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According to an article in USA Today, some insurance companies are offering lower premiums to customers who are willing to install devices that track their driving pattern – how they drive; when they drive – and streams data back to the company. The “black box” would measure the way we make left turns, drive at night, hit the brakes, or step on the brakes. In return, participants receive a 10-50% discount. Is there more to the story? Absolutely!

Detailed reports could potentially change the way people drive. If you accelerate too quickly or drive over the speed limit on a regular basis, it will probably cause their insurance rates to increase. Once the data is collected, it can be accessed by police and state agencies. The data could also be used in claims disputes by the insurer and others against you. In other words, the “black box” could become evidence against you in litigation.

Auto manufacturers have already installed data recorders in many vehicles that can typically record the last seconds before an accident, but they don’t transmit outside the vehicle. Collecting data about accidents may be important, but is it fair to give more power to “Our Good Neighbors” or “The Good Hands People”? Those of us in the legal claims industry call these carriers “Snake Farm” and “All Shake” for good reason.

Drivers who volunteer to be monitored will likely drive better; drivers will tend to drive more carefully when someone’s watching. But, would you want to be under constant surveillance? Are you willing to give up your privacy? For how much? How would you feel about your insurance company monitoring your driving; following your every move and knowing exactly what time you are driving during the day and how dangerously you drive? After all, we are talking about two despicable companies whose claims handling policies have been called into question for years. I, for one, don’t trust them, do you?

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyerand twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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