GREENSBORO, N.C. — You know the commercials, you see a pregnant woman about to give birth and her husband is speeding to the hospital and she yells, ‘don’t mess with my discount’.
The ads are funny, but do you know anyone in real life like that?
“I'm very conscious about my speed and my driving,” said Shanna Smith.
Smith doesn't just take pride in her driving she puts money on it. Her State Farm Safe Driving beacon monitors her acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding, and phone distraction.
“My discount is very, very important to me.”
It's so important to her, when she's not the one behind the wheel, she's watching the app.
“My husband and I have different driving styles. I didn't want him messing with my discount! I was like oh my gosh every time we have to share the car, the first thing I think about is my discount, oh my gosh.”
With her safe driving discount, Shanna was paying about $95 a month for insurance. Then June, August, and September bills came in at $116.
“As I was looking through my app I would notice these characters I've never seen before. When I clicked on it, it said excessive speeding. I thought it was my husband, but it wasn't. I was killing my discount,” said Shanna.
Come to find out, the speed limit signs changed on the road she drives to and from work every day. She had increased her speed but...
“The app has not updated and I am being dinged for excessive speeding.”
Shanna called the number on the app to report it and she says she called her local agent too. So far, the app info hasn't changed and her bill is not back to normal.
“Who is manning these devices and who is really paying attention except the folks like me who notice the discount?”
2 Wants To Know contacted State Farm. A spokesperson sent this statement:
The Drive Safe & Save app is updated periodically to reflect the current driving environment. A driver's speed in relation to the posted speed limit does not directly impact a customer's drive safe & save discount.
We found that interesting because on State Farm's page it says:
Your discount may vary from term to term based on your actual driving.
“I'm not the only one traveling this road. How many other drivers are being impacted by this speed limit change?”
The answer? Thousands. This 10-mile stretch of Highway 52 was granted a speed increase in May. The signs went up in late summer. And the change is reflected on the North Carolina DOT map. Businesses like State Farm can access this information for free.
“It's easy to get from NC DOT, but you have to take into consideration that there are hundreds if not thousands of different entities that manage speed limits across the country. While it's easy in NC, they can come to us or through the website or call us, it may not be the same for all the other jurisdictions across the country,” said Kevin Lacy, NC DOT State Traffic Engineer.
“This discount is important during the pandemic,” said Shanna. “I just want to make people aware of what is going on and what's happening with the discount.”
Just for having the beacon, Shanna gets a 10% discount, but she's not getting up to the full 30% that is possible. Something is messing with her discount and could be costing you some of yours as well.