User-based car insurance remains a relatively niche market. User-based car insurance remains a relatively niche market. (Shutterstock)

You would think usage-based auto insurance would have really taken off by now, especially given the way most people routinely record just about everything else they do in life, either automatically with wearables or reflexively on social media. Yet drivers having their performance monitored in real time to determine the price of coverage remain the exception rather than the rule.

Usage-based insurance (UBI) can track whether policyholders speed, take turns too sharply or stop short too often, the kinds of conditions they drive in, and even whether their vehicles are properly maintained. It seems intuitive that such granular, experiential information should beat pricing based on more generic proxy data beyond a consumer’s control, such as age, home address, type of vehicle, level of education, or credit history.

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