Category: Insurance

By on April 30, 2019

With mobile phones now a ubiquitous part of modern-day life, distracted driving has ballooned into a legitimate public safety problem. Alarming studies continue to pour in, with many claiming that driver cell phone use is likely underreported by authorities in crash reports. It’s hard to quantify, especially since nobody wants to admit that their moment of weakness may have contributed to an accident.

Add in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey that found 30 percent of drivers aged 21 to 34 believe texting doesn’t negatively impact their driving, and you’d be forgiven for picking up your keys with sweaty palms.

A new study claims the issue has only gotten worse, with drivers spending more time on their phone than ever before. However, the way the data was acquired is disconcerting in itself. Insurance companies are tapping traffic data startups to monitor people’s phones, and they’re already capable of tracking millions of American devices.  Read More >

By on August 22, 2018

Last week’s QOTD post about states and their respective license plates generated a few comments about a particular plate issued by the state of Ohio. In today’s question, we dive a little deeper and focus solely on this Ohio plate, which just happens to be more unique than every other license plate in use today.

Read More >

By on July 26, 2018

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Monroney, Made in Mexico, Image: © Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars

Why didn’t I think of this? An Alberta man with a spotty driving record and a burning lust for the Chevrolet Cruze discovered you can save piles of cash if the government thinks you’re a woman. Or at least an individual who identifies as one.

Speaking anonymously to CBC, the man said his transition to a female (on paper) began after he approached insurance companies in search of coverage for his new — and quite sensible — compact sedan. Well, we assume it was the sedan.

What followed was a journey through genders, all to save 91 bucks a month. Read More >

By on November 14, 2017

NYC street driving

Insurance may be one of the greatest scams ever pulled on the general public, but it’s a very necessary evil. Right around the time the automobile became popular, people starting crashing them into things. By the 1920s, individual states began requiring drivers to purchase insurance — creating a pooled solution that covered at-fault drivers for damages they might be unable to pay otherwise.

However, not all drivers crash and not all vehicles incur the same costs when they take or deliver a beating. Collision losses might be astronomical for high-end sports cars but comparably moderate for midsize pickup trucks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute recently compiled the loss averages for hundreds of models, grouping them by segments, to establish how lightly-used autos stack up against each other.  Read More >

By on May 7, 2017

car wreck crash vintage Chevrolet

Safety enhancements are, undoubtedly, a good thing. People are walking away from wrecks that would have been fatal a few decades earlier and crash avoidance systems can keep inattentive drivers out of trouble altogether. The downside is that these features have made vehicles more expensive to purchase and repair.

Bob Tschippert, the senior vice president of underwriter Risk Theory, says that advancements in technologies have made vehicle repairs so costly that insurance companies have begun declaring substantially more injured cars a total loss. “In the past, if you had a front-end collision, you had damage to the engine or the front end,” Tschippert explained. “But now, with the number of airbags that can run from $1,000 up to $4,000 and all the sensors up front, you’re seeing more totals.”  Read More >

By on December 13, 2016

Iowa (Don Graham/Flickr)

If it wasn’t for the blissful autonomy and convenience that comes with car ownership, how many people would want to shoulder the ever-growing cost? Insurers lie in wait to squeeze you, law enforcement waits to punish you, environmental groups demonize your lifestyle, and governments at all levels salivate at the thought of making it more expensive to own a personal vehicle.

Meanwhile, you dance to the tune set by oil companies and geopolitics, weathering financial blows when pump prices rise. If only there was a place where those worries fell away — where the act of owning and driving a car wasn’t as stressful.

As it turns out, this place exists. And it’s just west of the Mississippi. Read More >

By on November 28, 2016

Bentley Continental GT V8 S

Rising insurance premiums are a plump grape in the cornucopia of adult annoyances, but they grow into a ripe apple when forces outside of your control cause them to skyrocket.

Now, imagine that there’s only one insurance provider, and you already pay taxes towards it. That’s the reality in several provinces north of the border, but one jurisdiction just crashed head-on into an unforeseen problem: new money, and the skyrocketing increase in six-figure vehicle ownership that came with it.

To save the owners of Malibus and Journeys from a major jump in premiums caused by ultra-pricey supercar repairs, one Canadian province has taken drastic steps. Read More >

By on November 11, 2016

car insurance (State Farm/Flickr)

To quote Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

You certainly don’t need TTAC to tell you auto insurance premiums are on the rise. You already know rates are trending up, well in excess of inflation. Nonetheless, let’s unpack some of the factors that have the average American now spending more than $100 per month on auto insurance. Read More >

By on June 22, 2016

traffic

Statistics show that, as a whole, teen drivers are unsafe, and could easily saddle you with a huge repair bill.

So, what’s the best state to live in if you’re planning to hand your keys to someone aged 15 to 24? A new study by WalletHub maps it out, ranking each state based on three categories — safety conditions, driving laws and economic environment.
Read More >

By on June 4, 2016

press03-model-x-front-three-quarter-with-doors-open

Tesla Model X owners might want to double check their insurance coverage before hitting those rural highways in search of ecologically sensitive adventure.

Now that the electric SUV is rolling out of Fremont in bigger numbers, owners are starting to experience the normal headaches that come with vehicle ownership. One nagging issue owners are discovering is the cost of replacing the acres and acres of glass that make up the vehicle’s panoramic windshield. (Which happens to be the biggest in the industry.) Read More >

By on May 24, 2016

Challenger crash

If you’re going to hit a pole in a Dodge Challenger, it’s better to nail that sucker head-on or it miss altogether.

That’s the takeaway from a series of crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, where Dodge’s muscle coupe scored itself a “marginal” rating in the small front overlap test.

The IIHS normally doesn’t test niche vehicles, but V8-powered Challenger, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro models are hot-selling items and buyers demanded it. Read More >

By on March 17, 2016

Car collision (Mark Turnauckas/Flickr)

As we reported yesterday, a group of top automakers has agreed to offer automatic emergency braking (AEB) on almost all of their models by 2022.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed the voluntary agreement today, meaning virtually all light-duty cars and trucks sold in North America will adopt the safety feature by Sept. 1, 2022.

The group is made up of Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. Read More >

By on December 1, 2015

Uber At Igby's In Cincy Circa April 2014

Uber and Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced Tuesday a pilot program in Denver to rent cars to mobile entrepreneurs for ride-sharing services, according to the Denver Post.

The program, which will cost $210 a week on top of a $500 deposit, will make available cars to roam the city streets for people who don’t sleep for a week at a time. The $210 cost for the rental will be automatically deducted from the driver’s earnings, and if the driver doesn’t make enough to cover the cost of the car they’re still totally on the hook.

“What we’re trying to do here is lower the barrier to entry for someone who does want to work with Uber but who does not have a qualifying car or doesn’t have a car at all,” Andrew Chapin, Uber’s Head of Vehicle Solutions, told the Denver Post.

Read More >

By on August 27, 2015

1985 Mercedes Benz SL

Matt Gephardt and KUTV in Salt Lake City have a good story about a Utah man who was hit by a state vehicle and its insurance company — which is the state itself — shortchanged him on his 1985 Mercedes-Benz SL Convertible.

The car was totaled, and the state offered to pay $8,000 for the car. Tyler Winger, who said he restored the car with his grandfather, said the car was worth $12,000 to $13,000. (He’s not completely wrong.)

Winger said the state told him that they wouldn’t budge and that he couldn’t complain to the state’s insurance oversight board since that board doesn’t have oversight over the state’s self-insurance company.

Read More >

By on August 11, 2015

OBD II

Hackers say they may be able to control any vehicle with a telematics-enabled sensor — including a popular sensor that insurance companies use for consumers — plugged into the car’s diagnostic port, according to Wired report (via The Verge).

In recent weeks, several hacks have surfaced — Chrysler, General Motors and Telsa — related to specific automakers. According to the report, the On-Board Diagnostic system hack could apply to any make or model fitted with an insurance or tracking dongle. The University of California San Diego researchers say they’ll present their findings at the Usenix conference Tuesday.

And, um, there’s no easy way to put this, but … it doesn’t appear that it would be all that hard to find cars with the dongles at the moment.

Read More >

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