Ford Sharing Driving Data With Allstate, Plans Loyalty Credit Card

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford sharing driving data with allstate plans loyalty credit card

Adhering to the latest industry trends, Ford has made a deal with insurer Allstate to share customer driving data and plans to issue a loyalty credit card tied into its rewards program. While the latter is in the service of retaining customers (with the help of Visa) in the second quarter of this year, the insurance partnership is technically already active. The Blue Oval is by no means the only automaker involved in such programs.

Like other automakers, Ford has already partnered with insurance companies in regional programs aimed at assessing how customers drive, using the collected information to adjust policies. Originally, this involved devices installed with the customer’s consent that transmitted telemetric data back to home base. Later versions were able to use on-board systems in conjunction with a downloadable app. Now, with connected cars becoming the norm, Allstate says it can just get the information directly from vehicles via manufacturer data centers.

Reporting from Bloomberg indicates that most Ford and Lincoln models manufactured moving forward will contain embedded modems that will sync directly with Allstate’s Milewise program. While largely dependent upon the installation of an external device beneath the steering column, the company says that won’t be necessary in the future. Framed as a way to help drivers who don’t cover a lot of ground save money, Milewise actually tracks miles driven, vehicle speed, time of day, specific driving events (like sudden braking) and location.

While we’d like to assume that information is behind handled responsibly, the company is already testing a program that allows clients to see how driving habits affect a personalized price. We’re relatively certain it will receive pushback in relation to the California Consumer Privacy Act — a bit of legislation that’s already complicating the industry’s push into data-driven businesses.

There’s also the consumer advocacy groups and right-to-repair organizations popping up around the country, focused on limiting the amount of influence an automaker has on a car after purchase — and who has access to the data amassed while driving. Allstate was recently named “One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere (a for-profit company we’ve never heard of). It’s doubtful that accolade means they’ll give you a pass the next time your data profile is flagged for exceeding the posted speed limit or you stop short to avoid crushing a dog. That hardly seems profitable.

“Connected vehicles have the potential to deliver new benefits to Ford customers, including the ability to help lower their insurance premiums,” Kari Novatney, COO of the automaker’s FordPass mobile program, explained.

Ginger Purgatorio, Allstate’s senior vice president of product management, said the agreement with Ford will offer drivers “the ability to control and customize their auto insurance policy like never before.”

Ford’s credit card is a bit more straightforward. Tied to the FordPass Rewards system, using it supposedly allows cardholders to earn 5 percent back on certain Ford transactions, plus another 5 percent via the rewards program. Purchases relating to gasoline, parking expenses, repairs, auto insurance and dining out yield 1 percent back on all other purchases. Interest is set at zero for the first six months on all transactions surpassing $499 at Ford/Lincoln shops, according to dealer info acquired by Automotive News. There is no dealer participation fee and Ford’s retailers are expected to earn a $65 sign-up bonus for each person enrolled and approved.

Ford declined to comment about the plan.

From Automotive News:

The card is the latest effort by the automaker to boost customer loyalty and retention. The company in late 2018 tapped Elena Ford, a great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford, to become its chief customer experience officer, and in 2019 rolled out the points-based FordPass Rewards program.

Competitors including General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have similar credit card offerings. Ford introduced a card for business owners in 2000 and offers a Quick Lane credit card, although it’s unclear whether that will continue when the new card is launched.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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2 of 30 comments
  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Mar 04, 2020

    Hey Ford, how much are you paying customers who reside in California for their info? I'll cheerfully sell you my info - $500/month.

  • SirRaoulDuke SirRaoulDuke on Mar 04, 2020

    F this S. We need comprehensive data privacy laws yesterday.

  • Hugh I bought my 2014 Volt in 2017 with 29K miles on it- all ICE. The lease person never charged the battery. Lifetime MPG was 41. I have owned the car over 5 years now. Lifetime MPG is 151. All I have had to do to maintain it was tires, brakes and an oil change every two years (at 50% oil life). It has been incredibly dependable. It is small and cramped for passengers, but I love it. It did cost more than the Cruze it is based on, but a friend at GM said was sold for half of what it cost to make. GM pulling the plug on yet another EV is no surprise.Two months after I bought it my brother went into an ICU 200 miles away. I was able to spend every weekend with him. I could not have done that in a Leaf. I drive a 39 mile eaxh way commute. The Volt is perfect for that, except when temperatures drop below 45. Even then, when it has to run the ICE, I get 145mpg at least. I have saved enough money on gas to pay for the car and then some. CO2 is about 20% of what my Tacoma was based on the 12KW it takes to charge eaxh way. Now that it is an orphan, it is getting harder to find a qualified technician. Parts are also hard to find and expensive. I have bought (and may actually actually receive) a 2023 Maverick Hybrid. If Ford makes a Maverick PHEV I will trade for that.If I could find a Gen2 at a reasonable price I would have bought that instead of the Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts What a bizarre idea. Keep it legible. There's absolutely nothing wrong with A4E, Q5E, etc. At this point the Q5, Q7, and A4 in particular are such well-known brands that it's just dumb to monkey with them.
  • Ajla After the success this sort of thing brought Infiniti and Cadillac I can see why Audi is joining in.
  • SCE to AUX A plug-in hybrid requires two fuels to realize the benefit of having that design. This is where the Volt fell down.It could be either:[list][*]A very short-range EV[/*][*]A long-range ICE with mediocre fuel economy[/*][*]An excellent mid-range vehicle that required both a plug and gasoline.[/*][/list]If you wanted a short-range EV you got a Leaf (like I did). If you wanted a long-range car with good fuel economy, you got a Civic/Elantra/Cruze/Corolla. In my case, we also had an Optima Hybrid.I'd personally rather have a single-fuel vehicle - either gas/hybrid or electric - rather than combine the complexity and cost of both into one vehicle.
  • Bobbysirhan The Pulitzer Center that collaborated with PBS in 'reporting' this story is behind the 1619 Project.