Consumer

Expert: Auto insurance rates will go up

Kent Pierce, WTNH Reporter - NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- We've got your back with a warning about your auto insurance rates. A top industry expert says you could soon be paying more even if you do nothing wrong.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who owns Geico, says insurance rates will go up. And if you're Warren Buffett, you make accurate economic predictions, it's just what you do. He says the reason for the increase is distracted driving.

Last week News 8 told you about a new AAA report showing 87 percent of drivers engaged in some kind of risky behavior behind the wheel. 70 percent of drivers admit they talk on the cell phone while driving. 42% say they read texts or emails while driving. Younger drivers are growing up constantly looking at their phones, and that is being reflected in an increase in accident rates. Fatal accidents alone went up 8% last year.

"And no, that doesn't mean that you will have an accident, and that's not the way the insurance company looks at it. They don't look at you and they don't look at me. They're calculating probabilities. If those probabilities increase, the rates are going to go up," said Prof. Donn Johnson, Quinnipiac University.

Economics professor Donn Johnson says you could still obey all the laws, never get into an accident, and still have your rates go up, because your insurance company has to pay out the claims for all the other accidents caused by all the other distracted drivers.

What's worse is, there's no real solution. We've had drunk driving laws on the books for years, but people still do it.

And cell phones are even more prevalent because you probably don't walk around all day with a beer in your hand, you do walk around with a smart phone, so it is tougher to put down while driving. We have plenty of laws against distracted driving, but plenty of people still do it.


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