Auto Insurance Mysteriously Jacked Up? Carmakers Are Now Spying on Drivers

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Has your auto insurance mysteriously gone up by anywhere from 20 to 50% over the past year without any explanation? If it has, you’re not alone. The reason for the increase is likely to infuriate many motorists. Auto manufacturers are now sending tracking data from newer model cars to insurance companies without the owners’ knowledge or consent.

Kenn Dahl is one motorist who was surprised to see his auto insurance costs jump by 21% last year. He drives a leased Chevy Bolt and has never been in an accident. Dahl received quotes from other insurance companies that were all high. One agent told him that his LexisNexis report was the likely culprit for the increase.

Dahl didn’t even know what that was. LexisNexis is a New York-based data brokerage that caters to the auto industry. Using electronic tracking devices that all modern cars are built with, LexisNexis compiles detailed reports of your driving habits and provides them to every insurance company.

When Dahl received his report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, he was stunned to find it was 258 pages long. The report detailed every trip that Dahl and his wife had taken in their Chevy Bolt. It included distances traveled for every single trip, their start and end times, any speeding or hard braking, and other data. According to the report, General Motors, which manufactures the Chevy Bolt, provided all the data to LexisNexis.

Despite being a safe driver with no accidents, the LexisNexis report was the basis for his sudden and unexplained insurance increase.
“It felt like a betrayal,” said Dahl. “They’re taking information that I didn’t realize was going to be shared and screwing with our insurance.”

Welcome to the brave new world of constant surveillance from electronic devices.