Allstate Drivewise Review

Allstate Drivewise Review

Allstate Drivewise is a good fit for loyal policyholders who can use the mobile version and families with many young drivers.

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Allstate Drivewise is a usage-based insurance program. Through either a device in your car or your mobile device, Allstate tracks your behavior on the roads and offers cheaper car insurance when you drive safely.

Drivewise stands out from other usage-based programs because if you drive poorly on a given trip, you can go back and delete the trip so it doesn't affect your discount. Another perk is that you can use it even if you're not an Allstate policyholder. Any good driver can download the app and use Drivewise to share their safe driving data in exchange for Allstate Rewards points. Comparable to a credit card rewards system, Allstate Rewards points can win you gift cards, promo codes and other deals.

While the pros of Allstate Drivewise are obvious, there are several hidden cons that might give drivers pause before signing up for the program. The Drivewise device program — only available in Arkansas and New York — is inferior to the app-based version. Additionally, our review of state-level insurer documents suggests that the available policy discount may be far lower than the advertised 40%.

Good for

Loyal Allstate policyholders who want a discount

Customers who enjoy using points systems to score rewards

Families with multiple young drivers enrolled on a policy

Bad for

Residents of Arkansas and New York

Customers who are uncomfortable sharing personal data

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What is the Drivewise program with Allstate?

Allstate Drivewise is a free usage-based insurance program that rewards safe driving with lower auto insurance premiums. The Allstate app or a device in your car tracks your driving performance and uses it to calculate a discount on your auto insurance.

Allstate's website claims that safe drivers can save 40% or more on their car insurance premiums with Drivewise — one of the highest usage-based discounts offered by a major auto insurer.

Both the app-based and the device-based version of Drivewise offer users an initial discount when they join the program, although the discount operates slightly differently depending on which version you use. After using Drivewise for six months, policyholders can receive a performance discount based on how safely they drove.

These performance discounts can then be recalculated every six months. However, your discount is determined by how well you performed in the past 12 months, not just in the past six. So if your driving performance dips during one six-month period, strong performance during the following six months will not be enough to fully cancel it out.

Is Allstate Drivewise worth it?

Allstate Drivewise is a strong choice for drivers who are comfortable sharing personal data in exchange for auto insurance discounts. Our review of the cheapest car insurance companies found that Allstate is one of the most expensive auto insurance companies, but our survey of policyholder satisfaction found that it is also the best insurer for customer service.

If you appreciate Allstate's strong customer service but want to get your premiums down, Drivewise could be a good fit.

Drivewise is also a good fit for families with multiple young drivers sharing a car. The more listed operators join Drivewise mobile, the greater the possible discount. If you're the parent of several young drivers — and you trust them to drive safely during reasonable hours — Allstate could be a great way to help reduce the sky-high premiums teen drivers incur.

If you'd rather keep information about where, when and how you drive private, Allstate Drivewise may not be for you. Allstate offers other auto insurance discounts for safe drivers that don't require you to share quite as much personal data.

  • Allstate Safe Driving Bonus: An add-on that rewards you with a bonus for each six-month period you drive without getting into an accident.
  • Deductible Rewards: An add-on that immediately knocks off $100 off your deductible and another $1,000 every year you don't get into an accident. The maximum reduction is $500.

If you're a safe driver who doesn't spend much time on the roads, the Allstate Milewise program could also be a good option. A pay-per-mile program, Milewise charges policyholders based on how much they drive rather than how well they drive. Users pay a daily rate and an additional six cents for every 12 miles they drive. Retirees or remote workers would likely benefit more from this option than a telematics program like Drivewise.

How does Allstate Drivewise compare to other usage-based insurance programs?

While Allstate's advertised 40% or more discount is one of the highest usage-based discounts from a major insurer, that doesn't necessarily make it the best program. Drivers should also consider which habits their insurer tracks, and whether rates can increase with a poor driving score.

Program name
Maximum discount
Length of review period
Can premiums go up?
Phone usage impacts discount?
Allstate Drivewise (app)No maximum discount; initial sign-up discount, then drivers receive performance discounts for safe drivingFirst 50 trips (minimum of 60 days), then every six monthsDiscount may increase or decrease depending on driving performance during previous policy periodsYes
Liberty Mutual RightTrack30%90 daysNoNo
Progressive Snapshot$37 average sign-up discount, $145 average final discountFirst policy period (~six months)YesYes, if using Snapshot Mobile app
Geico DriveEasy25%First policy periodYesYes
Nationwide SmartRide40%Four to six monthsNoNo
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How does Allstate Drivewise stand out?

Drivewise allows users to delete trips or stop tracking. This allows drivers to control what trips impact their discount. You can delete the one-off late-night trip or the trip where you had to slam on your brakes to avoid collision with a passing animal.

Drivewise allows non-policyholders to use the program. The Allstate Rewards program allows anyone to win merchandise discounts, promo codes and other benefits by driving safely. If you don't want to pay for an Allstate auto policy but are willing to share your data to net other deals, using Drivewise can be a great opportunity.

Drivewise gives you multiple opportunities to increase your performance discount. Allstate uses 12 months of data and recalculates your performance every six months. If you feel you'd benefit from multiple opportunities to increase your discount, Drivewise could be an excellent choice.

Drivewise offers safe driving challenges that reward good driving with Allstate Rewards points. For example, Allstate may challenge drivers to go three consecutive days without sudden braking, or drive under the speed limit for 10 trips. Allstate Rewards points can be used toward gift cards, daily deals and savings on merchandise. This program is currently available to drivers in Maryland and Oregon.

Overall, we recommend the mobile app version of Drivewise to policyholders loyal to Allstate and willing to share their data. However, they should not necessarily expect to earn the advertised discount of 40% or more. Drivers who want to secure the best possible auto insurance should look at other companies and programs.

How does Allstate Drivewise work?

Powered by telematics technology, Allstate Drivewise collects data on your driving behaviors and rewards safe drivers with discounts on auto insurance. Drivewise does not cost users any money and is an optional add-on to an Allstate auto insurance policy.

Drivewise assesses your performance based on the following factors:

  • Driving at safe speeds (less than 80 miles per hour)
  • Hard braking (keeping abrupt stops to a minimum)
  • Time driving (avoiding late-night driving)
  • Distracted driving (phone use while driving)

Much like a cash-back credit card, the Allstate Drivewise program gives you back a percentage of your total expense — in this case, the cost of your auto insurance premium — as a discount. The performance discount percentage can vary based on your performance in a given six-month interval, so your rates may change as your performance discount goes up or down.

Drivewise does not penalize bad drivers with increased rates. Our review of an Allstate insurer document indicated that rates do not go up, even for drivers who score very poorly. Instead, these drivers do not receive a discount.

But while using Drivewise will not raise your rates, Drivewise users can still experience rate increases for other reasons. Factors irrelevant to your driving — such as your age, marital status or credit score — can cause your premiums to go up or down. Changes to your driving history — such as an at-fault accident or speeding ticket — can also impact your rates.

Drivewise can help mitigate these rate increases, but it does not guarantee that your rate will stay the same, even if your driving habits do.

Additionally, Allstate's maximum discount may not be as high as the website suggests. Although Allstate advertises a total discount of 40% or more, the fine print describing the program says that discounts can vary by state. To better understand what that might mean, we looked at a 2020 document that Allstate submitted to the Ohio Department of Insurance describing the program.

Our review found that the maximum performance discount available to top drivers is just 15%. When combined with the 3% participation discount available to Ohio users of the app-based program, this suggests that even top-performing drivers can only expect a total of 18% off their rates.

We recommend contacting your insurance agent to ask what the maximum discount is in your state before you join the program. That way, you're not surprised when your savings are lower than the advertised 40%.

Allstate Rewards

However, users of Allstate Drivewise have access to other non-insurance perks through the Allstate Rewards program. Sharing your driving data with Allstate via the Drivewise app and participating in driving challenges can score you points. The points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including travel, sweepstakes, promo codes, gift cards and auctions.

Both policyholders and non-policyholders can participate in the Allstate Rewards program.

By downloading the Drivewise app and completing safe driving challenges, policyholders can earn discounts on their insurance and Allstate Rewards points. Non-policyholders are only eligible for Allstate Rewards points.

Users receive an initial 10,000 points when they sign up for Allstate Rewards and another 5,000 when they activate their AllstateRewards.com account. After this, they can earn points in increments of 200 for successful performance of the following challenges:

  • Driving three days in a row without braking suddenly
  • Driving three days in a row without high speeds
  • Making 10 safe trips without speeding or braking suddenly

Points do not expire, so participants do not need to use their points by a specific deadline. Additionally, Allstate offers participants other opportunities to score points by responding to surveys and using promotions sent out via Allstate emails or within the Allstate app. Drivers in New York should be aware, however, that Allstate Rewards is not available in the state.

These non-insurance rewards distinguish Allstate Drivewise from other usage-based programs. However, drivers must be comfortable sharing a significant amount of data with Allstate to receive the rewards. We've outlined what data the program collects below.

John Hancock Vitality Points

Drivewise customers with a John Hancock life insurance policy can earn "Vitality Points" by connecting their accounts and driving safely. For people who already have policies from Allstate and John Hancock, this may be a small incentive to try Drivewise. However, the number of points available through this partnership is small, as the maximum number you can earn is 300 points per year. For comparison's sake, you get 400 points for getting a flu shot, and the highest Vitality tier, Platinum, requires 10,000 points per year.

Does Allstate Drivewise track your location?

Allstate Drivewise tracks your location in both the app and device-based forms of the program. In fact, GPS data is just one of the many pieces of information Allstate collects on you when you use the Drivewise program. Both versions collect some form of the following data during a trip:

  • Your location
  • Time your trip begins and ends
  • The number of miles you drive in a given hour
  • Your average speed when the car is moving
  • Braking
  • Hard braking (braking between 8 mph and 10 mph in one second)
  • Extreme braking (braking over 10 mph in one second)
  • Accelerating, including when you accelerate more than 8 mph in one second
  • The number of excessive speed changes
  • Phone use while driving

Allstate partners with third-party companies to analyze the data generated by your driving performance. This means that it's not just Allstate agents who can view your data — employees from other, unknown organizations can as well.

However, Allstate explicitly says that the people who have access to your policy do not have access to your location data. Consider your own comfort level with sharing personal data before joining the program.

Allstate Drivewise mobile app vs. Allstate Drivewise device

Allstate Drivewise monitors your behavior through one of two methods: the Drivewise feature on the Allstate mobile app and the Drivewise device. Most participants in the program use the mobile app version, since the device version is only available in New York and Arkansas.

Both of these programs allow drivers to receive discounts on their auto insurance, but there are slight differences in how the programs operate and what data they collect. We've outlined how Drivewise works for both of these versions and the differences between them below.

Allstate Drivewise mobile app

The Allstate Drivewise mobile version uses a feature within the Allstate app to track your driving performance. There is no specific app exclusively dedicated to Drivewise. Allstate's website details how to enroll in the Drivewise program and use the app, which we've adapted in the following steps:

  • Step one: Install the Allstate app on your mobile device. You can download the app via the Apple store or the Google Android store.
  • Step two: Log in to the app with your Allstate My Account ID, accept the terms of service and allow location services. Enroll your policy in Drivewise through the app, through your account on Allstate.com or by calling your insurance agent.
  • Step three: Drive at least 50 trips during the six-month performance period. Your phone must have at least 25% battery power in order for the app to track your driving. You do not need to have the app on when you drive, but you must give it permission to run in the background.
  • Step four: Review your progress. The app shows your driving habits, your savings and your phone usage behind the wheel.

We've identified several key benefits of the Allstate Drivewise mobile app. First, Drivewise gives policyholders a greater degree of control over what trips count towards their discount than many other usage-based programs. The app collects data even when it is closed on your phone, but you can delete trips so they don't impact your record or rewards. You can also temporarily stop the app from reporting your trips via a "sleep" functionality.

Because you can pause tracking or delete trips, there's no need to try and "cheat" or "beat" the Allstate Drivewise mobile app.

In fact, tampering with the app in any way risks being banned from participating in the program.

A second benefit of the mobile version of Drivewise is that the more listed operators on a policy join the program, the greater the potential performance discount. Because the mobile app version of Drivewise follows the driver rather than the car, Allstate can factor in trips from multiple drivers when calculating the performance discount for a policy. (The exception to this rule is the first performance discount after the first six months using the program. Allstate's terms and conditions state that this first discount doesn't factor in the number of drivers).

Lastly, users of the Drivewise mobile app can get a participation discount in addition to whatever performance discount they earn. All drivers need to do is keep the app on their phone with location services enabled and take a minimum of one trip within a six-month period. Our review of a state-level insurer filing showed that the participation discount is 10% for the first six months, then 3% for every six-month period that follows.

Allstate can only offer these benefits, however, because Drivewise monitors program participants very closely. Drivewise can tell, for instance, whether you're a passenger in a plane or car and automatically discards these trips so they don't count towards your performance record.

In fact, there are indications that the Allstate app tracks your movements even if you're not enrolled in Drivewise. The fine print says that drivers can earn a discount as soon as they take 50 trips, even if they happened before you signed up for Drivewise.

Additionally, Drivewise also monitors how frequently you use your phone behind the wheel, though this information does not impact your performance reward. If it's difficult for you to keep your hands off your phone, but you want to improve your habits, Drivewise could be a good choice. It shows you how often you're using your phone without penalizing you for doing so.

If you're squeamish about sharing personal information, Allstate Drivewise mobile may not be for you.

Allstate offers other opportunities to be rewarded for your good driving that don't involve sharing your movements with your insurer and its third-party partners.

Allstate Drivewise device

The Drivewise device program uses a mobile device installed in your car's OBD port to track your driving and reward you for safe behavior. It is only available in New York and Arkansas, and New York drivers are not eligible for the Allstate Rewards program.

We've adapted the steps outlined on Allstate's website detailing how to enroll in the program below:

  • Step one: Call Allstate or your Allstate insurance agent to enroll your policy in Drivewise. Enrollment requires a valid email address that you regularly use.
  • Step two: Allstate will send you the Drivewise device via the mail. Install it in your car's on-board diagnostic port. Let any other listed operators of the car know that the Drivewise device has been installed.
  • Step three: Allstate will then send you an email confirming installation of the Drivewise device and inviting you to sign up for a MyAllstate account. Begin driving and make sure the device remains plugged in for at least 60 days of the six-month performance period.
  • Step four. Use either this web-based account or the Allstate mobile app to review your habits and rewards.

We generally think that the app-based version of Allstate Drivewise is superior to the device-based version. The main benefit of the device-based version is that it protects users' privacy a little better. Because the device is installed in your car rather than on your phone, it tracks your car's movements rather than your own movements. And similar to the mobile version, Drivewise device also offers users a discount for joining the program.

However, with this increased level of privacy comes several downsides. First, there is no mention of additional benefits if you enroll multiple drivers in the device-based program. The mobile-based version of the program tracks the behavior of individual drivers, but the device-based version tracks the car. For this reason, New York and Arkansas policyholders who have many listed operators on their policy may want to consider another usage-based program that offers a discount for including multiple drivers.

Second, *it is unclear whether users of the device-based version of Drivewise can delete trips afterwards**. The webpage outlining how the device-based program works does not mention the "delete" or "sleep" functions featured on the webpage outlining how the app-based program works.

Drivers might be tempted to work around this challenge and "beat" Drivewise by unplugging the device so as to avoid tracking for certain trips. While this strategy might work a few times, it is not a long-term solution.

Nothing happens if you unplug Drivewise just a handful of times. Allstate encourages drivers to unplug the device if it needs to be reset or if your car is in for service.

Each time you connect and disconnect the device, however, Allstate receives a timestamp. Repeated connection and disconnection is grounds for Allstate to remove your discount altogether, as is any tampering with the device.

Finally, the device-based version of Drivewise offers a clunkier, more analog customer experience overall. Users of the mobile version can instantly enroll in the program and start racking up benefits, but users of the device version must wait for Allstate to mail them the device and manually install it.

Given the disadvantages of the device-based version of Allstate Drivewise, we recommend that drivers in New York and Arkansas pick another usage-based program.

Though the device offers more privacy, it lacks many of the features that make the program so appealing.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.