Is That Smartphone Responsible for Higher Insurance Rates?

Insurance companies are big business, and 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—basically 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distracted driving is causing so much mayhem on the roads, much of it centered around smartphone usage, that it has superseded the attention formerly placed on drunk driving (which is still a substantial problem in the US, and may even be continuing to increase).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—and one 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 the dangerous distracted driving trends of today 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 are facing as the enormous costs behind today’s accidents are causing them to lose money, with Michael LaRocco, chief executive of State Auto Financial Corp., referring to the problem as ‘an epidemic issue for this country.’

Statistics regarding distracted driving accidents may not even begin to 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 take a bite out of 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 the 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 surveyed say they have 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 they are behind the wheel.

As a motorist, your best defense is to stay as far away as possible from drivers who are obviously distracted. 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 injury due to a distracted driver’s negligence? If so, it is important to hire an experienced car accident attorney that will look out for the needs of you and your family.

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

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.