Allstate will put Drive Wise, its usage-based insurance product, into the hands of employees and agency owners in a nation-wide crowdsourcing effort to enhance the device and expand its telematics footprint.

Drive Wise is already in use in Illinois, Ohio and Arizona, and Allstate currently has more than 11 million miles and 350,000 hours of driving data, gathered through internal testing, to help identify safe driving habits that can earn customers discounts on auto insurance.

"Our early experience with Drive Wise indicates telematics technology has the potential to save lives, reduce injuries and save millions of dollars in property damage each year," said Bob Otis, SVP of Allstate's auto product operations. "Launching this crowdsourcing test of our unique, usage-based insurance device, will help us create a better product for our customers, while encouraging our employees and agency owners to examine and improve their own driving habits."

Participation in the usage-based insurance program has prompted significant changes in driving behavior, Allstate said. Just 25 percent of drivers in the initial group of employee testers scored in the "safe zone," for example. However, that figure rose to 75 percent over the duration of the test.

Drive Wise uses the OBD-II diagnostic port, found on most cars built since 1996, to track driving behavior. Program participants plug the wireless telematics device into the port. Participants then can learn about their driving habits, what they can do to drive more safely, as well as see a potential performance discount based on their driving habits.

Participants receive a 10-percent discount for the first policy term. Discounts in subsequent terms are based on driving behavior and total mileage driven. Drivers with the safest driving scores and lowest mileage can earn savings of up to 30 percent. Rates will not go up based on driving scores, Allstate said.

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