Last night I was watching the thrilling Packers-Bears game, featuring the amazing comeback led by Aaron Rodgers. I don’t watch much regular TV anymore since we pulled the plug on cable a few years back. This means that I don’t see many commercials anymore.
However, one commercial during last night’s game caught my eye. It was a Hyundai commercial about an adventurous little boy who really needed go wee wee while driving. At the end of the commercial, this boy wants to get out of the car but cannot open the passenger door due to a safety sensor that keeps the door locked because of an oncoming vehicle. If this boy would have been able to open the door, he possibly could have been hit by the oncoming car or that car c
ould have hit the open door. At one time or another, we all have almost opened car doors that almost got hit by an oncoming car or bike. This is a very nice safety feature!
Cars and trucks of today have loads of safety sensors. Backup cameras, cameras in the windshield, automatic stopping features, sensors that help the car park itself, and now sensors that keep doors locked when oncoming objects are nearby. All great things!
Have you ever considered about how the advancement of this type of technology impacts your auto insurance?
Most people would say that these features make the cars safer. Safer cars should mean lower auto insurance rates, right?
Well… a little.
But mostly- these features increase the cost of auto insurance. For everyone. Even if you don’t have these features in your vehicle.
This means that even if you are driving a 20 year old beater… your auto insurance rates are increasing because of new safety technology that other people have on their cars.
Let me tell you why.
It now costs more to repair the vehicles that have these safety features. Years ago- repair shops did not have to deal with cameras and sensors. Now, if you are driving a 1998 Toyota Camry and hit a 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan surrounded with sensors, the cost of those repairs are going to be higher than what they used to be. Cameras have to be reinstalled into the damaged part of the vehicle and recalibrated now. Heck- even a windshield repair costs a lot more than it used to because of auto-assist technology.
To account for those added repair costs, insurance rates have creeped up to keep up with this technology.
Sure, there are other reasons that auto insurance rates creep up…
Here are three other factors that increase your rates that you may not have thought about:
- Lower gas prices: With lower gas prices, more people can afford to drive places. More miles on the road mean that there is more chance of an accident, statistically speaking.
- Higher employment rates: As employment rises, more people are going to and from work and roadways are getting more crowded
- Distracted driving: Texts, emails, and other phone distractions are at our fingertips. A recent study found that nearly one in five crashes involve distracted driving.
Insurance companies are repairing more and more cars due to more and more collisions. The cars are more expensive to repair due to the more expensive technology that is being put inside them. New vehicles are more sophisticated and sleeker than ever- which translates to a higher premium being taken out of your wallet.
So just remember when you have your next insurance renewal and your rates increase or the next time you purchase a new car and have the sticker shock of your insurance premium- those safety features are amazing, but they also come with a price.