Thursday, October 4, 2018

Automotive safety technology might save your life… but it might not save you much money on your car insurance, study finds

blind spot monitoring
Photo: FCA Media website.
Research organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are now compiling evidence that automotive technology features like blind-spot monitoring and lane departure alerts are proving effective in preventing accidents, as reported in the Insurance Journal and elsewhere.

Whether these safety gains will show up in the form of additional dollars in your wallet, however, is another question—at least from the perspective of your car insurance bill.

According to a study released yesterday by The Zebra, a search engine that helps consumers compare car insurance quotes, your insurance savings from safety and theft deterrent gadgets are likely to be slim at best.

The study found that insurers are discounting car insurance premiums by less than $10 per year. And that’s just for anti-theft devices, with most automotive technology features producing no savings at all.

“You’d think that since these technology advancements in car safety are often mandatory in new models and proven by experts to be highly effective in reducing accidents, insurance companies would adjust their pricing accordingly to reward consumers with savings,” said Alyssa Connolly, director of market insights at The Zebra, who authored the study. “Unfortunately for drivers with these modern cars, that’s not the case because the sophisticated technology is more expensive to fix, and because humans driving these cars are often lulled into a false sense of security and can actually become more careless.”

But, hey—in the final analysis it doesn’t seem like too bad of a tradeoff. After all, if a blind spot alert keeps you from lane-changing into the path of an 18-wheeler, are you really going to complain about saving only 10 bucks on your car insurance?

Nah. Didn’t think so.

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