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Advanced auto safety systems can drive up insurance rates

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Virginia residents may be surprised to learn that cars equipped with advanced safety systems can actually cost more to insure. Features like automatic braking systems and lane departure warnings may prevent accidents, but they also make cars that do crash more expensive to repair. Insurance companies base their premiums on perceived risks, and the latest car safety features have not been in use long enough for their benefits to be fully understood. However, insurers know exactly how much replacement parts cost.

Insurance costs are rising because the latest safety features use cameras and sensors to gather information that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace. The headlights fitted to cars sold just a few years ago cost about $200 to replace, but adaptive headlight units that provide far more illumination when rounding corners can cost as much as $2,000.

Car buyers who value safety and wish to save money may still be able to find discounts if they search for them. Some insurers reduce premiums on vehicles fitted with advanced driver assistance systems despite their associated higher repair costs. Features that work without any driver input, such as automatic braking systems, are more likely to earn drivers a premium reduction. Experts say that insurance rates are likely to come down as car makers enhance and refine safety technology and more data about their effectiveness becomes available.

When attorneys take legal action on behalf of motor vehicle accident victims, they generally file lawsuits against negligent drivers or their insurance companies. However, this kind of litigation may be initiated against auto repair facilities when substandard replacement parts have been used to make repairs in order to lower costs. This is why attorneys may seek to have the vehicle driven by their client inspected as well as those driven by the other driver involved.