Distracted Driving Accidents Push Auto Rates Higher

Distracted Driving Insurance Rates

March 13, 2017

Auto Insurance Rates are On The Rise Due To Distracted Driving

by Joe Schillaci, Jr. CIC.
Agent & Insurance Counselor for Trammel, Harper & Williams, Inc.
Independent Insurance Agent for Auto, Home, Business, Life and Cyber Liability.

Distracted driving is looking at your mobile device or texting while driving. Have you noticed your auto insurance rates are on the rise? You are not alone, rates are going up all over the country.  I am getting calls every day from prospective clients who have already been affected by the price increases. The situation is the same all over the country due to the precipitous spike in automobile accidents caused by distracted driving. Below are some statistics to help bring this disturbing picture into focus. Please share this information with your teenage drivers.
The Ugly Truth About Distracted Driving

  • Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year. Of these, 1.6 million are a direct result of distracted driving. That equals 64% of all accidents in the United States.
  • 421,000 people are injured every year in automobile wrecks involving a distracted driver.
  • 330,000 accidents per year are caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries. That is 25% of all accidents.
  • Texting and driving results in six times more auto accidents than drunk driving.
  • It takes an average of three seconds after a driver’s mind is taken off the road for an accident to occur.
  • The odds of being involved in an automobile accident increase 23 times when you are texting.
  • 11 teenagers die every day in America due to distracted driving.
  • 94% of teenagers know the consequences of texting and driving, but 35% revealed that they do it anyway.
  • Of all the teenagers ever involved in deadly collisions every year, 21% were using a cell phone at the time of the occurrence.
  • Youthful drivers are 400% more likely than adult drivers to be in an automobile accident due to texting and driving.
  • 25% of youthful drivers respond to at least one text while driving, every single time.

It Even Happens To Agents

I had an accident in 2012 due to distracted driving. I was leaving the agency one afternoon and heading to the house. When when I pulled out onto Valleydale Road, I looked down at my phone for about 3 seconds. The phone made a beeping noise when the notification came up and I looked down. I wasn’t even texting, I just glanced at a notification for what seemed like one second. That one second was all it took for the traffic in front of me to come to a complete stop. When I looked up, my 2010 Jeep Liberty was eating the bumper of a 1978 Ford Pickup truck. Guess whose car won that battle? My Jeep was almost totaled and the 1978 Ford pickup truck had minor rear bumper damage.

As a result of this hard life lesson, every time I drive, I leave my phone in my pocket where can’t see it.  In addition, I have turned off all phone notifications to avoid a similar incident in the future.  I suggest you instruct your teenage drivers to do the same. Whatever it is can wait until they get to their destination. If it can’t wait, pull over or stop somewhere to check your phone.

Auto Insurance Companies Response

Insurance companies must bring in enough money to cover operating cost and the cost of paying claims. The lower rates from years past did not take into consideration the skyrocketing number of distracted driving claims. As a result, almost all automobile insurance companies are playing catch up with their rates.

This week I saved one client over $900 per year on her Alabama auto insurance rates. I did this by switching her auto insurance from a well-known competitor to National General.

If you never heard of National General it is because they don’t spend money on TV or Radio ads. They used to be called GMAC insurance and if you have a GMAC loan, you can earn an additional discount.

I personally don’t need my insurance carrier throwing away money on TV ads. I would rather my insurance company give me great rates and claims service instead. If you agree with me and want to save money on your auto insurance, call me today at 205-205-238-9055 or email me at jschillaci@thwinc.com.

Rates Available in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

EPLI Insurance Can Save Your Business From Disaster

Joe Schillaci, Jr. CIC joeschillaci.com EPLI Coverage

Don’t Let an EPLI Insurance Gap Put You Out of Business

by Joe Schillaci, Jr.  CIC 

December 28, 2016

EPLI insurance covers wrongful acts arising from the employment process. The most frequent types of claims are wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.

Case in point, this particular insured worked hard for years to establish his business and make it successful.  Part of that hard work was choosing what he thought was the right business insurance policy.  But was it the right policy or was it just the best price?  The insured was quoted by the three different insurance agents whom he placed in direct competition for his business.  He let it be known to each agent up front that his primary consideration would be price and not coverage.  

Business was going well for this particular insured until one day when the insured receives a letter from an attorney’s office informing him that he is being sued for wrongful termination.  He now has an uncovered EPLI insurance claim against his business. 

You Have No Coverage 

The insured calls his insurance agent to report the claim and the agent confirms that he rejected EPLI coverage.  The insured now sits in stunned silence as he tries to process what this will mean to his business.  He remembers one of the agents going into great detail about the changing legal environment and the urgent need for all business with employees to have an EPLI policy.  Of course, this proposal was rejected because it was a little more expensive than the one the insured ultimately chose.   

In less than one year, the insured is closing his business. The claim turned out to be baseless, but the legal cost of defending the claim was more than the business could handle. The insured lost everything because he rejected the professional advice provided by their insurance agent.  This is a classic case of being “penny wise and pound foolish”.

This is no exaggeration, if anything, I am understating the consequences.  Every day in America, a business goes under because of gaps in coverage just like this one. 

Weighing The Costs

This small business owner pitted agents in competition with each other for his business. The challenge he presented to the agent was not to find the proper coverage at a fair price. Instead, the challenge was simply to compare apples to apples and obtain the cheapest prices based on last years coverages.  That was the key to winning his business.  Since these agents were competing for his business based solely on price, they did not bother to present optional coverages such as EPLI.   

What The Insured Should Have Asked For

The insured should have requested the proper and necessary coverages for his business at a fair price.  Insurance is not a commodity and should not be purchased using the same parameters as one would use to buy a sack of potatoes.  Your business can recover from a cheap sack of potatoes, what your business can not recover from is gaps in coverage such as EPLI and Cyber Liability.  Be careful to avoid this insureds mistake.  Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish when it comes to properly insuring your business.