Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Such terms and availability may vary by state and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages.
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In 1998, the Progressive Insurance company started a pilot program in Texas, in which drivers received a discount for installing a GPS-based device that tracked their driving behavior and reported the results via cellular phone to the company. The program was discontinued in 2000. In following years many policies (including Progressive) have been trialed and successfully introduced worldwide into what are referred to as Telematic Insurance. Such 'telematic' policies typically are based on black-box insurance technology, such devices derive from a stolen vehicle and fleet tracking but are used for insurance purposes. Since 2010 GPS-based and Telematic Insurance systems have become more mainstream in the auto insurance market not just aimed at specialised auto-fleet markets or high value vehicles (with an emphasis on stolen vehicle recovery). Modern GPS-based systems are branded as 'PAYD' Pay As You Drive insurance policies, 'PHYD' Pay How You Drive or since 2012 Smartphone auto insurance policies which utilise smartphones as a GPS sensor, e.g. . A detailed survey of the smartphone as measurement probe for insurance telematics is provided in 
When the premium is not mandated by the government, it is usually derived from the calculations of an actuary, based on statistical data. The premium can vary depending on many factors that are believed to affect the expected cost of future claims. Those factors can include the car characteristics, the coverage selected (deductible, limit, covered perils), the profile of the driver (age, gender, driving history) and the usage of the car (commute to work or not, predicted annual distance driven).
The law 990/1969 requires that each motor vehicle or trailer standing or moving on a public road have third party insurance (called RCA, Responsabilità civile per gli autoveicoli). Historically, a part of the certificate of insurance must be displayed on the windscreen of the vehicle. This latter requirement was revoked in 2015, when a national database of insured vehicles was built by the Insurance Company Association (ANIA, Associazione Nazionale Imprese Assicuratrici) and the National Transportation Authority (Motorizzazione Civile) to verify (by private citizens and public authorities) if a vehicle is insured. There is no exemption policy to this law disposition.
In several countries insurance companies offer direct repair programs (DRP) so that their customers have easy access to a recommended car body repair shop. Some also offer one-stop shopping where a damaged car can get dropped off and an adjuster handles the claim, the car is fixed and often a replacement rental car is provided. When repairing the vehicle the car body repair shop is obliged to follow the instructions regarding the choice of original equipment manufacturer (OEM), original equipment supplier parts (OES), Matching Quality spare parts (MQ) and generic replacement parts. Both DRPs and non OEM parts help to keep costs down and keep insurance prices competitive. AIRC (International Car body repair Association) General Secretary Karel Bukholczer made clear that DRP's have had big impact on car body repair shops.
The use of non-intrusive load monitoring to detect drunk driving and other risky behaviors has been proposed. A US patent application combining this technology with a usage based insurance product to create a new type of behavior based auto insurance product is currently open for public comment on peer to patent. See Behavior-based safety. Behaviour based Insurance focusing upon driving is often called Telematics or Telematics2.0 in some cases monitoring focus upon behavioural analysis such as smooth driving.
Auto insurance is financial protection, and not just for the investment you made when you bought your car. After a really serious accident, bills for damage and injuries can easily reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you happen to cause such a wreck, the victims could sue you. In the worst case scenario, assets such as your savings and home could be seized.