Does Safe Driving Really Equal Lower Insurance Premiums?

Insurance companies bombard us with ads telling us that being a safe driver will result in lower insurance rates. From “vanishing deductibles” to “safe driver discounts” to the latest in car-monitoring devices, we are told that driving safely will save us money in the long run. But is that really true? Not necessarily, according to a recent investigation by the Consumer Federation of America in Washington, D.C.

The investigation, as reported by Forbes, revealed that some drivers may actually pay more in insurance premiums than their accident-prone counterparts simple because they fall into certain demographic groups. The CFA study requested quotes for 60 hypothetical motorists in 12 cities and then compared the results. Amazingly, two-thirds of the quoted premiums were higher for motorists with clean driving records than the premiums offered to hypothetical drivers who admitted being responsible for a car accident in the past. In fact, the rates were more than 25 percent higher for the “safe drivers” in 60 percent of the quotes.

According to the CFA, the premiums quoted were often based on factors that are completely unrelated to driving. For example, a motorist’s level of education, lapse in insurance coverage in the past, or occupation appeared to play a role in what premium was offered to the driver.

Quotes were requested for minimum liability coverage for two separate hypothetical females. Both women were age 30 and lived on the same street in a middle-income ZIP code, and both reported a 10-year driving history. After that, the facts on the applications differed. Female No. 1 was single, high school educated, renting an apartment and working as a receptionist. She had never had an accident. The second woman, who admitted to being responsible for an accident causing $800 worth of damage, was married, had a master’s degree, owned her home and worked as an executive. The second woman, despite admitting fault for an accident, was consistently offered a lower premium.

Of course, safe driving is about much more than lower insurance premiums. Safe driving keeps you and your loved ones, as well as other motorists, from harm. The results of the CFA investigation, however, highlight the need for drivers to shop around for car insurance and look for a carrier that truly appreciates a safe driver.

If you have been injured in a Yakima Valley area car accident, or have lost a loved one as a result of one, you could be entitled to compensation. The Yakima Valley car accident attorneys at Mariano Morales Law can help you get through the legal process and make sure that the party responsible for your injuries or loss is held accountable. Contact the team today by calling (509) 853-2222 or by using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.