Our vehicles are getting smarter, faster and more expensive these days as automakers bring new high-tech innovations to the markeplace and ultimately, our driveways. But these advances are also driving up the cost of auto insurance, according to a new report.
It may seem like just yesterday that things such as air bags, cruise control and all-electric controls were top-of-the-line in our vehicles. But glancing inside the interior of a 2018 sedan today, the Jetsons would feel right at home.
Here’s the real reason why your car insurance keeps rising
All of the features included in today’s newer vehicles — from the infotainment systems that broadcast on the back of the head rests, keyless entry, rear-view backup cameras and even “lane-departure” technology that alerts the driver when they’re close to leaving the road — come at a high cost.
From the standpoint of insurance companies, they’re losing more money than ever as people file claims that are not as simple as a busted headlight.
“If they’re damaged, they’re much more expensive to repair,” James Lynch, chief actuary for the Insurance Information Institute tells the Detroit Free Press says of cars today. “You can’t just go to a shop and pick up a part that you can jerry-rig on.”
Of course, these costs are being passed onto the consumer, helping to raise insurance rates.
This is not something auto insurers even try to hide. On Gieco’s website, along with distracted driving and higher claims payouts, it lists as a reason for rising insurance rates the high price of high tech: “Newer cars mean newer technology, which costs more to repair.”
When you think about the number of high-tech features built into a common vehicle today, we’re a long ways from the times of anti-lock brakes and keyless remotes. Here are just a few amenities that can be found in several models:
- 360-Degree Camera: Widens visibility when the vehicle is put in reverse to park or back up
- Drowsiness Alert: Analyzes motorist data to gauge when a break is needed
- Lane Key Assist: Steers vehicle back to safety when “lane departure” is detected
- Active Park Assist: Vehicle can be parallel parked without steering
- Adaptive Cruise Control: Keeps track of the car ahead and monitors vehicle’s set speed
Needless to say, when any of the above features need to be repaired or replaced due to an accident, the insurance bill is a lot more complicated. All of this just underscores the need for due diligence when it comes to looking for deals on insurance.
Money expert Clark Howard says finding affordable insurance takes a lot of legwork. Instead of shopping online, your best bet is to let your fingers do the walking. “Comparison sites are really just lead generation services,” Clark says. “You have to shop individually with different insurers [by] calling them all.”
For more information on this, see how to shop for car insurance.