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What’s trending in car insurance?

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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This is the point in time in which the way we view car insurance has started to change and grow.

With the boom of technology, new ways of obtaining and continuing car insurance have started to branch out and grow.

Not only that but as we continue to grow as a nation, new laws around car insurance are proposed. Then we have to start considering the emerging car insurance competition, all fighting to get our business.

In this article, we’re going to break down some of the trending things in car insurance you’re going to start seeing in the future!

If you want to compare your insurance rates today, you can use our FREE online tool. All you need is your zip code to get started.

Trending Car Insurance Laws

As we continue to grow as a country, car insurance laws will continue to grow alongside it. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the up and coming car insurance laws that you’ll likely start to see soon.

Legalization of Marijuana

The legalizing of marijuana is a relatively recent development, and only a few states in the nation have fully legalized the substance, which you can see in the table below.

StateLegal StatusMedicinalDecriminalized
AlabamaFully IllegalNoNo
AlaskaFully LegalYesYes
ArizonaMixedYesNo
ArkansasMixedYesNo
CaliforniaFully LegalYesYes
ColoradoFully LegalYesYes
ConnecticutMixedYesReduced
DelawareMixedYesReduced
District of ColumbiaFully LegalYesYes
FloridaMixedYesNo
GeorgiaMixedCBD OilNo
HawaiiMixedYesReduced*
IdahoFully IllegalNoNo
IllinoisFully Legal*YesYes*
IndianaMixedCBD OilNo
IowaMixedCBD OilNo
KansasFully IllegalNoNo
KentuckyMixedCBD OilNo
LouisianaMixedYesNo
MaineFully LegalYesYes
MarylandMixedYesReduced
MassachusettsFully LegalYesYes
MichiganFully LegalYesYes
MinnesotaMixedYesReduced
MississippiFully IllegalNoReduced
MissouriMixedYesReduced
MontanaMixedYesNo
NebraskaFully IllegalNoReduced
NevadaFully LegalYesYes
New HampshireMixedYesReduced
New JerseyMixedYesNo
New MexicoMixedYesReduced
New YorkMixedYesReduced
North CarolinaFully IllegalNoReduced
North DakotaMixedYesReduced
OhioMixedYesReduced
OklahomaMixedYesNo
OregonFully LegalYesYes
PennsylvaniaMixedYesNo
Rhode IslandMixedYesReduced
South CarolinaFully IllegalNoNo
South DakotaFully IllegalNoNo
TennesseeFully IllegalNoNo
TexasMixedCBD OilNo
UtahMixedYesNo
VermontFully LegalYesYes
VirginiaMixedCBD OilNo
WashingtonFully LegalYesYes
West VirginiaMixedYesNo
WisconsinFully IllegalNoNo
WyomingFully IllegalNoNo
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As such, lawmakers are starting to create laws to put into place around driving while under the influence of marijuana. After all, since it has only recently been legalized in some locations, there are not many studies telling us exactly how you will be affected while behind the wheel.

Currently, there are the following marijuana-influenced driving laws in place according to Responsibility:

No marijuana-specific drugged driving lawZero tolerance for THC onlyZero tolerance for THC and metabolitesZero tolerance for THC and metabolites (applies only to drivers under age 21)THC per se (1 nanogram)THC per se (2 nanograms)THC per se (3 nanograms)THC per se (5 nanograms)Permissible inference THC law (5 nanograms)
Connecticut IowaRhode IslandSouth Dakota Pennsylvania OhioWest VirginiaMontanaColorado
New Hampshire Wisconsin DelawareNevadaWashington
Massachusetts Michigan Indiana
MarylandGeorgia
Vermont Oklahoma
New JerseyUtah
District of Columbia (DC)Arizona
Maine
New York
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Florida
Kentucky
Tennessee
Alabama
Mississippi
Missouri
Louisiana
Arkansas
Texas
Kansas
Nebraska
Minnesota
North Dakota
New Mexico
Wyoming
Idaho
Oregon
California
Montana
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Going Green

The push to go green has skyrocketed in the past few years as citizens not just in the nation, but across the globe attempt to decrease their carbon footprint.

There are several different ways in which car insurance providers are trying to help customers “go green”, but we’ll specifically talk about the two most common types.

One way is through something known as usage-based insurance (UBI).

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):

“Also known as telematics, usage-based insurance (UBI) uses technology to track driving habits through smart phones or devices installed in a vehicle.”

So basically how this works is that you attach a device to your vehicle, and it sends that data to your insurance provider, who then adjusts your insurance rates based on how far you tend to commute on a regular basis.

Another way in which car insurance providers are helping customers go green is through hybrid vehicles or alternative fuel vehicles.

What are some examples of hybrid/alternative fuel vehicles?

  • Hybrid:
    • Hybrid electric
    • Plug-in hybrid electric
    • All-electric vehicles
  • Alternative or Alternate Fuel:
    • Propane
    • Natural gas
    • Hydrogen
    • Ethanol
    • Biodiesel

So if you purchase (or already own) a vehicle of this type, most insurance providers will offer discounts.

The following companies currently offer this type of discount:

Discounts21st CenturyAllstateEsuranceFarmersLiberty MutualThe HartfordTravelers
Green Vehiclexxxxxxx
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Car Insurance Based on Demographic Data

Not only are car insurance companies picking up on the discrepancies of rates based on demographics, but so are lawmakers.

An example of how this would work is if we were to look at the demographic data in one particular state, in this example, we’ll pick Delaware:

CompanyMarried 35-year old female annual ratesMarried 35-year old male annual ratesMarried 60-year old female annual ratesMarried 60-year old male annual ratesSingle 17-year old female annual ratesSingle 17-year old male annual ratesSingle 25-year old female annual ratesSingle 25-year old male annual rates
Allstate P&C$3,680.77$3,617.49$3,230.45$3,405.48$13,198.18$15,406.57$3,876.03$4,113.55
Geico Advantage$2,660.39$2,952.77$2,562.65$2,983.93$6,449.50$6,710.85$2,798.53$2,699.68
Liberty Mut Fire Ins Co$12,287.48$12,287.48$12,138.88$12,138.88$27,326.93$41,390.16$12,287.48$17,022.83
Nationwide Mutual$3,017.56$2,994.99$2,753.71$2,742.95$7,151.92$9,060.24$3,345.06$3,575.26
Progressive Direct$1,994.89$1,844.62$1,754.37$1,790.24$10,102.13$11,159.65$2,437.17$2,371.56
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,818.09$2,818.09$2,600.14$2,600.14$8,048.04$10,393.68$3,162.14$3,294.46
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co$1,634.80$1,642.27$1,610.37$1,568.84$9,243.54$14,106.72$1,745.40$1,906.92
USAA$1,286.77$1,265.78$1,191.65$1,189.30$4,729.53$5,556.07$1,615.19$1,773.54
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As you can see, there’s a pretty huge difference between not only gender but also marital status and most notably, age.

Many states across the nation are starting to prohibit car insurance companies from using this kind of data when calculating insurance rates for customers.

For instance, there are now currently seven states in the nation that have outlawed rates based on gender.

Finances and Security

In the past few decades, new and innovative technologies have arisen for both business and for pleasure. With the rise of many of these technologies, security has become problematic, as a lot of people these days can hack your data with the click of a button.

For security with your car insurance, you’ll likely start seeing the use of blockchain to help keep your data safe.

But what is blockchain and how would it help with your car insurance information?

According to Block Geeks, blockchain can be defined in the following way:

“A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of an immutable record of data that is managed by cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).”

So how would this help you? By decentralizing information, data is nearly impossible for criminals to hack. Making the information you have to provide for your car insurance (you know things like your address, credit card information, etc.) safer.

This same rationale is why something known as Cryptocurrency is expected to explode in popularity.

Cryptocurrency is essentially digital cash, and it was designed in part to help deter cyber theft.

These two financial and security features are still up and coming, and as they are such new forms of technology, you can expect an insurgence of legal regulations around them.

Smartphones

Since the dawn of technology, the rise in smartphone use has skyrocketed over the past few decades.

With this rise, unfortunately, has come with the rise in distracted driving-related fatalities. It’s become almost epidemic in the number of deaths associated with it.

If you want to know what your state’s specific distracted-driving-related laws are, check out the table below according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

StateHand-Held BanYoung Drivers all Cellphone BanTexting BanEnforcement
AL no 16-year-old drivers; 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than 6 months all drivers primary
AKnonoall driversprimary
AZall driverslearner's permit holders and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensingall driversprimary; secondary: learner's permit holders and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensing
ARdrivers 18 or older but younger than 21; school and highway work zonesdrivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
CAall driversdrivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
COnodrivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
CTall driversdrivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
DEall driverslearner's permit and intermediate license holdersall driversprimary
DCall driverslearner's permit holders all driversprimary
FLdrivers in school and work zonesnoall driversprimary
GAall driversdrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
HIall driversdrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
IDnonoall driversprimary
ILall driversdrivers younger than 19 and learner's permit holders younger than 19all driversprimary
INnodrivers younger than 21all driversprimary
IAnolearner's permit and intermediate license holdersall driversprimary
KSnolearner's permit and intermediate license holdersall driversprimary
KYnodrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
LAdrivers in signed school zones; with respect to novice driversall novice driversall drivers primary
MEall driverslearner's permit and intermediate license holdersall driversprimary
MDall driversdrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
MAnodrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
MIno learner's permit and intermediate license holders (level 1 and 2); integrated voice-operated systems exceptedall driversprimary
MNall driverslearner's permit holders and provisional license holders during the first 12 months after licensingall driversprimary
MSnonoall driversprimary
MOnonodrivers 21 and youngerprimary
MTnonononot applicable
NEnolearner's permit and intermediate license holders younger than 18all driverssecondary
NVall driversnoall driversprimary
NHall driversdrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
NJall driverslearner's permit and intermediate license holdersall driversprimary
NMnolearner's permit and intermediate license holdersall driversprimary
NYall driversnoall driversprimary
NCnodrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
NDnodrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
OHnodrivers younger than 18all driverssecondary; primary for drivers younger than 18
OKlearner's permit and intermediate license holdersnoall driversprimary
ORall driversdrivers younger than 18all driversprimary
PAnonoall driversprimary
RIall driversdrivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
SCnonoall driversprimary
SDnolearner's permit and intermediate license holders all driversprimary
TNall driverslearner's permit and intermediate license holders all driversprimary
TXdrivers in school crossing zones and on public school property during the time the reduced speed limit applies drivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
UTnodrivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
VTall driversdrivers younger than 18 all driversprimary
VAdrivers in highway work zones drivers younger than 18 all driversprimary; secondary for drivers younger than 18
WAall driverslearner's permit and intermediate license holders all driversprimary
WVall drivers drivers younger than 18 who hold either a learner's permit or an intermediate license all driversprimary
WIdrivers in highway construction areas learner's permit and intermediate license holders all driversprimary
WYnonoall driversprimary
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Trending Car Insurance Technologies

Technology has been ever increasing in complexity and usage over the past decade. Technologies we never thought possible are now commonplace in everyday society.

With this, there are some trending car insurance technologies that you’ll probably be seeing soon, if not already.

Driverless Cars

New technology comes out constantly in this day and age, and the idea of having cars that drive themselves isn’t a new idea.

We’ve seen it in TV shows and movies for many years, but it hasn’t been until recently that this type of futuristic technology has been available.

From cars that are now starting to drive themselves via auto-detection technology, to cars that parallel park themselves.

According to the Insurance Journal:

“Auto transportation is currently in the lower levels of autonomy now; Tesla is considered a level 2 on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 1-5 scale, which means a driver should still be fully engaged in the operation of the vehicle. It’s expected that by 2035, 23 million vehicles on the road will be a level 4 vehicle, according to the Stevens Institute of Technology.”

So you can definitely expect there to not only be changes to car insurance requirements to meet this new technology but to laws across the nation.

If you would like to know what the current autonomous vehicle laws are across the nation, check out the table below from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

StateWhat type of driving automation on public roads does the law/provision permit?Require an operator to be licensed?Require an operator to be in the vehicle?Require liability insurance?
Alabamadeployment — commercial motor vehicles only nonoyes; $2,000,000
Arizonadeploymentyesdepends on level of vehicle automationyes
Arkansastestingnot addresseddepends on level of vehicle automationyes
Californiadeploymentnot addressed noyes; $5,000,000
Coloradodeploymentnonot addressedno
Connecticuttestingyesyesyes; $5,000,000
District of Columbia deployment yesyesno
Floridadeploymentdepends on level of vehicle automationdepends on level of vehicle automationyes
Georgiadeploymentdepends on level of vehicle automationdepends on level of vehicle automationyes
Hawaiitestingnot addressed not addressed not addressed
Illinoistestingyesyesyes
Iowadeploymentyesdepends on level of vehicle automationyes
Louisianadeployment — commercial motor vehicles only nonoyes; $2,000,000
Maine testingnot addressednot addressedyes
Massachusettstestingnoyesno
Michigandepends on vehicleyesnoyes
Nebraskadeploymentdepends on level of vehicle automationdepends on level of vehicle automationyes
Nevadadeploymentdepends on level of vehicle automationdepends on level of vehicle automationyes
New Hampshiredeploymentyesyes, except for testingyes; $5,000,000
New York testingyesyesyes; $5,000,000
North Carolinadeploymentdepends on level of vehicle automationnoyes
North Dakotadeploymentdepends on level of vehicle automationdepends on level of vehicle automationyes
Ohiotestingyesnoyes
Pennsylvaniadepends on vehicledepends on vehicledepends on vehicleno
Tennesseedeploymentnonoyes; $5,000,000
Texasdeploymentnonoyes
Utahdeploymentyesnoyes
Vermonttestingyesyesyes; $5,000,000
Virginiatestingnot addressed not addressed no
Washingtontestingdepends on whether operator present in vehiclenoyes
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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can be defined as an object having the ability to learn from experiences and adapt to those experiences.

The future is now, so the development of this kind of technology is up and coming. You can expect to start seeing it in things ranging from your vehicle, to even the way you interact with your insurance company.

According to One Inc. Systems:

“The insurance industry is already taking advantage of some AI capabilities, such web chatbots for online customer communications, image analysis for claims investigations, and risk analysis for underwriting.”

So you can expect that such Artificial Intelligence technologies, some of which are already being utilized by car insurance companies, will continue to grow and develop.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Another technological advance to emerge in more recent years, the idea of utilizing the Internet of Things (IOT) has come to a head.

But what exactly is the Internet of Things (IOT)?

Well, Forbes puts it best in the following statement:

“Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.”

But how could this kind of technology affect us in terms of car insurance? Well, Forbes also states that:

“On a broader scale, the IoT can be applied to things like transportation networks: “smart cities” which can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how we work and live.”

The easier things like transportation can be done, you can bet those car insurance companies, and even lawmakers, are going to jump on this kind of technology.

Privacy

As all of these new predictive and advanced technologies start to emerge, some people have questioned exactly how private we can keep our information.

Some of the other technological advances we have mentioned in previous sections (such as Blockchain and Cryptocurrency) have been brought about to help with this issue of privacy.

But what other kinds of other things can we expect to help keep our car insurance information safe?

Well, you can expect to see a bigger impact from something known as The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This helps to restrict how companies are able to collect, store, and use your information for any business that it conducts.

This particular regulation affects those individuals who are residents of the European Union (EU). However, states across the nation have started coming up with their own digital privacy laws.

California, for instance, has enacted a law similar to this concept, which allows car insurance customers to have more control over their personal information.

In fact, according to the Data Protection Report, many states have followed suit.

Personalization

On a similar note to the section above of giving customers better control, you can also start seeing more options to allow customers to better personalize their car insurance needs.

What do we mean?

Well, many car insurance companies are starting to allow customers to build their own insurance coverage around their own needs. Then they price the insurance rates around those options.

Major car insurance providers, such as Allstate, Progressive, and Farmers, all have started offering more personalized insurance options to help provide the best coverage for their customers.

You can expect to see further personalization options for your insurance coverage to come, as insurance providers attempt to provide the best service for customers.

Trending Car Insurance Competition

As some of the larger companies begin to grow in size, they also tend to branch out in what they offer.

Who better to break into the insurance business than company giant Amazon? Reports have surfaced as of late which indicates that Amazon has been meeting with insurance executives in both the UK and in India.

Nothing has been confirmed, but you can expect to possibly see Amazon dipping their toe into the car insurance business within the next few years.

With their track record of superb customer experience, you can also expect to see current insurance providers buffing up their policies to make sure customers don’t jump ship.

But what about companies already in the car business? Carmakers, such as Tesla, have also been testing the waters for providing car insurance to their customers.

According to Tesla:

Tesla Insurance is a competitively priced insurance offering designed to provide Tesla vehicle owners with up to 20 percent lower rates, and in some cases, as much as 30 percent. Tesla Insurance offers comprehensive coverage and claims management to support Tesla owners in California and will expand to additional U.S. states in the future.”

So if you are a current Tesla vehicle owner, and not in the California area, it’s likely that you’ll start seeing this offering coming to you soon.

Now that you’ve made it to the end of this article, we hope that we’ve been able to give you a better idea of some of the various aspects that you can expect to start seeing for your car insurance needs.

If you would like to compare your car insurance today, don’t forget to use our FREE online tool. All you need is your zip code.

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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