Automobile Insurance: The Basics What is the likelihood you will be in an automobile accident? There are more than 12 million motor vehicle accidents annually The typical driver will have a near automobile accident one or two times per month The typical driver will be in a collision of some type on average of every 6 years Crashes are the leading cause of death for ages 3-33
Automobile Insurance: The Basics • Even a minor accident can result in thousands of dollars in damages • Damage to your car • Damage to other cars involved • Medical Bills • Lost wages • Pain and suffering • Prosecution • Legal Fees • Fines
Automobile Insurance: The Basics If you are in an accident how do you pay for it? Bank Account? Parents? Rich Uncle? Best Friend? Insurance?
Automobile Insurance: The Basics • What is Automobile Insurance? • An auto insurance policy is a contract between you and an insurance company. • You pay a premium, and in exchange, the insurance company promises to pay for specific car-related financial losses during the term of the policy.
Automobile Insurance: The Basics Are you a risk to the insurance company? To keep premiums as low as possible to the insured, a screening process is completed before an insurance contract is completed
Automobile Insurance: The Basics • What is the insurance company looking for? • Some vehicles, and some drivers, carry more risk than others • Low risks will be charged a lower premium • High risks will be charged a higher premium
Automobile Insurance: The Basics What determines your premium? Age Youngest and oldest drivers are the highest risk Driver inexperience is a major factor in accidents Teenagers are also more likely to engage in dangerous behavior Older drivers experience diminished eyesight and slower reflexes
Automobile Insurance: The Basics What determines your premium? Gender Men tend to drive more miles Men are more likely to engage in risky road behaviors Two-thirds of teenagers killed in auto accidents are male The gender gap continues to narrow
Automobile Insurance: The Basics • What determines your premium? • Vehicle Type • Type of vehicle • Expensive, high-performance always cost more to insure • Crashworthiness • How well does it protect the passengers • Some models incur less damage • Safety Features • Seatbelts and airbags are now standard • Side airbags and anti-lock brakes can lower premium
Automobile Insurance: The Basics What determines your premium? Driving Record Statistics show that people follow patterns of established behavior If you are cited for tickets your premiums will increase If you are cited for an accident your premiums will also increase It usually takes 3-5 years for a reduction in premiums after a violation
Automobile Insurance: The Basics What determines your premium? Geographic Location Where the cost of living is high, the cost of insurance is higher Urban areas are almost always higher in accidents than rural areas Fatal accidents are more likely to happen in rural areas due to increased speeds
Automobile Insurance: The Basics What can you do to reduce risk and lower premiums? Use your seatbelt Observe Speed Limits Know your own limits Concentrate on driving Be Patient Don’t Drink and Drive Get good grades