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Car Insurance in the Digital Age: How Advanced Tech Shapes Your Coverage — and Your Cost

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From the day the first Model A rolled out of Henry Ford’s Detroit workshop in 1903, car and truck manufacturers have added features to make autos safer and more enjoyable to drive. Windshield wipers and turn signals were early and obvious. Others, like the padded dashboard and headlights that turn as the steering wheel moves — standard on the 1948 Tucker and still in use today — came later.

 

Many new features rely on technology, such as heads-up displays to help keep your eyes on the road, battery-powered motors for increased efficiency, and adaptive cruise control to adjust your speed as you approach other vehicles. These features not only enhance the driving experience and help keep you safe, but they might also impact your car insurance. Read on to learn about additional technology that could affect your insurance costs.

 

Anti-theft

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more than 1 million cars were stolen in the U.S. in 2022, a 7% increase over 2021. Vehicle alarms and ignition locks are standard, but having a keyless, fob-based entry, a GPS locator (such as OnStar), or a radio locator like LoJack could decrease your cost for comprehensive coverage by 5% to 25%.

 

Electric Vehicles

You’ll pay about $100 more per year to insure an EV versus a comparable gas-powered model. Parts for EVs are about 2.7% more expensive, and the cost of a damaged battery pack can range from $5,000 to $15,000. Repair shops qualified to work on EVs may charge more too.

 

Telematics

Using a device or app that reports how you drive to your insurance company can earn you discounts, anywhere from 3% to 53%. Some behaviors that telematics track include hard acceleration and braking, speeding, and phone use while driving. The downside is that if you aren’t a very safe driver, your rates might go up, and experts warn that the data might work against you if you’re involved in an accident.

 

Ride-sharing and Delivery Services Coverage

Technology also influences how we use cars in the gig economy. App-powered services through companies such as Uber and Lyft typically offer insurance coverage, but experts advise drivers to also obtain personal rideshare insurance to cover any gaps. For example, their employer’s coverage may not apply when drivers are between rides. That’s true not only for drivers providing passenger transport services but also for on-demand delivery drivers for companies such as Grubhub and Instacart.

 

Wired in Traffic

Technologies that allow cars to communicate with the road and each other are lumped together as “V2X” — vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to road, and vehicle to pedestrians. An example of this is a digital alerting system for first responders, highway workers, and infrastructure operators, warning drivers of their upcoming presence on roadways. This emerging technology enables vehicles to exchange information about location, speed, and changes in direction. Pedestrians with a “safety beacon” on their phones could provide data that helps cars avoid hitting them. Roads could warn approaching cars about dangerous conditions. These kinds of technologies could help make autonomous driving vehicles safer and more practical — and could possibly impact insurance rates as well.

 

We may not be flying around in vehicles … yet. But auto technology is moving fast, and it’s important to keep up with how it may impact your insurance. We Insure agents have access to many top-rated carriers in your area and can talk to you about your car tech — and expertly advise you about its impact on your coverage. Reach out to your local We Insure agent today.

 

Sources

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/rideshare-insurance

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-auto-theft

https://www.policygenius.com/auto-insurance/how-to-get-a-telematics-discount-on-car-insurance/

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/electric-vehicle/

https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/are-uber-and-lyft-liable-for-passenger-injuries.html

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/rideshare-insurance

https://www.lojack.com/blog/2022/04/high-cost-of-car-insurance-reduce-rates-and-maximize-coverage/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20benefits%20to,%25%2C%20depending%20on%20your%20location

https://www.capitalone.com/cars/learn/getting-a-good-deal/what-is-onstar-insurance/2742

https://www.autoweek.com/news/technology/a36190311/v2x-technology/

https://www.haasalert.com/

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The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.