Tag Archives: insurance

Teen Driving Worries? There’s an App for That

canstockphoto22566500Any parent will tell you their greatest fear is the day their child gets behind the wheel for the first time.  Their child is moving beyond their control and watchful eye. They are entering the jungle called life and the open road. They are driving. Fortunately there is technology and apps for that.

For parents, especially African-American parents, driving opens a terrifying stage in their child’s life. An encounter with the wrong police officer can be deadly. For those fears black parents with teen drivers, and themselves, there is the Driving While Black app. This app educates and prepares them and their child to survive encounters with police officers. It provides tools that allows them to document the encounter for later reference, immediately notify parents if they are stopped and legal information. Driving while black should not be a lethal task but we know it happens.

But we also know how teens tend to behave in a reckless manner and suffer from basic inexperience on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 16 to 19-year-olds are nearly three times more likely to have an accident than drivers ages 20 and over. In the U.S. most teens dream of the day they begin to drive. And eventually they will want a car of their own. So the IIHS offers this list of safest used cars for teens.

But as long as they are driving mom and dad’s car parents will want to monitor and educate their child about driving. Now General Motors is offering a new way for parents to track their child’s behavior behind the wheel.

GM’s new product, “Teen Driver,” and will be available in the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Parents can program “Teen Driver”  to track how far their teen has driven,  how fast they drive, record any speed warnings issued during a drive, stability control events, anti-lock brake events, forward collision alerts and forward-collision braking events if the vehicle is equipped with that option.

To activate Teen Driver parents unlock the feature by creating a PIN in the “settings” menu of their available MyLink system. This then allows them to register their teen’s key fob. The system only records when that key fob is in use.

To download and review the full report parents just enter a password on MyLink. This tool can used to help a teen polish their driving skills. Parents could also spot potentially troubling behavior such as speeding and sudden hard braking.

But many parents can’t wait or afford a brand new 2016 Malibu. For those parents there are options available now.

If you currently own a late model GM car there is the OnStar emergency communications system. This service can locate their car on a map using GPS. OnStar will also inform the owner when the vehicle has an airbag deployment.

Ford Motor Company sponsors the RoadReady app. The app is an extension of The Parent’s Supervised Driving ProgramThe RoadReady app allows parents to track and log driving habits during their child’s learner’s permit process and is available on Apple devices.

Travelers Insurance offers IntelliDrive a plug-in device that records driving behaviors. Parents can see  the location and driving history of their teen. Parents get a weekly report on their teenagers driving habits that include speed, acceleration, braking, and driving hours. Most importantly parents will be alerted via text or email of unusual activity such as when their child goes beyond set boundaries. The technology is limited and is only available in several states.

Progressive Insurance Snapshot is also plug-in device that records driver behavior such as acceleration and braking as well as daily miles driven and the time of day the driving takes place. Progressive does not market the device as a way to monitor teens but it could certainly be used that way. But there are a few things you need to know about Snapshot.

Cellcontrol blocks your teenagers cell phone while driving. If someone tries to tamper with the device  it sends a text or email alert to a designated administrator. Cellcontrol is currently available on BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile 5 and 6.

Parents can learn about other technology for monitoring their teens driving habits by visiting these sites.

USA Today: Apps Etc. Monitor Teen Drivers

Consumer Reports: How to Track Your Teen Drivers

Now you know

ALERT! Anthem Insurance Hacked ALERT!

Anthem Blue Cross Blue ShieldAnthem Health Insurance formerly known as WellPoint and owners of the famed BlueCross BlueShield service reported today that hackers had penetrated its computer network gaining access to a treasure trove of customer and employee information including that of company CEO Joseph Swedish.

Anthem is the nation’s second-largest health insurer covering nearly 37 million people. The company said it was contacting customers impacted by the “very sophisticated” cyberattack and was working to figure out how many of its customer are at risk due to the hack.

Anthem reported that the hackers gained access to customer’s names, birth dates, email addresses, employment details, Social Security numbers, income information and street addresses of people who are currently covered or have been covered in the past.

The Indianapolis-based insurer said credit card information was not lost and it has no evidence that medical information, insurance claims or test results were targeted or obtained.

The insurer admits that all of its product lines were affected including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Amerigroup. 

Anthem sells mainly private individual and group health insurance and dental and vision coverage. It also sells plans on the public insurance exchange and Medicare and Medicaid. 

Anthem is working with FBI to investigate the attack and the company has hired Internet security company Mandiant to bolster its network defenses. The insurer will provide free credit monitoring and identity protection services.

The FBI urged Anthem customers contacted by the insurer to report suspected instances of identity theft.

Breaking It Down

Another sophisticated attack with millions of identities lost. There are a few things you need to pay careful attention to in this news story because I smell what the bull left in the yard.

First of all a company of this size has the methods and the budget to protect customer information from any attack no matter how sophisticated. I’m betting it was some failure on their part that this happened and if you watch the news in the next few weeks it will come out. I promise you that!

Second, who cares if the CEO’s information was lost?  Thirty-seven million people are at risk from this attack and Anthem thinks it makes a difference that the CEO is one of them. Tell him I said welcome to the club! And who gives a damn if no insurance records or insurance claim information or credit card information were compromised? If I read the reports right what was lost included customer’s names, birth dates, email addresses, employment details, Social Security numbers, income information and street addresses of people who are currently covered or have ever been covered was stolen! So what else does the hacker need? The person or persons took exactly what they wanted and has no need for the rest of that crap!

Finally, when this type of attack is revealed then the FBI should be looking at the company as being criminally negligent in the protection of your data. Why? Because as the customer who lost this sensitive information, you can’t do a damn thing to them! Let me make sure you understand this. The courts have ruled you can’t sue for any compensation for your lost information unless you can prove some harm came to you as a result of the loss. So you need to go through the hell of finding out someone stole your identity, bought a house and car, took a vacation to Fiji and stuck you with the bill. Then you can get a lawyer and file a lawsuit and go up against a major corporation with a multi-million dollar legal budget to fight you. I told you, I smell what the bull left in the yard!