New technology in cars could cause insurance to rise this year

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FLINT (WJRT) (1/29/2018) - "Cars today, they're putting a lot more safety features on 'em. It's becoming standard, whereas 5 - 10 years ago, it was considered an option," explained Scott Hubbs with McFall's Collision.

So, he explained, now for cars equipped with the new technology, a fender-bender is no longer considered minor.

"A lot of times there's a lot of hidden damage that you don't know is there until you take the bumper off to see what's behind it," Hubbs said.

He explained that 'hidden damage' is a direct hit on the car's safety technology, including the backup camera, rear sensors and side sensors.

"I'd say probably 60% of the people are surprised. Parts are not cheap," Hubbs said.

Hubbs explained just replacing a bumper would take two to three days and cost close to $700; but now, repairing the technology, too, raises your bill to over a thousand dollars and leaves you without a car for a week.

And, because insurance rates follow cost, "The more expensive it is to fix a vehicle, you're gonna see the price of repairs go up, which directly impacts the rates, the rates are gonna go up too," Insurance Agent Emily Stroub said.

She explained you'd think the safety technology would help prevent crashes; but, she says in this day and age, it's easy for a driver to get distracted.

"And that is causing more claims; so, no matter how safe the vehicle is, if you're not paying attention, you still run the risk of getting in an accident," Stroub said.

And, that effects the insurance rates of everyone in your city. She explained, "You're probably gonna see it across the board because we pay for everybody else's claims. So, lets say you live in Flint, the more people that make claims in Flint, the higher your insurance rates are going to be. We pay it as a whole."

But, she said, there is help to offset the higher cost.

"You gotta call and ask, you have to shop around, every company offers more than a handful of discounts to help keep those low," she said.

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