Yes, you are right in that the risk data they collect does not include the actual mechanical condition of your car. But if you really wanted that to be part of it, everyone would be getting agents sent to their house to get their car appraised. And that would probably make a lot
of people's rates go up because most insurance companies never do that, unless your car is very rare, a collector, antique, very expensive, etc. Under good faith they are assuming the car is in stock, good condition with no problems and being properly
maintained (tires and all that). Unless of course, you have something like additional coverage for aftermarket parts/upgrades. But if you rear end someone and the adjuster sees your tires are very obviously bald, causing you to not have stopping power, they will probably deny your claim lol.
It really isn't a matter of them spying on you. There's no one actively watching what your car is sending back to them, it's just storing data in a database and then applying that data to a formula in order to calculate a discount. It's very possible that no one will ever, ever look at your data on that unless there's some sort of problem with the data on your policy specifically. Which would be rare. And even then they'd only be able to see the numbers. Like there's really nothing else to it AFAIK
. Since I work at an insurance company as a programmer I have the ability to look at stuff similar to this data so I know for a fact that it's really no big deal and no one is gonna "spy" on the data that gets sent back. It's made to be hands-off anyway, so you don't have an agent hounding you about your driving habits to get that exact same data.
It's helpful for them to get data on the risks they use to calculate premiums/discounts, and it saves you time and effort (and money, possibly) working with them to potentially get that discount.
Like I said with me calling them a few times about hard braking, the one time I had the Accord in for a brake job and the tech - obviously - took the car out and performed the pad bedding procedure, which definitely includes "hard braking" as Progressive defines it! When I checked it on the mobile app and saw there were a few hard brake counts during that time, I just called them and said hey, I just had my car in for service and I think the guy who worked on it test drove it and hit the brakes to test it. Since it wasn't me driving the car (and I would have had a shop receipt to prove when the car was in their possession), could you please do something about it. The guy on the phone said yes, he could have those ones not "count" toward my final discount. The records would still be in the database but they would not apply.
I would advise not doing track day on the car you're doing this with, haha XD
Honestly, I did not find it difficult or frustrating to just take it easy for the time I had the Snapshot plugged in. Not that the car I had it plugged into was capable of some of the things it looks for, like "jackrabbit starts" and speeding over a certain MPH. Haha
And remember you don't have to keep this thing in the car forever. Just however many days they ask you. For Snapshot it was an initial 30 days and then I could opt to either send the device back or keep it in for a bit longer to get more of a discount.