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Is That Smartphone Responsible for Higher Insurance Rates
September 4, 2017

Insurance companies are big business; today, they are big data, too. These corporations specialize in understanding risk—and if they don’t want to provide insurance to you because of an activity or occupational choice, it may be important to take note of that.

The insurance companies have access to enormous amounts of information, and if they are worried, we should be, too. It can’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, though, that distracted driving has caught the attention of the data-driven industry giants.

Unfortunately, distracted driving is causing so much mayhem on the roads, much of it centered around smartphone usage, that it has superseded the attention formerly placed on drunk driving (which is still a substantial problem in the US and may even be continuing to increase).

Distracted driving is now responsible for hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Texting is, of course, a deadly problem that seems to continue to be a temptation for motorists no matter how much attention is brought to the issue nationwide. Many of us may be punished for today's dangerous distracted driving trends as insurance companies blame significant losses on smartphone usage in the car—and begin to raise premiums even further.

A recent Wall Street Journal article explores the new challenges insurance companies face as the enormous costs behind today’s accidents are causing them to lose money. Michael LaRocco, chief executive of State Auto Financial Corp., refers to the problem as ‘an epidemic issue for this country.’

Statistics regarding distracted driving accidents may not even demonstrate the true magnitude of the problem, as many drivers do not admit to having their phones in their hands at the time of the motor vehicle incident. Many police officers and adjustors are delving deeper into accidents now to investigate possible distracted driving, along with the use of phone records in court cases.

Distracted driving is a problem that continues to grow—and take lives. As it continues to bite the insurance company’s profits, there should be even greater motivation to find ways to solve the problem.

“Distracted driving was always there, but it just intensified as more applications for smartphones became available,” said Bill Caldwell, executive vice president of property and casualty at Horace Mann Educators Group.

State Farm has released the following information regarding distracted driving survey results:

  • 36 percent of the respondents said they texted while driving.
  • 29 percent of drivers are using the internet while driving.
  • 64 percent of those surveyed, ages 18 to 29, say they text while driving—with 54 percent looking at the internet from their phones while behind the wheel.

As a motorist, your best defense is to stay as far away as possible from distracted drivers. They may be driving too fast or too slowly, weaving, or displaying other erratic behavior on the road. Have you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a distracted driver’s negligence? If so, it is important to hire an experienced car accident attorney who will look out for your and your family's needs.

The lawyers at Heintz Law have been helping clients in the Bradenton-Sarasota area with car, truck, and motorcycle injury accidents and cases involving other forms of negligence for over 30 years. Call us for a free consultation now or contact us online. We are here to help!


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Sarasota, FL 34237

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