Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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From its most humble beginnings, OnStar was initially nothing more than a notification device that the airbags had been deployed in three different 1997 Cadillac models. Of course, it took off quickly. The OnStar system has evolved into a real force in automotive technology. They started with features that would speed up the emergency response after an accident and moved onto other safety enhancements.

Today, your OnStar system could even track down your car’s location if it’s been stolen. Safety services have definitely come a long way from where they started, with drivers becoming increasingly interested in safe driving habits.

Today, OnStar offers class-leading safety and security services, and offers a number of high-technology perks to drivers, including turn-by-turn navigation, integrated hands-free calling for safer cell phone use, and even a mobile app on both Apple iOS and Google Android platforms that give users remote access to not just data on their automobiles, but allow for remote starting, unlocking and locking of doors and more.

What is there to know about OnStar?

OnStar has even become the primary telematics device used by a number of car insurance companies offering pay as you drive, pay by the mile or usage based insurance (UBI) policies. GMAC Insurance and State Farm both offer UBI programs for consumers that use the OnStar system.

General Motors, which owns OnStar, has announced a number of milestones racked up in the 16 years OnStar has been offered as included equipment or an aftermarket install in vehicles.

On top of the more than 191,000 Automatic Crash Response calls, the service has also provided:

  • More than 94 million Turn-by-Turn routes
  • More than 1 million Emergency Services delivered
  • 6.9 billion Hands-Free Calling minutes purchased
  • More than 581,000 Good Samaritan calls
  • More than 213 million Vehicle Diagnostic emails sent
  • More than 5.8 million Remote Door Unlocks
  • 8.5 million RemoteLink Mobile App requests
  • More than 2.9 million Roadside Assistance responses
  • 59,000 Stolen Vehicle Assistances

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Do you have a vehicle that’s equipped with OnStar?

If you have OnStar, has it been a significant part of your experience as a driver? Have you used auto insurance telematics programs that go through OnStar, and what kind of discounts did you get on your insurance rates?

These are just a few of the questions many prospective buyers ask. By putting your personal experience out there, you can help people feel more at ease with such offered, connected services. Some drivers still feel nervous about such connectivity, but with more and more people understanding the availability and benefits, it can lead to even further help down the road.

Assistance when you need help with a flat tire is just one way connected vehicles can help you. Some cars come already equipped with OnStar, while others can have it installed after it’s been purchased. It helps to know that it’s optional equipment in some cases.

While you’re here, you should also consider making sure you have the best in terms of auto insurance policies. We have a free comparison tool that will let you compare quotes from different companies.