Punish Texters and Spy on Drunks, Say Most Drivers in CarInsurance.com Survey

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Drivers take a dim view of others on the road and would impose more insurance penalties.



Drivers are very willing to put technology in someone else’s car in order to bring down the hammer on bad driving. But they don’t like charging more for things not really related to driving, like bad credit.

Insurance bills would look very different if drivers made the rules, a new survey from CarInsurance.com finds:

  •     Texting would be penalized more severely than speeding.
  •     Failure to use turn signals properly would raise car insurance rates.
  •     Teens and drunk drivers would be monitored much more stringently.

CarInsurance.com asked 1,000 drivers how they would screen potential customers and price policies if they ran an insurance company. Respondents considered driving behavior, demographics and the use of driver-monitoring technologies.

”Drivers are very willing to put technology in someone else’s car in order to bring down the hammer on bad driving,” said Des Toups, managing editor of Carinsurance.com. “But they don’t like charging more for things not really related to driving, like bad credit.”

Assuming there were a gadget available to track vehicle location, hours of operation, driver behavior and even conditions inside a car, such as the number of passengers, the survey found:

  •     81.3 percent would require that those with a DUI conviction use a monitoring device.
  •     62.9 percent would require monitoring of teenagers.
  •     35.8 percent said all drivers should be monitored.
  •     60.3 percent would not surcharge a driver eating a sandwich, holding a dog on his or her lap (52.6 percent), playing very loud music (73.6 percent) or hogging the left lane (83.6 percent).
  •     74.5 percent would raise insurance rates for a driver who routinely failed to signal turns properly.

Respondents took an especially dim view of cellphone use while driving:

  •     75 percent would raise insurance rates for a driver caught with a phone to his or her ear.
  •     51.6 percent would offer big insurance discounts for drivers who install a cellphone-disabling device.
  •     72.9 percent said that drivers who text should pay more than drivers who speed.

“State laws haven’t caught up with driver opinions,” said Toups. “Speeding tickets hit your driving record in every state, but only a dozen states record texting violations. And that means insurance companies can’t charge the drivers who do it extra.”

While ZIP code, credit history and continuous coverage generally are used by insurers to set rates, those practices do not find much support among drivers:

  •     40.5 percent thought a driver with a lapse in insurance coverage should pay more than one without.
  •     38.5 percent thought credit should be considered in insurance rates.
  •     Only 11.6 percent said drivers in a neighborhood with more claims should be charged more than those in a neighborhood with fewer claims.

The full article about the survey results can be found at http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/insurance-rates-survey.aspx.

CarInsurance.com commissioned a survey of 500 male and 500 female licensed drivers age 18 and over. The survey was fielded in March 2013.

About CarInsurance.com
CarInsurance.com has been offering drivers expert advice about car insurance and how to shop for it since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, CarInsurance.com is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online and purchase a policy online in minutes.

CarInsurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.


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