David Hurwitz was left scratching his head after he recently received word from his insurer, State Farm, that his low-mileage discount may no longer apply.
Hurwitz, 78, a Calabasas resident, was supposed to drive fewer than 5,000 miles a year to get the discount. But State Farm said in an email that it believed he may have actually traveled 5,700 miles last year.
“How would State Farm know?” Hurwitz asked.
The answer lies in a shadowy web of companies buying and selling data on people’s driving habits.
Before we get into that, it’s worth pointing out that low-mileage discounts are a good thing for both consumers and insurers. They reflect the reduced risk to the insurer of a driver who doesn’t do much driving.
Some insurers prefer to see for themselves and require policyholders to place a sensor on their vehicle that will report mileage directly to the insurance company.
There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the car owner gets to decide whether the tracking technology is installed.
Nor is there anything hinky about a low-mileage discount being revoked if a driver exceeds his or her quota. A deal’s a deal.
That said, it’s troubling from a privacy standpoint —…
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