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Ford Sync may save you money on insurance

Vehicles equipped with Sync can participate in State Farm's Drive Safe and Save mileage-based auto insurance program.

Ford announced today that some State Farm auto insurance customers may save money on premiums using Sync.

Drive Safe and Save isState Farm's optional mileage-based program that calculates your insurance rate based on the actual number of miles you drive in a six-month period of time. The insurance company generally uses a broad mileage estimate to determine your premium, categorizing drivers as either low mileage or average mileage, with 7,500 miles per year as the cutoff. The DSS program is available in 14 states, and until now was open almost exclusively to OnStar customers and OnStar FMV subscribers. California customers can self-report mileage, and Illinois policy holders can use Hughes Telematics InDrive to send odometer readings.

But now Ford's Sync is the latest way to share your driving distance with the insurance company. When enrolled, drivers can send the insurance company odometer readings using Sync's Vehicle Health Report service. Because the report is generated by Sync and e-mailed to State Farm from the Web site, the data is considered accurate and verified by a third-party source. Sync is standard equipment on 2013 Ford Flex and Fusion vehicles, and is available on most new Ford vehicles for $295.

Sharing anything more than you have to with an insurance company can be a tough sell, but it's a move that could pay off for Sync subscribers. The typical policy holder who drives 1,000 miles a month and enrolls in DSS can expect to save around 10 percent, according to a Ford news statement. Low mileage drivers can save as much as 40 percent on premiums.

However, keep in mind that if you're already signed up as a low mileage driver and the Sync Vehicle Health Report shows that you're driving more than you originally estimated, your rates could actually go up. Your rates may also spike or dip every six months making it harder to predict your auto budget.

But that may be worth the risk for the millions of families with rarely used second or third cars, and recent retirees who no longer have long commutes.

Eligibility for DSS using Sync will begin in Utah and expand to other states.

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