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Texting should increase your insurance costs

Insurance policies are contracts. One of the fictions the law assumes is that contracts are "bargained for" agreements. Of course, everyone knows there is no bargaining in an insurance contract, unless you are a multi-billion dollar corporation yourself. You accept the terms "as is" or you do not do business with that insurance company.

But what if you wrote insurance policies? How would you structure them to encourage people to reduce car accidents? Penalize the dumb driver who suddenly changed lanes in front of your vehicle? Realistically, how about charging cellphone drivers higher rates? That is one of the changes a group of people who were asked in a survey how they would rate insurance policies.

Almost three-quarters would charge more for those who text while driving. More than half thought tickets for cellphone use in a vehicle should cause a rate increase on the driver. The same percentage also thought drivers who installed cellphone-disabling equipment should receive a discount on their insurance.

While distracted driving caused by texting and other cellphone use is seen as increasing the risk of motor vehicle crashes, only 12 states categorize texting as a moving violation that could go on your driving record and result in your insurance rates escalating. No insurance company offers lower rates for blocking cellphone use.

It is somewhat remarkable that people seem to believe that in-car camera monitoring was a good idea but only for drunk drivers and teen drivers. Given how wearing a motorcycle helmet has become an issue involving "freedom," it seems unlikely the majority of drivers would find a camera in their car very comforting.

Eventually, some of these ideas could be put in place, as insurance companies attempt to reduce costs by reducing accidents

Source: MSN Money, “Survey: Put the hammer to texters - A majority think texters should pay more car insurance than speeders,” May 13, 2013

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