FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
5/9/2018
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Joseph Sviatko, 410-468-2458

Consider Money-Saving Insurance Options if You Have Changed Driving Habits

New DriveCheck assessment from National Association of Insurance Commissioners helps Marylanders determine if usage-based auto insurance is a fit

Baltimore, MD—America’s century-old love affair with driving may be transitioning to an amicable acquaintance. Since 1983, the percentage of people with a driver’s license has steadily decreased among 16 to 44 year olds.1 At the same time, reliance on public transportation2 and ridesharing services are on the rise. As more Americans steer away from the driver’s seat and new products such as usage-based insurance (UBI) gain traction, consumers should rethink their auto insurance options. The new DriveCheck assessment from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) helps consumers determine if UBI may fit their driving habits.
 
“Driving habits are changing as more people use ridesharing and public transportation,” said Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. “As transformations in mobility continue to evolve, new insurance products may be an option for Maryland residents whose driving habits have shifted.  As a result, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has created DriveCheck to help consumers understand how usage based insurance works and determine if it’s a good fit for their driving behaviors.”
 
Driving Decline
Carrying no driver’s license has been prominent among millennials and members of Generation Z for years. Once the ultimate mark of adulthood, only 69 percent of 19-year-olds had a driver’s license in 2014, compared with almost 90 percent in 1983.3  This new trend is gaining traction in middle-aged adults, as fewer choose to renew.
 
Drivers cite cost of insurance and availability of alternate options — including ridesharing services — as key factors when deciding to forgo driving. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 10 percent of Americans who trade in cars are not purchasing new ones and instead opt to use ridesharing services.4
 
Ridesharing is especially common in the business community, as rides with Uber and Lyft rose to 46 percent of all ground transportation during business trips, overtaking both taxis and rental cars in popularity.5 To learn more about ridesharing, read our consumer alert here:  http://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Pages/Consumer-Alert---What-Drivers-Need-to-Know-about-Ridesharing.aspx.
 
Insurance Impact
As mobility preferences shift, consumers should re-evaluate their auto insurance needs and options. One consideration is usage-based insurance. UBI examines driving habits (miles driven, speed, time of day and other factors) to determine insurance costs. Less than half of Americans are aware of UBI as an option and only about 6 percent are using the product. Yet, when offered UBI as an option, half of American drivers make the switch.6
 
Check Out DriveCheck
Insure U’s new DriveCheck tool takes consumers through a few quick questions about driving habits while providing more information about how UBI works. At the end, users receive an assessment of the likelihood they will benefit from UBI.
 
Consumers then should discuss usage-based insurance with their insurance producer. If a provider does not offer UBI, chances are they will in the future. Consumers interested in UBI can shop around to find an insurance company who can answer questions and provide a quote.
 
Beyond UBI
Usage-based insurance is not for everyone. However, all Maryland drivers should review their auto insurance policies from time to time. Check out these tips when re-evaluating insurance needs:
  • If UBI is not for you, talk to your insurer to determine if there are other cost-saving opportunities. Discounts may be available in Maryland for multiple vehicles, driver education courses, good student, safety devices, anti-theft devices, low mileage, good driver/renewal, auto/home package and dividends.
  • If a friend or roommate borrows your car from time to time, talk to your agent to see if you are covered in case the borrower gets in an accident. Likely, the best option is for your friend to have his/her own car insurance to cover any damages.
  • If you’ve given up driving altogether, there are still risks to consider. Before accepting a shared ride from a company like Uber or Lyft, know the extent to which you are protected in the event of an accident.
  • Most ridesharing companies have liability policies to cover any passenger injuries. If you are injured while riding, report a claim with the driver’s insurer and the ridesharing company’s insurer.
  • If you’re considering contracting as an Uber or Lyft driver, make sure you understand the insurance implications. Review tips from Insure U before you get behind the wheel.
For unbiased information and resources to help you rethink insurance, visit insureuonline.org.
 
For insurance information specific to where you live, contact the Maryland Insurance Administration by visiting insurance.maryland.gov or calling 410-468-2000.
 
About the Maryland Insurance Administration
 
The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin or Twitter at @MD_Insurance.
 
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