That Will Save You Money on Car Insurance

Edward Oberg, currently on hiatus from the insurance game, now spends his time reading pulp genre novels, shaking his head in dismay at the state of movies these days, haunting yard sales and hunting for the monster brook trout that delights in mocking him. He has vowed to defy the accepted wisdom regarding boring insurance reps by being extremely interesting.

I used to be under the vague impression that car insurance was something that was assigned to you, like your social security number or something. Sure you could do some shopping around but the best price you found was the best price you’d get and that was that. I knew that your insurance rates could go up if you got tickets or were involved in a wreck but it never crossed my mind that there were steps you could take to lower your rates.

That was before I got involved in the high-stakes, globe-trotting, swashbuckling, baccarat-playing game of cat and mouse that is the insurance industry (that might be international espionage I described, I always mix them up). Now, I’m familiar with a number of tricks for lowering your auto insurance bill and one of them is snagging a great safety app or two and informing your insurance provider that you’ve done so. Here are 6 of my favorite awesome apps that will do the trick.


1.      The Hartford Mobile App

A number of car insurance companies have developed apps but The Hartford’s is my favorite. When seeking out vehicular policies for my clients (or myself), I always look for providers that aren’t the Big Three but aren’t small to the point of obscurity. A good rule of thumb- if you’re tired of their commercials, don’t get their insurance- the service tends to be impersonal, often long-coming, almost never well-tailored to the individual and the bottom line is always king.

As a result, the mid-sized providers looking for customers tend to put a lot of work into their policies and products. The Hartford fits the bill and their app offers convenient extras somebody may not think about at the time but can become very important very quickly. Those include: easy exchange of driver info in case of a wreck; a solid, comprehensive roadside guide; good deals on replacement vehicles; storage for all of your vehicle info; claim upload with accident photos and notes; windshield repair places, etc.


2.      Waze

Imagine an app that combines GPS technology with the user-generated content of a social media site that’s updated like a wiki. You have just imagined Waze. The Waze app features more passively data-trend-and-report-generated maps and traffic results modified by immediate and actively-generated traffic, accident, and speed trap warnings provided by other users real-time. That’s right—Waze users can post the locations of speed traps that they’ve encountered, saving you from a ticket and a hit on your insurance premium.


3.      DriveSafe.ly

There’s little doubt that in a few years texting while driving will be outlawed everywhere in the country. It’s an understandable concern as texting behind the wheel contributes hugely to accidents from the minor to fatal. With DriveSafe.ly, texting and driving is no longer a concern. The free version of DriveSafe.ly will read your texts and emails to you the moment that they come in and will do so with more natural, human-sounding clarity and enunciation that virtually any other I’ve heard. Plus, it’s been given a good brain for SMS shorthand (brb, lol, etc). You can upgrade to the premium version for $13.95 annually and you will even be able to compose texts and emails hands-free—a little money spent on an app for a lot of money saved in accident prevention and flat rates.


4.      iOnRoad Augmented Driving

iOnRoad keeps its eye on the road—in case yours aren’t. This app uses the camera on your smartphone to provide proximity and collision warnings while you are driving. Your screen will basically turn into a HUD that provides real-time audio/visual distance alerts. If you are drowsy or distracted, there is a lane departure feature that recognizes when you begin to depart off the highway as well. Background mode allows you to get rid of the HUD and leave the audio alerts on, and there is even a feature that keeps track of where you parked your car in a parking lot. Eliminate accidents and keep your good driver bill-reduction with iOnRoad.


5.      R-U-Buzzed? BAC Calculator

Launched by the Colorado Department of Transportation back in late 2009, this app will have you enter your weight, hours spent drinking, and everything you’ve had to drink, so that it can estimate what your blood alcohol content is (it does come with a disclaimer, however, stating that its estimates aren’t accurate enough to be considered legal evidence). If your BAC is too high to drive, there is a GPS feature that will help you find a taxi. Avoid a DUI and steeper premium with this app.


6.      Money Supermarket’s Auto Insurance Comparison App

MoneyMarket’s recently-released insurance comparison app is perhaps the most direct path to insurance-savings. It provides a template into which a shopper can enter their vehicle type, model, year and whatever other pertinent information. Once your info is plugged in the app compares the deals and offers of more than 100 insurance companies, allowing a seldom-available field of pitches from which to hunt.

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