Report: Safety Features Causing Rise in Auto Insurance

Jan. 27, 2020
The high cost of repairing technologically advanced vehicles outpaces the savings from fewer crashes.

Jan. 27, 2020—American car insurance rates are, as many know, on the rise. In the last decade alone, rates climbed 29.6 percent, to an average of $1,548 in 2019, up from $1,194 in 2011. 

The surge, as noted in a recent report, far outpaced inflation and the increase in average car prices (albeit somewhat more narrowly). And, that came even as the rate of crashes had fallen year over year. 

It turns out that new features designed to keep vehicles in their lanes to avoid crashes is contributing to rising insurance rates, as noted in a Wired article

That, of course, is because the sensors that power those systems make cars much more expensive to fix when they do suffer a collision. Replacing a cracked windshield now comes with the extra cost of having someone readjust any cameras that look through the glass. 

While some studies have shown the effectiveness of emergency braking, insurance companies have yet to see enough evidence to justify a break in rates for many such features, the report noted.