Getting a learners permit is something like a right of passage for teens. The are on the cusp of adulthood and they are ready to take on the world...
But before they do, there are probably quite a few questions about car insurance for your teen driver that you want an answer to.
In this article we'll answer the most commonly asked questions people have when it comes to car insurance for learners permit drivers.
Can You Buy A Car With A Learners Permit?
Yes, you can buy a car with a learners permit but you will most likely run into a few obstacles when it comes time to register and insure your car.
Giving your teen driver the responsiblity of buying their first car themselves is a great way of teaching your young driver how to handle business on their own from a young age, however, the process of registering the vehicle may come to a stand still unless someone with a valid drivers license registers it under their own name.
As for the insurance policy, in certain situations you may have to get a separate car insurance policy for you teen but that is not a rule without exception.
It's good to contact your insurance agent to start the discussion before the process even begins.
Is My Child Covered Under My Car Insurance?
"What happens if a permit driver gets in an accident in my car? Is my child covered under my car insurance?" If your child drives your car they are covered by your auto insurance policy. The reason why...
car insurance coverage insures your vehicle and not the motorist behind the wheel.
Do You Have To Add Your Teenager To Your Car Insurance?
It depends, Some insurers will automatically extend your policies coverage to your new teen driver, others will insist that you add them. The safest way to make sure you have the bases covered is to just assume that you need to add them if you don't know how your insurance company handles these types of situations.
How Much Does Your Insurance Go Up After Adding A Teenager?
It depends on your company and how much coverage you have on the vehicle. It's fairly safe to assume that your insurance will go up quite a bit.
If you are adding a teenage boy it could double your rates, a teenage girl could increase your rates by 1/2.
What's The Cheapest Car Insurance For Learners Permit?
Is it possible to find car insurance for young drivers cheap? Not really... but their is a way to find the most affordable way to cover your teenager as best as possible.
Teenage Car Insurance Average Cost
The average teenage driver will pay $2,267 annually including all liability coverage levels, which adds up to about $188 monthly. However, when you compare that to the $621 annually that it cost to add a teen driver to your policy, it seems like the best scenario for most may be to add the teen to an already established policy instead of getting the teen on their own.
That leads us the to real question that should be asked...
What's The Best Car Insurance For Teenage Drivers
The best car insurance for teens is usually the one the offers the most liability coverage at the most affordable rates. The best insurance for new drivers may come from the insurer that you already have but if not, we have a number of insurance carriers to choose from to find the best car insurance for your teen.
Among them are:
We shop over 40 insurance carriers so that we can get our clients the most best car insurance coverage for their teens at the most competitive rates available today.
When Does Car Insurance Coverage Start?
Often auto insurance is effective the same day that you apply so if you need car insurance effective immediately then you need to start your auto insurance quote right now.
Get a car insurance quote for your teen driver now
One of the more popular questions new business owners ask is “how do I get bonded and insured?”
Both are an excellent way to protect your business and clients from risk but it’s crucial to understand which option covers what specific types of risk.
In this article, we’ll dive into how to get bonded and insured and the associated costs related to it.
Bonded vs Insured: Difference Between Being Bonded and Insured
Before we dive into how to get bonded, let’s briefly look at the difference between being bonded and being insured.
First you need to know that there are two different types of bonds, Surety Bonds and Fidelity Bonds
Surety Bond Definition: What Is A Surety Bond?
A surety bond is an agreement between 3 parties.
The principal, which is the person who forms the bond with...
The Surety, the company who guarantees the bond, usually an insurance company
The Obligee, the party who is requiring the bond
The purpose of a surety bond is to guarantee that a specific task will be fulfilled. If the task is not fulfilled, the obligee can make a claim to recover losses. The underwriters will then go after the principal to reimburse them for any claims paid.
A surety bond is not insurance and is considered to be a line of credit.
What is a Fidelity Bond?
A fidelity bond helps business owners protect against losses due to an employees' fraudulent or dishonest actions.
Fidelity bonds are used as a way for business owners to manage the risks they are exposed to in their business.
A fidelity bond is an insurance policy and does not accrue interest. It's also known as an "honesty bond"
What Is Being “Bonded”
Typically, being bonded means that your business uses surety bonds to protect its client against any losses that may come due to failure to fulfill the work that was agreed upon.
These types of bonds are especially valuable if you are a contractor of some sort that gets hired to work on other people’s home or business.
Being bonded gives your potential clients a sense of comfort because it adds a level of protection that your work will be completed as promised.
How Much Does It Cost To Get Bonded And Insured
The cost of a surety bond can differ based of a few factors, but usually the cost is 1-10% of the full amount of the bond.
Some of the factors that will change the cost of a bond are:
If you own a business, it’s safe to say that you should consider getting bonded. It gives your potential clients peace of mind when they do business with you, which means it may also help you get more business as well.
In this article, we’ll share the 12 Car Theft Protection Tips that can help you protect your car from being stolen or broken into.
How Common is Car Theft?
In 2015, a car was stolen about every 45 seconds, according to statistics released by the FBI. In all, more than 700,000 vehicles went missing for a total of $4.9 billion in losses.
You might think that most of these cases start with someone smashing a window and hot wiring the car like they do in the movies but that's not the case at all!
Keyless Car Theft Hacked On Camera in 35 Seconds
In just a matter of seconds these criminals stole a car from the front of a home. They didn't need to break anything. The used what looked like an Ipad case to bypass the key fob then drove off before anyone could ever know what happened.
Does Car Insurance Cover Auto Theft?
Yes, in most cases if you have comprehensive car insurance covers theft. However there are some cases that car insurance doesn't cover
For example, if your car is broken into and it gets stolen along with a few personal items inside the car the car damage and the theft would be covered under an comprehensive insurance plan.
However, the personal items that were stolen from your car would not be covered in your car insurance policy.
To cover these personal items you will likely need to have homeowners or renters insurance in place. In this type of situation, you would need to file a claim for your auto insurance and also one through your home insurance.
How long does it take for insurance to replace a stolen car?
Depending on the car insurance company that you have in place you could be looking at a wait time somewhere around 13 to 30 days. This waiting period gives the insurance company time to see if the vehicle will be found.
Will my insurance rates increase if my car is stolen?
If your car is stolen and you file a claim that is paid out it is likely your rates will increase but each situation is different. To know for sure, it's important that you speak to an insurance agent.
How to Stop Car Thieves From Stealing Your Car?
1. Don't leave your car running
This seems obvious but you wouldn't believe how often people leave their cars running and the result end up being a stolen car. Most of the time, the people who become victims to this type of problem are in a rush and think to themselves that they will only be out of the car for a minute.
Don't do it.
2. Lock your wheels
Cars with alloy wheels are often targeted by car thieves looking for their next victim. Buying a wheel lock can help deter opportunity seeking thieves.
3. Traffic Awareness
One of the most scary things you want to avoid is a carjacking. These criminals are not afraid to use strong arm tactics to get your car from you.
When traffic is moving slow or you are coming to a stop light, be sure that your windows are closed and your doors are locked.
4. Park in well lit areas
Parking under well lit areas can help you protect your car from theft both when you're away from your car and when you are getting into and out of your car.
Parking in a high visibility area will help deter criminals from choosing your car to steal.
5. Don't let them run the relay
It's important that you help yourself avoid becoming a victim of a relay attack.
A relay attack is a new method car thieves have been using to steal cars (like the video above)
One criminal will use a device to receive your key signal from inside of your home and transfers the signal to the second criminal who gets inside your car and drives off.
6. Double check that it's locked.
After you lock your car doors, always check your doors before you walk away from your car. This is the only fool proof way to make sure your car is secure.
7. Hide the hardware
Don't leave your car with anything valuable out in the open. A thief walking by may see it an take advantage of the opportunity that so easily presents itself.
8. Arm the Alarm
If you have an alarm, make sure it is armed every time you leave your car. If you don't have an alarm, you should definitely consider owning one.
9. Use an Anti-Theft Device
Use anti theft devices as a way to stop a criminal from driving off with your car...
Plus, many insurance companies give discounts to drivers who use anti-theft devices to help prevent car theft.
10. Don't hide a spare key in public
Having a spare key in a box in the wheel well is a disaster waiting to happen. If you feel the need to have a spare key don't put it anywhere near your vehicle and make sure it is somewhere that is not easy to find for thieves.
11. Get the extra tools
When you buy a car, you might want to spring for the extras, even though they do add to your monthly payment.
Having GPS Tracking and a Vehicle Immobilizer System can help you recover your car should it ever be stolen.
There are 15 types of people who absolutely must consider an umbrella insurance policy if they want to make sure that they have the right amount of protection that they need to control and protect their families and their assets from loss.
In this article, we will talk about who these 15 types of people are, as well as how umbrella insurance works and what you need to do to get the right amount of coverage at the most competitive rates on the market.
How Umbrella Insurance Works
Umbrella Insurance is essentially “extra” liability insurance.
If you have a homeowners policy or auto insurance and have a claim against you, umbrella insurance will help pay for any liability that exceeds the liability insurance that is in your homeowners or auto policy.
For example, you run a read light and injure a surgeon in a Ferrari. The vehicle has $200,000 worth of damage, the doctor breaks his arm and has $300,000 worth of lost wages on top of $50,000 worth of medical bills.
If your cars insurance policy has $150,000 of liability you would be responsible for $400,000 of out of pocket.
Without umbrella insurance coverage, you would most likely have to use your savings or liquidate a portion or your assets to pay for this.
However, umbrella insurance would pay for this extra $400,000 if you did have it.
Who Needs Umbrella Insurance?
Now that you know the basics of how umbrella insurance works, let’s see who should be considering umbrella insurance in the first place.
People who own property
If you own any property of value then you need to consider umbrella insurance coverage.
Have significant savings or other assets
We live in a society that can lead to legal actions that could wipe out your families wealth.
If you have an decent net worth it is important that you protect it in every way possible.
Travel outside the U.S.
If you are in an accident while traveling abroad your normal insurance coverage may not cover you. In these cases, it is always wise to protect yourself from any unforeseen loses.
Own things that can lead to injury (pools, trampolines and some breeds of dogs)
If you have a trampoline or pool in your backyard and someone is injured, you’re homeowners policy may not cover it as a liability. There could also be injuries that exceed the amount of liability coverage that you have in your homeowners policy. Having an umbrella policy will keep you from having to pay out of pocket for any surprise accidents because of pools.
If you're a landlord, you are more likely to be sued than someone who isn’t. It’s just a fact. Also a fact, you need to consider getting an umbrella insurance policy.
Coaching kids’ sports
You mentor the youth and help them build character through sports…
But one slip and fall could lead to a big loss if your aren’t covered fully.
Nonprofit board member
Being a board member for a nonprofit is a huge responsibility and it comes with a lot of risk. Best to stay safe and protect yourself from excess liabilities.
You know the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”. While we always hope that isn’t true it’s always a great idea to be prepared...
Regular product and business review poster
You see it as part of your civic duty to warn potential customers about poor quality products or service from companies you do business with. If you say something that hurts a business they could sue for defamation of character, which would put your personal business in jeopardy.
Athlete in sports where you could easily injure others
If you are a skier or participate in any other extreme sports and you injure someone, that person may need more money that your personal liability covers alone.
Teen driver at home
Teens are typically not as polished of drivers as an adult. It’s best to cover your cars with umbrella insurance to make sure that your teen is not putting your life’s savings at risk.
Own more than one residence
Own a vacation rental or summer home? Better look into an umbrella policy to cover anything that goes over the total amount of your regular policies liability.
Employ domestic workers
Having a baby sitter could become a disaster if you aren’t fully covered.
Having house guests and hosting parties is great fun and an excellent way to get to know your neighbors but no one wants to risk losing their home because of it.
Active on social media
Some people use social media to speak their mind, which could present a little danger when it comes to slander and libel claims.
How To Buy Umbrella Insurance
If you are among the list of those who need umbrella insurance you need to know this before we go any further.
If you have the minimum liability on your car insurance policy of $100,000 there is over a 50% chance that a personal liability settlement would exceed your total coverage amount. As a matter of fact, 19% of settlements had an award over $1 million according to Current Award Trends in Personal Injury.
The good news…
Umbrella insurance is likely sold at much lower rates that the liability insurance attached to your car insurance.
Umbrella coverage is sold in increments of $1 million with the first million costing between $150 to $300 per year and every million after usually costing an additional $100.
How To Get An Umbrella Insurance Quote
Getting an umbrella insurance quote seems like it should be a very simple and straightforward thing because it really is.
The main issue that people run into though is getting insurance buy going directly to the insurer that is most popular.
The reason that this is not always a good idea is because they tend to give you what you want at a whatever price they have.
While the insurance policy is good, the rates are “one size fits all”
What most people want is the right insurance at the best rates…
That’s why we work with over 40 insurance carriers to find our clients the most competitive rates on umbrella insurance available today.
Get an umbrella insurance quote today
Fill in the form on this page to get an umbrella policy quote
What Is Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage
Cyber liability policy covers losses that come from cyber attacks. Typically, policies will include coverage for first party and third party coverage.
First Party Cyber Coverage
A First party coverage helps protect the company from losses that it directly sustains. These losses may be damages to electronic data stored on the companies database or computers.
It also helps to protect your business from a loss of income or extra expenses due to losses cause by a computer system interruption
One of the most valuable coverage benefits is that cyber insurance can help cover the cost for marketing and public relations to protect your company’s reputation should a cyber attack occur.
This type of coverage is also known as Crisis Management.
Third Party Cyber Insurance
Third party coverage protects your business from individual claims from people who have been injured as a byproduct of your business experiencing a cyber attack.
Some of the things that third party covers include
Some policies may also allow you to cover cyber terrorism and funds transfer fraud.
Who needs cyber liability insurance?
Often many people struggle to know when they need to get cyber insurance coverage for their business. One of the best ways to know when you need to consider getting a cyber liability insurance policy is to take our short cyber insurance questionnaire
Cyber Insurance Questionnaire
If you answered yes to either of those questions you need to consider cyber liability insurance.
What many people don’t know is that these days just owning a homeowners insurance policy means that you most likely have a very small amount of cyber insurance to help cover a limited amount of risk.
Getting the best coverage boils down to making sure you and an Insurance pro go over your potential risks.
How To Get The Right Cyber Insurance For Your Small Businesses
Did you know that 62% of data breach victims are small to mid sized businesses?
That is a massive problem, especially when you consider that 75% of U.S businesses are underinsured.
No wonder the average small-business that experiences a cyber security attack ends up paying over $20,000.
Each small business is unique and faces many different types of risk and also different levels of risk as well.
For example, a local clothing retailer with 3 employees that has a closed network is exposed to a much lower risk than a regional gym that has 2000 employees and 50 locations.
The difference isn’t just the exposure that your company faces, it also is your employees, your customers and more.
To protect your business from cyber attacks you have to know what to cover and how to react to a data breach.
Find Out Your Cyber Insurance Rates
By now it should be apparent that you need cyber liability insurance for yourself and your business…
And you need it today.
Like most people though, I’m sure that you also want to make sure that you don’t overpay for cyber insurance.
The fact is that we all have budgets that we want to stay within.
Although there are many factors to the policy rate prices, the average ranges from as low a $750 up to $8,000 for small businesses.
Find out how much coverage you need
Call us and get a quote to cover your business today or get an online quote
1 (888) 258-8808
In December 2018 a posted their story of loss on lawnsite.com
"4 landscaping companies including myself got robbed of commercial equipment Friday
Overall, this landscaper lost over $25k in equipment without counting trailers.
This is a big loss and its one that would have to be paid out of pocket to recover the theft if these landscaping businesses don't have the proper insurance coverage.
And while having the right insurance is an expense, it should always be seen as an asset.
How Much Does Landscaping Insurance Cost?
More often than not, people start out our conversation by asking something similar to this...
"I'm a landscaper in Chesapeake, Virginia and I need insurance for my business. How much will it cost?"
Even though it's an easy question to understand what they don't know is how many different factors actually go into the answer to this question.
I could talk to two landscapers and the answer for one would almost certainly not be the answer for the other.
One of the major factors is the amount of coverage that your landscaping business actually needs
Basic Landscaping and Lawn Care Insurance Coverage
What does landscaping insurance cover?
The simple answer to that question can be found by knowing that you will need some kind of coverage in these two areas.
This will help to protect your business from the most common liability claims, things like property damage and bodily harm. This coverage is typically required by most clients.
Like our landscapers in the beginning of the article, Most landscapers use a business vehicle to carry tools and supplies that they might need available for most jobs.
The main difference between Commercial auto insurance and a standard auto policy is that most personal car insurance policies limit the use of vehicles for work.
You can also cover landscaper specific work vehicles like Pickups, dump trucks and utility trailers.
Other Types of Insurance for Landscapers
From here, there are a couple other types of insurance landscapers should consider when buying coverage for their business.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
A BOP, or Business Owners Policy, is a product that combines general liability, commercial buildings and personal property coverage into one package.
Workers' Compensation, which is sometimes called workmans comp, helps to protect your employees should the be injured or get ill from their work.
Workers Comp Insurance also helps the business to protect from paying unexpected medical bills for employees out of pocket.
Getting Landscapers insurance through Ferguson Insurance Center
We want to help you protect your business by getting you the right landscaping insurance at the best price available.
We shop over 40 insurance carriers to find the most competitive insurance rates for you
Get a Landscapers Insurance Quote Today
What does it mean to have a culture of safety?
A good safety culture creates an environment that influences workers to want to do the right thing—even when nobody’s watching. It promotes and recognizes the safe work of employees. It makes clear to employees that doing a good job means stopping work if they feel unsafe.
Every company already has a safety culture. However, many owners are frustrated because it isn’t the culture they want. Often safety begins as a top priority—until it starts interfering with production, or until it starts eating up profits when it calls for an expensive piece of safety equipment.
To have an effective safety culture, business owners must make safety a core principle of the company. Holding safety as a core principle means safety must be considered in all company choices, receiving equal weight with quality and production on the job-site.
No matter what state a company’s safety culture is in, there is always room for improvement and always a way to elevate its importance.
How can a company change its safety culture?
This 10-step list will help you analyze and improve your safety culture:
What else can you do to get your employees onboard?
None of this will work if your employees feel like they are being manipulated. Employees must know that you care about them personally. They must know that you are not making these changes to improve your bottom line but to make your organization a better and safer place to work. The improvement in your bottom line will be only a byproduct of these changes.
No matter how big your organization is, you must get face time with the front line. Remember their names. Show up onsite and talk to your workers personally. Invest in their lives. Get their feedback and show them how valuable they are to your company. These changes are not focused on how to improve your organization but on how to improve each individual who works in your organization. The best companies are not the best because they have the best equipment or processes. They are the best because they have the best people.
You’ll find it is easier to effect cultural change when you focus on improving your employees’ lives and making their jobs and decisions easier. Encouraging transparency, honesty, and integrity is a sure-fire way to improve work environments. The job-site is no different.
These efforts may seem overwhelming, especially if you want to change the culture of your entire company. Start small by focusing only on safety culture. Take baby steps to develop goals and strategies, implement proactive accountability, be consistent, and get more face time with your employees. Over time, you will start seeing this spread throughout your organization. Remember, if you can change the perspective of just one employee a day and you have 500 employees, in less than two years you will have the culture you desire.
More information on these concepts can be found in the book 6-Hour Safety Culture by Tim Autrey.
When you are in the insurance business for over 25 years you start to see a common line of questions that will likely happen.
One of these questions that are sure to be asked when talking to a first time landlord is whether there is really a difference in homeowners insurance and landlord insurance.
In this article, we’ll cover:
Landlord Insurance vs. Homeowners insurance
landlord insurance coverage for multiple rental properties
Typical landlord insurance costs
What the best landlord insurance companies are
Let’s dive into it.
Also Read: 15 Types of People Who Need Umbrella Insurance
Is Landlord Insurance More Expensive than Homeowners?
Yes, landlord insurance is typically more expensive than homeowners insurance by up to 20%.
For example, if you own a home that has a homeowners insurance policy that costs $800 per year, expect to pay somewhere around $1,000 per year for landlord insurance.
We’ll cover why the cost goes up a little later.
Most people who ask this question are trying to avoid spending more money on insurance than they are used to, which unfortunately means that they are likely asking the wrong question.
The right question would be “is there a difference between landlord insurance and homeowners insurance coverage?”
Landlord Insurance vs Homeowner Policy
Let’s say you are moving your family into a new house and keeping your last home as a rental property.
You have been paying homeowners insurance from the time you bought that first home. Now that you are getting ready to rent the house you are wondering what the difference is between homeowners insurance and landlord insurance.
First, let’s dive into homeowners insurance coverage.
Homeowners insurance is usually only made to cover owner occupied, single family residences. These policies typically just cover the homeowner if their house burns down, or if they need to cover medical or legal bills when someone is injured on their property.
Most of these policies will also cover an occasional short-term rental but if you rent it out on more than just a couple of weeks per year, you may want to consider getting landlord insurance coverage.
What Does A Landlord Insurance Policy Cover?
Landlord insurance is a much better option for someone who plans to rent their property for full time…
But, before you just go buy landlord insurance you need to know what it covers and what will not be covered.
Landlord insurance policies typically cover:
This is what is typically covered in a basic landlord insurance policy but if you want to make sure you’re covered in as many areas as possible then you may consider adding optional riders to cover things such as:
This additional coverage will help you prevent having to come out of your own pocket to pay for unexpected emergencies that could arise.
*Note: These types of coverage are great for the landlord, however, they do not help the tenant cover their own personal property. That is why it is important to require renters insurance and to see a copy of the tenants policy.
Other Landlord Insurance Policy Types
Outside of a general landlord insurance policy that you will need to cover any rental properties you may own, it would be wise to consider getting a few other types of optional insurance coverage.
You may also want to consider owning your rental properties under an legal entity like an LLC to help further protect yourself from liability.
Landlord Insurance Coverage For Rental Properties
For the real estate investor that owns 10 units and up there are a few more things that have to be considered from the beginning.
Real estate investors who own 10+ units will have to deal with emergency repairs, vandalism and tree removal on a more consistent basis than someone who owns less property.
They will need to consider protections that help them cover short term vacancy and short term rentals more often simply because they can’t afford to spend so much time on these issues because of the size and scale of their rental property business.
Typical Landlord Insurance Cost
So now that we have covered the many different aspects of landlord insurance you can most likely see that the typical price of landlord insurance coverage varies because of the amount and different types of liability a landlord will face and also how often they are likely to face it.
Now, lets look a a simple example to see how much a typical landlord insurance policy costs.
Let’s say that you own a $200,000 single family home that you want to rent out that with mortgage, Taxes and homeowners insurance ($104 per month) comes out to about $1,291.
In the basic example given at the beginning of the article, your new insurance policy would end up being around $125 per month ($1,500 per year) on the high end of the estimate. That’s not really a huge jump.
This raises your monthly mortgage payment to $1,312 per month.
You find a tenant who is in the military and just got stationed here and wants to find a comfortable home she and her family can stay in for the next 3-5 years. She is willing to pay $1,500 per month.
This scenario means that you will receive just under $200 extra per month. As you can see, there is no real cause for concern here.
Let’s see another scenario
Johnny owns a triplex and want to plans to rent it out. The property is located in a decent part of town but the area has had a few vandalism issues in recent years.
Johnny wants to cover his triplex with more optional riders to insure the property from vandals, burglary and other issues. Plus, he want to get an umbrella policy to make sure he is covered in case someone is injured on the premises.
Johnny gets an insurance quote that show that his premiums will be $2000 per year, which sounds like a lot of money until Johnny does the math.
He realizes $2,000 per year for a triplex end up only costing $667 per unit each year, or $56 per unit per month.
After all things are considered, Johnny realizes that his mortgage, taxes and insurance only end up costing him $1854 per month while his total monthly rental income end up being $3,300 and puts an extra $1,446 in his pocket each month.
As you can see from these two examples, the cost of landlord insurance is not as important as the net income of the property.
Plus, when you consider just how much it would cost if either of these cases got just one liability claim against them the cost becomes negligible.
One thing that is important to remember is that each insurer offers something different based on the types of insurance they focus on and want to cover, which is all based on the amount of risk they are willing to tolerate.
Therefore, here is a quick list of the best insurance companies for landlord insurance
Best Insurance Company For Landlord Insurance Policy
If you would like to get a landlord insurance policy quote call us immediately at 1(888)258-8808 or get an online quote here.
Self driving cars are the future of the automobile industry but with the new autonomous vehicle technology changes comes questions about how the auto insurance industry will be affected by it.
Companies from Kroger to Google, through its subsidiary Waymo, and Tesla all have their hands in the pot for technology and services using driverless vehicles to improve customer service, road safety and more.
In this article we’ll cover a few of the most popular question about self driving car problems that we could face in the future.
Self Driving Car Problems
Many critics say that self driving cars will never happen for one reason or another.
The say that the idea of having a driverless car is dangerous and that they will fail because accidents and injuries will happen, all without anyone having true legal responsibility for an autonomous vehicle which is essentially just a robot without a master.
You may be wondering to yourself whether these driverless cars are good or bad.
Some of the common thoughts are:
Will self driving vehicles take away jobs?
Can they be hacked?
What if they get stranded because of potholes or snow?
These are all valid concerns, even though most are beyond the scope of our website.
Still, let's take a moment and look at how autonomous vehicles could affect your car insurance policies in the future.
Self Driving Cars and Hackers
The question of self driving cars being hacked is fundamental. After all, any technology that is linked to the internet has been the subject of a security breach. And while there have never been any reports of a cyber attack on an autonomous vehicle, realistically, it's only a matter of time until we start to see reports of it.
So what should be considered when we think about protecting ourselves and our future ai powered mini vans, sedans and coupes from cyberattacks?
Protect your Identity
These vehicles are most likely going to help us stay connected while we are on the road. To hackers, staying connected gives them a huge amount of information about us. Who we are, where we commonly go, and where we are at the current time could all be information on the menu for ambitious hackers who are willing to dig for the details.
Protect your vehicle
Imagine your autonomous car taking you on an "unplanned vacation" while you are on your way to pick up the kids from school. Only later to find out that some teen with a touch for tech thought it would be a great prank.
The future version of prank calls can be more dangerous than ever before.
Protect your devices
More and more the internet of things is becoming a reality. All of the devices in our homes will eventually communicate with each other and one of the biggest weaknesses could end up being our phones, smart tvs and self driving cars. In the future, being hacked will mean that all of your information will be accessed, not just the files of your computer or phone.
Those smart refrigerators, home lightings systems, even video games your kids enjoy will be open to hackers.
How do you protect your family in the future?
Know what steps to take if your self driving car gets hacked.
If you have any connected devices, you should already be looking into protecting yourself from cyber security theft. Many homeowners policies have a small amount of coverage but you should get a policy consultation to be sure.
Teach the family to be security aware.
Most cyber breaches happen when someone inadvertently does something they were not supposed to do. Many times it can be as simple as downloading an app or inserting a USB drive. Teaching your family what should be done and not be done with connected devices will be one of the most important things we can do moving into the future.
Self Driving Cars and Safety
One of the hopes that people have is that these driverless cars will make the road safer and because of the fact that humans are always more unpredictable than robots.
Humans get tired, humans get distracted and humans hesitate.
All of these things are not something that artificial intelligence would do in a vehicle so the assumption is that autonomous vehicles will make the road safer than it has ever been before.
But is it true?
Curious to see what a ride in a driverless taxi is like? Watch this.
Self Driving Cars and Accidents
Axios conducted a study that looks at vehicle incidents in California involving self driving cars for the years of 2014 through 2018 and found that out of 38 incidents all but one were caused by the humans in the vehicle.
The most odd thing is that, of those 38 incidents, three were caused by humans intentionally attacking a self driving car by hitting it or climbing on top of it.
With this data, it's hard to say what to expect if the self driving car was at fault for a collision simply because their has not been enough accidents to see a common thread.
But this does lead us to the question about insuring a self driving car
Self Driving Cars and Insurance
The question at hand is this...
Who is liable if a self driving car is at fault for an accident?
The answer is just as groundbreaking as the technology itself.
If a self driving car is found to have caused a car accident without human error being a part of the cause then the manufacturer takes on the liability.
Google, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz have already accepted liability for these types of cases. Tesla has gone as far as offering an insurance program to purchasers of their autonomous cars.
Why are they so confident?
Primarily because the data shows that 94% of all accidents are caused by preventable human error.
But, the process of being able to prove that no human error was present isn't very clear at this moment. Expect that there will be years of legal battles to come before there is a clear understanding of these procedures.
Self Driving Cars Pros and Cons
So after all of this, what are the pros and cons of self driving cars?
First, the pros:
Self Driving Cars - Pros
Some people believe that human operated vehicles will be banned in the next 20 years or so and with it we should see a decline in deadly road crashes, as well as car insurance premiums.
No more drunk driving accidents
If an AI is driving (and the human doesn't interact with the car) then it will save thousands of lives each year.
No more traffic tickets
Police would no longer need to spend time writing traffic tickets, which would lead to more important crimes being prevented.
Self Driving Cars - Cons
Self Driving Car Prices
The cost of these self driving cars would be significantly higher than the average vehicle.
Self driving cars are heavily dependent on computers, which means that they are more vulnerable to being hacked than the cars of today.
Inclement weather conditions
The self driving cars we have today can handle normal driving conditions but can't handle snow or rain as well.
These are just a few of the pros and cons of self driving cars but what we know is the future of the automotive industry is going to revolve around self driving cars. Whatever happens within this industry will have the potential to affect almost every other sector of the economy for the foreseeable future.
When will self driving cars be available?
Fully Autonomous vehicles are rumored to be available already, though most of the car companies point to the early 2020's. Still, we don't know how long it will take for self driving cars to have clear legal precedents in terms of liability, as well as when they will be likely to handle bad weather conditions.
My advice, prepare for the future by staying prepared and cautious about what may come.
For over 10 years, Bruce Gilbert and his wife, Alice ran a workers compensation insurance fraud scheme that paid them over $700,000.
That's a very long time to collect workers compensation benefits fraudulently and it's quite a large sum to have to pay back when you get caught.
Still, some employees, business owners and even some doctors and lawyers plot against workers compensation insurance companies to get money for nothing.
For Bruce Gilbert, the only work he had to do for nearly 10 years was to talk to investigators like a 5 year old. He even went as far as to tell the investigators that his favorite foods were "Pizza and spaghetti" and that his favorite books were "about animals".
He and his wife claimed that he had a regressive mental ailment that gave him the mental capacity similar to that of a toddler.
During the time that Bruce thought he wasn't being watched, he would drive, golf and even hunt, until the day he was arrested.
A golf course in Columbia county, Fl.
He and his wife were each placed on 15 years probation and ordered to pay back the $774,000 they received illegitimately.
This story highlights the massive problem of workers' comp fraud. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, workers compensation insurance fraud costs businesses $30 billion annually.
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud says all types of insurance fraud cost the average American household about $950 a year.
The most common type of Workers' Compensation Insurance fraud is claim-related fraud
The definition of claim-related fraud - when an employee attempts to gain a workers' comp benefit by falsely stating an injury or illness occurred at work or by exaggerating an existing injury or illness.
Top 10 Most Common Workers Comp Insurance Fraud Warning Signs
Workers' Compensation Insurance companies see a lot of fraud, and because of that these companies can also see the trends and signs that most commonly happen when someone or a group of people are trying to scam a workers compensation insurance company.
Here are 10 common "red flags" to look for when an employee is trying to commit workers' compensation fraud.
1. Monday morning injury reports - injury occurring first thing monday morning or lat on friday afternoon but not reported until monday
2. Employment change - immediately before or after termination, layoff, end of a big project or conclusion of seasonal work
3. Suspicious providers - medical providers or legal consultants have a history of handling suspicious claims, or groups of claimants using the same doctors and lawyers
4. No witnesses - there are no witnesses to the accident.
5. Conflicting descriptions - the injury report or medical history don't match the employee's description
6. History of claims - claimant has a history of making suspicious claims
7. Treatment is refused - claimant refuses a diagnostic to confirm the nature or extent of an injury
8. Late reporting - employee delays reporting injury or claim without a reasonable explanation
9. Claimant is hard to reach - they injured employee is hard to reach at home
10. Changes - claimant changes jobs, addresses and physicians frequently
If an employer notices that two or more of these red flag behaviors and begins to suspect that an employee may be committing claim-related fraud, they should report the behavior immediately to their workers' compensation insurance carrier.