Automakers Sharing Your Driving Habits with Insurance Companies

According to a comprehensive New York Times article, automakers’ practice of sharing driving data with insurance companies is causing concern among consumers, with implications for insurance rates.


Kenn Dahl, a resident near Seattle and a conscientious driver, was taken aback when he noticed a substantial increase in his car insurance premiums. Despite his impeccable driving record, Dahl found himself facing a 21 percent hike in insurance costs.

Upon further investigation, he discovered that his driving data, collected from his Chevrolet Bolt, had been shared with insurers, influencing the determination of his insurance rates.

The publication found that data brokerage firm LexisNexis, headquartered in New York, plays a pivotal role in this process. Operating under its “Risk Solutions” division, LexisNexis caters to the auto insurance industry, traditionally focusing on monitoring car accidents and traffic violations.

Dahl, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, requested and received a comprehensive “consumer disclosure report” from LexisNexis, revealing over 130 pages of detailed driving information, including trip details, distances traveled, and driving behaviors such as speeding, hard braking, and rapid accelerations.

General Motors, the manufacturer of the Chevrolet Bolt, provided the driving data analyzed by LexisNexis to create risk scores for insurers. This information is utilized as one of many factors in determining personalized insurance coverage.


Despite assertions of obtaining driver consent, many consumers remain unaware of this data sharing arrangement. Some drivers report being tracked even without activating features like OnStar Smart Driver, indicating potential lapses in transparency and consent protocols.

The growing scrutiny surrounding this practice has prompted policymakers to take action.

California’s privacy regulator is currently investigating automakers’ data collection practices, while Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts has urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate potential violations of consumer rights.

In response to inquiries, General Motors confirmed it does, indeed, share driving insights with data brokers like LexisNexis and Verisk.

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