Ford partners with State Farm and launches Tesla-like insurance program

Ford has officially partnered with State Farm Insurance Company to offer a new Drive safely and save a connected car program. The program is expected to launch in select states, though it’s only available for specific “connected” Ford and Lincoln cars.

Essentially, the new program will monitor a driver’s behavior, among other variables, such as a vehicle’s mileage, to determine car insurance rates. Although programs like this have been offered by some car insurance companies for a while, they have not necessarily been tied to a car manufacturer.

Tesla recently started offering its own insurance program, although it first implemented a beta “Safety Score” system to analyze driver behavior. The program is currently used to determine which Tesla owners drive safely enough to become Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta testers.

Ford’s program in partnership with State Farm is similar to Tesla’s Safety Score system, providing drivers with information on speeding, aggressive acceleration, hard braking, fast cornering and distracted driving.

Tesla’s Safety Score system has been considered “problematic” by some people in the industry, but Tesla insists it leads to safer driving. It’s basically like turning safe driving into a video game, with owners competing for the highest score. However, in some cases it could result in conduct in a way that could irritate others or even break the law.

Although Ford’s new insurance program isn’t tied to accessing a sought-after feature, it could potentially save people money. Of course, not all drivers will be willing to enroll in the program, let alone change their driving behavior in hopes of a better rate. However, only monitoring and feedback should help make drivers more aware of their habits, which should encourage safer driving.

According to TeslaratiChris Schell, senior vice president of State Farm share:

“Customers can better manage their car insurance premium because their rate will be more closely associated with their personal driving characteristics. Drive Safe & Save represents a significant automotive rebate opportunity, including an initial 10% equity rebate on major coverages. Discounts average between 10 and 15%, with even higher discounts possible depending on individual driving behavior.”

Ford rolls out Drive Safe & Save Connected Car in Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon, at least initially. The new policies should start around February 27, 2022. Owners will need to agree to participate in the program and allow Ford to share driver information directly with State Farm. After registration, owners will receive a Bluetooth device that interacts with an associated app on their smartphone.

What do you think? Will other automakers also start to follow suit? It seems the way of the future, at least when it comes to electric vehicles and connected cars, is a major increase in internal programs and related partnerships that will benefit owners.

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