Maryland Drivers Can Save Money, Environment by Driving Less

September 16, 2008
Jennifer Andreassen, 202-572-3387,  
Michael Replogle, 301-529-0351-c,
(Washington, DC – September 16, 2008) Environmental Defense Fund praised Progressive Insurance for announcing it now is offering Marylanders an optional Pay-As-You-Drive insurance program that will reward low mileage drivers with lower premiums than traditional, flat-rate insurance.
Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) insurance allows auto insurance holders to pay per-mile, as opposed to paying a flat rate regardless of how much they drive.  The Maryland Climate Commission last month recommended that the state do more to promote PAYD insurance to help cut global warming pollution. Unfortunately, state regulatory barriers in many other states don’t allow PAYD policies for a variety of reasons.
“Pay-As-You Drive insurance helps reduce low mileage drivers’ pain at the pump from high gas prices,” said Michael Replogle, Transportation Director at Environmental Defense Fund and former consultant to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. “It also helps the environment by encouraging Maryland drivers to drive less, reducing air and global warming pollution as well as our dependence on foreign oil.”
A Brookings Institute report released in July estimates that if PAYD were offered to all drivers, it would save two-out-of-three households an average of $270 per car, result in an eight percent decline in driving, reduce driving-related damages by $50 billion to $60 billion; and cut carbon dioxide emissions and oil consumption. 
Drivers who sign up for Progressive’s PAYD program receive a small wireless device that plugs into a port in their car to monitors how, how much and when the car is being driven. Cars driven less often, in less risky ways and at less risky times of day receive a lower premium.