Allstate Drivewise review
Discounted rates plus cashback rewards help this drive-tracking program stand out
- Open to anyone
- Cashback rewards plus discounted rates
- Fewer driving factors monitored compare to similar programs
- Spotty reviews on the app’s functionality
- Doesn’t account for hard braking used to avoid an accident
- Limited availability
Our take on Allstate Drivewise
Allstate Drivewise is a telematics program, which means it tracks your driving habits to offer rate discounts based on how safe you drive.
Allstate Drivewise differentiates itself from other insurers’ telematics programs by being open to noncustomers. Anyone can try out this telematics program to see how it works without worrying about a negative score on your auto insurance rates. Nonpolicyholders can earn points and rewards through the Allstate Rewards program, where you’ll get discounts and points redemptions on things like travel, dining and shopping.
Allstate only uses three factors in determining your discount — the time of day you drive, how hard you brake and how fast you go. Many insurers also use how fast you accelerate, phone use and miles driven as factors that help offer a discount or set rates.
If you’re a current Allstate policyholder or you’re just curious about telematics programs but have your insurance elsewhere, it’s worth giving Allstate Drivewise a try. The potential discount off your premiums and the ability to receive cashback rewards make it too good an offer to pass up.
How does Allstate Drivewise work?
Allstate Drivewise uses an app to track your real-time driving habits and offers a discount based on how safely you drive. Few states, including Florida, may allow you to track your driving through a plug-in device instead of the app.
The app automatically begins tracking hard brakes, speed and the time of day you’re driving once your car gets past 20 miles per hour.
You’ll be offered an initial discount between 3% to 10% just for signing up, depending where you live. After you complete the program, if your driving shows you stay off the roads at night, obey speed limits and avoid hard brakes, you’ll receive a final discount worth as high as 40%. If you don’t perform well during the program, Allstate won’t raise your rates for poor driving.
How do I join Allstate Drivewise?
- Location services to be enabled on your phone
- At least 25% battery charge
- Drive at least 20 miles per hour to activate the trip
Drivewise isn’t available in every state, though a reported 28 states use it.
You can save up to 40% on premiums with Allstate Drivewise
Drivers willing to try Allstate Drivewise will see an initial 3% to 10% discount just for signing up, though the exact discount amount varies by state. Allstate claims that drivers can save up to 40%, though most drivers will probably see savings in the 3% to 10% range.
You’ll typically have to continue using Allstate Drivewise for the rest of your policy period, which is usually six months, to keep those discounts. Once you’ve completed 50 trips, you’ll be eligible to receive further rewards through the Allstate Rewards program.
Non-Allstate customers won’t receive a cashback discount, but they can sign up for the rewards program through Allstate, which earns points that can be redeemed for things like gift cards and travel.
Drivewise discounts are based on 3 driving behaviors
Drivewise, like most telematics programs, mainly focuses on the key aspects of safe driving, such as:
- Speed. You’ll want to stay under 80 miles per hour to stay safe and score well.
- Time of day. Drivewise and other telematics programs consider late-night driving dangerous, penalizing you for driving in the middle of the night.
- Braking. Hard braking causes your score to drop, especially slamming on the brakes or braking by more than eight miles per hour per second.
Allstate can use your data for more that setting premiums
Allstate may share data collected from your Drivewise experience, though the company claims it won’t sell your data for a profit. Allstate Drivewise collects much more information than just the three factors used to determine your discount.
Allstate provides a list of all the data that Drivewise collects on its website. Most of the data points are related to speed, acceleration and deceleration, but it does also collect your car’s VIN and odometer.
According to Allstate’s privacy agreement, the insurer reserves the right to share data with law enforcement or to check for fraud or claims activity, amongst other necessary situations.
Allstate Drivewise reviews and complaints
Allstate as a car insurance company enjoys strong ratings, including an A+ AM Best financial rating and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The car insurer does receive complaints, especially on Trustpilot, where it only has a score of 1.4 out of 5. Most negative reviews of Allstate as a car insurance company are related to poor customer service experiences.
The Allstate Drivewise app seems to function better on iPhones since it enjoys a higher average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars. In the Android app store, Drivewise does worse with an average of a 3.1 star rating out of 5, with most people rating it either a 5 star or a 1 star.
The many negative reviews are mainly related to the functionality of the app, such as slow performance, failure to work or frequent crashes. The 5-star reviews focus on the ease of use and the savings people see.
How do I use the Drivewise app?
After downloading the app and enrolling in the program, there shouldn’t be anything else you need to do. Drivewise automatically detects when you’re driving and records the information, uploading it only after your trip is done and you’re connected to WiFi.
You don’t need to have the app running to activate it, though it requires your phone to have at least 25% battery left. You also don’t need to charge your phone while using the app or driving, though Allstate does recommend this.
In addition to tracking your driving, the Drivewise app also comes with:
- A parking reminder that shows where you’re parked and if your meter is up
- Access to roadside assistance services
- A feature that shows the nearest gas stations
- A picture section allowing you to directly upload claim photos
What to watch out for
Since Drivewise operates almost exclusively through the Allstate app, there aren’t as many things to watch out for as with plug-in telematics devices, which could drain your car’s battery. The Drivewise app runs automatically in the background, so it continues to work and track your driving trips in the background without you doing anything.
Consider having your phone fully charged, or at least with 25% battery, before starting a trip. If you’re constantly at under 50% battery charge, you may want to buy a car charger for your phone so you can have enough battery to track trips.