We hear a lot about how dangerous distracted driving can be and how many people are killed or seriously injured by distracted drivers. So how to insurers view the act? Not all that kindly.
The average cost added to an insurance policy is $226 per year — or 16%.
This information comes via insurance consumer website The Zebra. The website says the practice of yacking on the phone while driving is growing in insurance worry because two years ago the cost to the insured was $23.
Ironically, as dangerous as cellphone use while driving is, there are other activities behind the wheel that will get more insurance attention and much higher rates. In fact, it’s quite low on the list of what will generate a bigger insurance rate hit.
Here’s the list:
• DUI — $1,095
• Fender bender — your fault — $421
• Passing a school bus — $386
• Driving too slowly — $345
• Improper passing — $326
• Illegal turn — $313
• Being 80 — $310
• Speeding — $300
• Distraction — $226 — up $23 in 2015
• No seatbelt — $61
The Zebra’s Alyssa Connolly said, “The distracted penalty was shocking to us. It seems incredibly low. … and I don’t think most people know you can even get a ticket for driving too slowly.”
To be fair to insurers, it takes awhile to get a rate raised. Any large jump must be accompanied by data to prove the rise is necessary. There isn’t a whole lot of data on distracted driving so the average increase for distracted driving is slow to catch up with the seriousness of the action.
By the way, being too old or too young is problematic, too. An 80-year old will pay 22% more than the average driver and an 18-year old — or their parents — will pay three-times the national average for their insurance.
The website also finds — interestingly — that underwriters aren’t all that impressed with the safety technology that’s finding its way into autos. Most will not reduce rates for vehicles with blind-spot warnings and other driver alert systems.
Source links: PropertyCasualty360.com, Insurance Business America