buying Why Smarter Cars Aren't Saving Us Money on Car Insurance

19:00  23 january  2018
19:00  23 january  2018 Source:   NerdWallet

This Gorgeous Bespoke Motorcycle Will Set You Back Over $50,000

  This Gorgeous Bespoke Motorcycle Will Set You Back Over $50,000 <p>This Australian-French-Japanese hybrid comes trimmed in crocodile.</p>The Paris-based shop, Blitz Motorcycles, modifies older bikes into scrambler and hooligan-style standards. It works most often with BMW twins, but also a range of Japanese bikes, at least one Moto Guzzi, and a Harley Sportster from 1991. The bearded Frenchmen who run the shop designed this particular scrambler around a heavily reworked Kawasaki W650, which the Japanese manufacturer built from the late 90s through 2007. Among other work, the Blitz team lowered the frame, fitted track handlebars and knobby tires, and trimmed the seats, tank strap and grips in genuine crocodile.

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New technology makes some cars smarter than their drivers: Automatic braking systems slow or stop cars to prevent collisions. Lane-departure warning features alert drivers with sounds or vibrations when their cars drift across lane markings. Self-parking systems can expertly back vehicles into tight spaces without drivers touching their steering wheels.

With more vehicles hitting the road with these and other safety features, you would think car insurance rates would drop along with accidents.

But the cost of accidents and auto insurance have risen sharply in recent years.

Federal Consumer Price Index data shows car insurance prices jumped 7.9% in 2017 and 7% in 2016, the biggest annual increases since 2002.

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What gives?

Miles and miles and miles

Why Safe Cars Aren't Saving Us Money on Car Insurance-story: Today's cars have loads of safety features, but in recent years the cost of accidents and auto insurance have risen sharply.© Unsplash Today's cars have loads of safety features, but in recent years the cost of accidents and auto insurance have risen sharply.

For one, a lot of older cars are still on the road. Even if the new safety features ultimately reduce crashes, it will take time for them to make a dent in the accident rate. The average age of cars on U.S. roads is over 11 years, according to IHS Markit, a research and analytics company.

For another, we’re driving more than ever, thanks to a better economy and job market, says Joe Salerno, vice president of claims for the Arbella Insurance Group.

Drivers logged more than 3.2 trillion miles on U.S. roads in 2016, the fifth straight year that U.S. mileage increased, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Miles driven from January to September 2017 were up 1.3% compared with the same period in 2016.

More miles means more accidents. And more accidents leads to more drivers filing insurance claims, says James Lynch, chief actuary for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.

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The number of collision insurance claims per insured vehicles has creeped up each year since 2013. In the second quarter of 2017, collision insurance claims filed totaled 6.12 per 100 insured vehicles, compared with 5.56 claims per 100 insured vehicles in the first quarter of 2013, according to the institute. That’s a 10% increase.

“What’s happened in the last three or four years is both the accident rates have been going up, and the size of the claims have been going up,” Lynch says.

Accident costs are going up

Two Drivers Exchange Insurance Details After Accident© Monkey Business Images/REX Two Drivers Exchange Insurance Details After Accident

Both medical and car repair costs are rising. Insurers’ costs to pay and administer claims went up 11% or more per insured vehicle in the past two years, depending on the kind of claim, the Insurance Information Institute says.

Technology is partly to blame for the higher costs.

New bumpers, for example, include equipment, such as cameras and lane-departure and backup sensors. The bumper on a 1990 Honda Civic had fewer than 10 parts, Salerno says. A 2016 model has over 30.

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According to Arbella claims information, windshields on cars with advanced driver-assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, can cost 82% more to replace than vehicles without those features, Salerno says.

In addition, changes in vehicle composition, including the increased use of aluminum, boost labor costs for repairs. “The complexity of repairs is greater and requires a higher skill set,” he says.

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Few insurance discounts for newest safety features

Driving in rush hour traffic© PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier/Getty Images Driving in rush hour traffic

Most car insurers don’t yet offer discounts for the latest features, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking or lane-departure warning systems. (Liberty Mutual is an exception.)

“These features are still new and so far very few vehicles on the road are equipped with them,” says Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research and educational group supported by insurers.

“Insurers need historical data on whether these systems are reducing claim costs for specific models,” he says. “While a feature may reduce the risk of a crash, it could also raise the cost of repairing a vehicle following crashes that still happen because the sensors are expensive and often placed in vulnerable locations.”

Garmin puts safety first with Speak Plus camera at CES 2018

  Garmin puts safety first with Speak Plus camera at CES 2018 It's still got Alexa and navigation, but we're more excited about the addition of camera-based driver aid features.Like the original Garmin Speak, the Plus allows drivers to access Amazon Alexa voice skills with the hands-free "Alexa…" keyword. It also integrates with the Garmin Speak phone app and Alexa skill to enable destination search and turn-by-turn navigation, displaying turn and lane guidance on its small OLED display.

Of course, this way of saving money on car insurance isn’ t going to help if you have an hour-long commute to work. Read Next: Why Auto Insurance Rates in One State Are Double the National Average.

Questions: For Car Byacquire being some want should above In you of save

Another challenge for insurers is confirming whether a vehicle has those features. Usually, they get a snapshot of a car by checking its vehicle identification number, or VIN, a unique 17-digit code created by the automaker. The VIN identifies the car’s specifications and manufacturer but doesn’t include whether a vehicle has advanced crash-avoidance features like automatic braking.

“Once automakers make a feature like autobrake standard equipment rather than optional, it will be easier for insurers to track,” Rader says. “That’s beginning to happen, and virtually all vehicles will have standard autobrake by 2022.”

Although advanced safety features might not yield a discount yet with many insurers, Rader says they’re worth considering when buying a car.

“Consumers should look at these features as important safety equipment,” he says. “If you buy a vehicle with crash avoidance technology, and it prevents just one crash, the system probably paid for itself.”

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