Manufacturers Cause Increased Insurance Rates
Safety Features are Raising Your Rates
We want safer vehicles. The idea of protecting ourselves in the event of a crash is the most desirable outcome, and I’m sure we could all say that we would rather have our vehicles totaled if it meant saving one life. So what’s the issue? The issue is that saving lives is actually causing your insurance rates to go up.
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, our goal is to be the best auto body repair shop in Montana. That means we train everyone that works here in leadership, we have more certifications than any other shop, and we make sure that we are doing more safety checks than regulations require.
Here’s what’s going on in the world of insurance, and why your rates have probably increased lately.
Rates Are Based on Many Factors
When calculating rates, the insurance companies have complicated algorithms to determine exactly what to charge every client. It’s not arbitrary, and every little change can change the outcome. Some of the factors that are taken into consideration are:
- Insurance History
- Credit Score
- Driving History (years driven and traffic infractions)
- Insurance Claims History (different than just your history)
- Vehicle Driven
- Amount of Driving You do
- Many More
While the increased use of safety features in vehicles is one of the factors, it’s not the only factor that goes into adjusting rates.
The True Cost of Collision Repair
Insurance companies have one goal: to make a profit. They constantly adjust their rates to make sure that at any point they are never losing money.
When we look back 20-30 years, the biggest safety features in vehicles were anti-lock brakes and airbags. Some luxury or tech-forward manufacturers had other features, but most common vehicles on the road did not. When a vehicle was in a wreck, it cost money to repair them.
Today, there isn’t a vehicle made that doesn’t incorporate anti-lock brakes and airbags. And anymore you will be hard pressed to find a vehicle that doesn’t have lane departure sensors, backup cameras, auto braking features, anti-skid technology, and much more. All of this technology costs a lot of money. When it’s damaged, it costs more money to repair the vehicle and the technology, and then to re-calibrate it all to ensure proper function.
The problem, however, isn’t so much that your vehicle isn’t as expensive to fix; it’s vehicles as a whole. Insurance rates adjust for the entire population. So even though you haven’t had a claim, you pay more to offset claims from others.
It’s Not Just Safety Features
But wait, there’s more! While safety features are more expensive, we would think that there are fewer accidents that necessitate large payouts from the insurance companies. Here’s where we see a bit of a catch-22.
There are more safety features, meaning that the rate of fatal accidents is going down. However, the more vehicles there are on the road (a byproduct of an increasing population), the overall number of accidents will go up.
Accompany that with increased personal technology, you know that phone you’re very likely reading this on, and accidents are even more likely. Lane departure and automatic braking are great, but if you’re texting and driving, they can only do so much.
Collision Repair in Billings, Montana
Increased rates are a small price to pay if you need collision repairs. They are still a whole lot more affordable than paying out of pocket to have your vehicle fixed.
If you have been in a wreck, bring your vehicle to the best auto body repair shop in Billings. Just give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we can get you scheduled to have the repairs done.