There are a few things that Americans are more attached to than their cars.
We grow up with posters and models of Ferraris and Porsches on our walls and dressers. We flock to theaters to see Gone in 60 Seconds, and all 50 movies in the Fast and Furious franchise. And we anxiously await getting our license and pinch our pennies for our first cars for that taste of good, old-fashioned freedom that only a car and the open road can deliver.
Unfortunately, only the smallest fraction of us will get to drive the cars that we built as models, or that hung on our walls on posters, or were driven by The Rock or Vin Diesel in the movies.
For most of us, cars are a bit less speedy, a whole lot less flashy and a bit more “substance over style.” Also unlike those movies, we’re all responsible for what happens with our cars, and face repercussions and consequences for crashing them into things, violating rules of the road and all other general chicanery that we participate in behind the wheel.
It’s this responsibility that makes us carry car insurance – which can help us recover financially from any “whoops” moments in our cars. After all, accidents will happen, regardless of how great of drivers we are. Or, as my father used to say, “They’re called accidents…not purposes!”
With a nod of appreciation towards the automobile for giving us something to dream about, something to aspire for, something to inspire us and the freedom to go and do whatever we want, this week’s insurance news roundup focuses on our cars – and the insurance that covers us from any mistakes we make with them!
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…START YOUR ENGINES…!
Allstate and Uber reveal partnership
In past decades, the idea of hitting the open road meant saving up and purchasing your own car. But that’s not the only way to get access to an automobile these days. In our new “gig economy” and “sharing economy,” people are using services like Uber and Lyft for car sharing – effectively hitching a ride somewhere for a fee.
I’m not sure why I’m even defining ride sharing. If you have a pulse and didn’t just wake up from a ten-year-long coma, you’ve taken an Uber before, or you’ve at least heard of it before. The company is immensely successful and the service is wildly popular.
But there’s a problem for the drivers. If you’ve ever owned or started a business before, you know that businesses need different, often more comprehensive, insurance coverage. Many of the folks working with Uber to offer ride sharing services only carry their own personal insurance policies, which may be woefully inadequate or have gaps in coverage should something happen while the automobile is being used effectively as a taxi.
To help address this gap and ensure that drivers have the insurance coverage they need, one of the world’s leading insurance companies – Allstate – is teaming up with one of the largest ride share companies – Uber – to offer more comprehensive and complete insurance coverage to drivers.
This is a positive step that will ensure that all Uber drivers can ensure they’re practicing safe ride sharing.
Mastercard and Dream Speed Up Insurance Payments
We’ve bought a new car, we’ve gotten insurance on it to make sure we’re covered should anything bad happen. But then, a ridiculous wind storm in the Mid-Atlantic region pushes an old oak tree over, right onto our new ride!
As a driver and insurance customer, our main priority in that situation – aside from shopping for a nice chainsaw – is getting the money and services we need to get the car repaired and back on the road as quickly as possible.
Now there may now be a faster and more convenient way for insurance companies to pay their policy holders when the inconceivable happens, thanks in large part to a partnership between Dream Payments and Mastercard. The result of their partnership will be a turnkey solution that insurance providers can utilize to get, “…insurance customers paid quickly, simply and securely.”
According to a press release issued by Mastercard, “Both companies share a vision where insurance policyholders will receive fast payments into any payment card or account,” and their combined solution, “will allow insurance companies to digitize and automate claims disbursements, replacing the friction associated with printing, sorting, and mailing of checks, with the speed and efficiency of digital payments.”
Hey, if it gets my old beater back on the road and out from under an oak tree, I’ll be ecstatic!
Auto insurance rates climb as number of cars, distractions rise
There’s always two sides to every coin. Technology could be helping to make the claims process and claims disbursements easier and faster. It could be helping insurance companies better and more competitively price policies by making risk data more accurate and available. But technology could also be having another – slightly more negative – impact on car insurance.
STOP TEXTING AND DRIVING! Ahem…excuse me.
A recent study by insurance comparison Website, The Zebra, shows that the national average cost of an auto insurance policy has increased 20 percent since 2011. The reason for that? A lot of it has to do with the number of cars on the road, and what some silly people are doing in them…driving while distracted thanks to their devices and smartphones.
Come on people. Don’t drive distracted. You could hurt somebody…and you’rr already hurting all of our wallets.