How Vehicle Technology is Building a More Sustainable Future

The race to create a sustainable car has been ongoing for decades – and it doesn’t look like it will be ending anytime soon. The desire to develop the subsequent functioning yet highly sustainable vehicle has increased right alongside the demand.

Lately, most auto manufacturers have put their attention towards electric vehicles. Given that electricity is a renewable energy source, this makes complete sense. Yet, it is not the only tactic that manufacturers are considering.

Electric Vehicles

Electric and vehicles, also known as EVs, are growing exponentially common these days. This is partially due to the government incentives available across the globe. Currently, the EV market is expected to grow at a CAGR exceeding twenty-one percent between 2019 and 2030. 

Despite the rising demand, a few problems are facing electric vehicles. For one thing, there is currently no standard among charging stations. While that may be a tolerable problem for smaller techs such as phones, it does not govern longevity for something as significant as a car. CharIN is one of several companies trying to encourage universal standards for charging, but it will take time.

Another focus for further developing EVs is the battery itself. This is the new heart of a car, where all of the power is stored. Currently, EVs depend on lithium-ion batteries, which means factors such as temperature and over-changing are legitimate concerns.

Battery Second Life

As mentioned above, finding greener solutions to deal with batteries is a must. One short-term solution, pushed by Analog Devices, is to repurpose spent batteries. Contrary to popular belief, batteries that have worn out from powering cars all day still have a bit of power in them. It isn’t enough to power a vehicle, but it is enough to provide a bit of electricity to those that don’t have it. Suddenly, that otherwise wasted energy can be used to provide cooking fuel to those that need it most. 

Green Tires

Believe it or not, greener tires are another consideration when it comes to making more sustainable cars. Rubber is not a sustainable product, so creating cars based entirely on this material is not practical or eco-friendly.

However, finding an alternative to rubber has become quite a challenge. Instead, companies are trying to find other ways to offset their carbon footprint. Time will tell which solution wins out.

 

Can the Latest Tech Lower Your Car Insurance Rates?

With the rise of safe driving technology, one question on everyone’s mind is how will this affect insurance rates? Many are hopeful that better collision prevention will, in turn, reduce premiums. While others are concerned that the increase in tech costs will outweigh the potential benefits.

These days, people have high expectations for what technology can do for them. People also expect it to help them save money – and there are precedents to back this assumption up. Better technology has allowed for energy (and thus cost) saving alternatives, among other options. 

According to a study run by PwC, up to forty-one percent of consumers would walk away from an insurance company that failed to offer high-quality digital capabilities. In other words, if their insurance isn’t going to work with their tech, they’re not interested.

Making Drivers Safer

People today have access to technology that makes them safer. Motion and range sensors combine to create collision prevention technology, while cameras help drivers watch their blindspots.

It’s easy to assume that the tech designed to make us safer actually works. Studies have shown that while some technology has worked hard to make us safer – other forms provide too much distraction. In other words – the technology is only effective when those behind the wheel are also trying to be safe.

Additional Expenses

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Yes, driver safety tech can help keep people safe – and thus, theoretically should reduce car insurance premiums. However, upon closer inspection, there’s one glaring problem with this premise.

The technology used to make drivers safer does not come cheaply, which means that when accidents do happen, the overall repair and replacement costs are higher. This means that most drivers are not likely to see a significant drop in their premiums.

Reducing Costs

Thankfully, there are a few alternatives for reducing insurance rates. For example, drivers can opt into customized insurance plans. In other words, a driver grants permission to have all of their driving data compiled and turned into one concise plan – no need to pay or unneeded insurance.

A study from the University of British Columbia found that people are not only willing to have insurance companies monitor their driving for customized plans – but they’re safer drivers because of it. It turns out that knowing somebody is watching your every move is all it takes to make a driver just a little bit more cautious. 

Blockchain Data and Car Insurance

The insurance industry has been working hard to stay up to date with modern technology. Already the industry is making use of predictive analytics to help create customized plans.

This raises the question of how blockchain technology can help the industry. A blockchain is a way to securely store information. The highlight of this method would be the inability to change data once it has been established. In other words – hacking and malicious attempts at alterations will not work.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are but one of the ways that blockchain data and car insurance companies have found a perfect balance. Contracts are a part of daily life – especially for insurance companies. A smart contract is simply a more advanced version of the original. 

In this instance, they are digitally signed and stored through secure digital means (blockchain data). All parties involved in the contract, including the neutral third party, can access this data.

Due to the digital nature of smart contracts, it allows for a certain amount of automation. A computer can look at the contract, and if the terms have been met, activate the appropriate next step.

Advantages of Blockchain Data

Many advantages come from blockchain technology, including the information already mentioned in the section above. Digital contracts allow for ease of access – both for the insurers and the insured.

In turn, this helps erase confusion, increase communication, and, more importantly – ensure accurate information. For example, fraudulent claims will dwindle, as all relevant data will be stored in one location. To put it another way, it’ll be simpler than ever to catch fraudulent claims. 

The customer will also have higher levels of protection, as the data will be stored with a neutral third party. This will help ensure that the insurance companies hold up their end of the deal and leave avenues for when things do not happen according to plan.

Insurance companies can use this ready access to data to store client details, going beyond what is typical these days. Data such as driving habits, traffic records, and accidents can all be easily (and safely) stored in one location. 

While that may not sound like a significant advantage – it is. All of the data being in one place would further encourage customized plans, which would once again benefit both parties.

Predictive Analytics and Car Insurance

With the way technology has been improving, it would inevitably begin impacting every industry out there—even the insurance industry, where developments such as predictive analytics have been making waves.

Predictive analytics is a form of machine learning that uses data (usually in the form of statistics and historical data) and algorithms to identify patterns and future possibilities. When it comes to insurance, that can make a world of difference for insurers and clients alike.

How It Works

As a whole, predictive analytics has been a growing trend, with many different industries trying unique ways to apply the technology. Predictive analytics has become so common that anyone spending any time online has likely come across it. Predictive analytics play a part in ad generation, search engine optimization, and website recommendations. And it’s all based on an individual user’s history.

Predictive Analytics Meets Car Insurance

When it comes to car insurance, there’s a lot that predictive analytics can do to help improve the industry. For one thing, it can (and will) allow for a more personalized experience. Gone are the days when an insurance plan was one size fits all.

These days, machine learning can grind through a driver’s history and develop a custom insurance plan uniquely suited to them. For example, a safe driver with a record of following speed limits, wearing seat belts, and avoiding tickets can rest easy knowing that they got the best deal possible.

Applications of Predictive Analytics

The possibilities for predictive analytics don’t end there. That’s the beauty of this customization engine. Insurance companies can use this technology to compile crash data and even flag fraudulent claims. It all depends on the data they feed the program.

Marketing campaigns have already begun to make heavy use of predictive analytics, and soon insurance companies could be doing the same thing. Let’s go back to that online example from earlier. A person hops online, does some browsing, and calls it a day. The next day, they get an email advertising a sale on an item they were looking at. This is not a coincidence but rather a carefully orchestrated plan.

Insurance companies can do the same thing – marketing the right plan to the right clients and knowing how to best approach them. Some clients prefer to be approached via email, others via phone or text. Machine learning can help process that information and create a personalized plan for thousands of potential clients.

Auto Tech Driving Insurance Explained

Our interactions with cars change every year as new technology comes out to improve the experience. As such, auto insurance must find ways to adapt right alongside the industry. This is no mean feat and takes a lot of careful planning. 

Most recently, auto insurance companies have begun to develop automated ways of measuring and creating new plans. There are many benefits to this feature, including highly customizable plans.

The Complication

There is one complication with the plan to go full automation when it comes to insurance: people’s willingness. According to CCC Information Services, Inc.’s Crash Course report, until recently, most drivers were unwilling to share such detailed and personal information.

What sort of information do these metrics require? The predominant concern revolves around mileage. New features allow for easy personal data collection, including driving details, travel speed, and location.

Up until recently, only 41% of those surveyed were willing to share their data. That number has gone up to 54% and is likely due to the changes that the pandemic brought with it. Primarily the reduced time spent in cars.

One of the main concerns from users, unsurprisingly, is the breach of privacy. Specifically, these features would require drivers to give up information such as where they at which times, which can be a deal-breaker for many. According to a study run by Pew Research Center, only 37% of Americans found the offer appealing, even when taking benefits into account.

Benefits

Despite these concerns, there are plenty of benefits that come with auto tech driving insurance. Primarily, the data used to create an individual’s plan would be based on their driving – and theirs alone.

Instead of filling out several complicated forms, drivers can instead give access to their data metrics, allowing insurance companies to create an accurate and detailed plan that fits the users’ needs. It sounds complicated, but in truth, it makes things simpler. 

This practice is called usage-based insurance. In practice, it works through an app on your phone, which then transmits data to your insurance company. Most companies experimenting with the tech provide rewards for using the app – rewards that get better the more you use it.

Pet Insurance

amigo mga pet insuranceIf you have a scaled or furry friend in your life, you may have briefly considered taking out an insurance policy to cover your pet’s potential injuries or procedures. Most people opt not to take out a health insurance policy for their pets, but you may not have considered just how valuable that insurance policy could be to saving you money, stress, and your pet’s life. If you’re even considering pet insurance, here’s some information to consider.

Firstly, talk with a trusted veterinarian. Usually, vets can give sound advice about which insurance agency will offer you the best deal to get you the most coverage for the most reasonable price. They are a non-partisan source for information, since they don’t make any money on insurance sales. The vast majority of vets will also take any insurance, so you won’t have to worry about in-network care providers the same way you have to with people insurance.

Vets are also well-versed in the different breeds of pets and the kind of care each kind of dog, cat, bird, or reptile will need. For example, pugs are highly prone to cardiovascular and pulmonary issues, so you may need extra coverage to keep your pug healthy at a reasonable cost. Consult your vet on what species or breed specific issues may need extra coverage for your pet.

Think about the cost versus benefit of the cost. On the one hand, you could be paying a decent amount of money as your monthly premium. However, consider how much the cost would be defrayed in the event of an emergency or accident. Amigo MGA has already written about high versus low deductibles for human health insurance and car insurance, and you may want to do the same calculations for your pet.

You’ll also want to do the preemptive work to keep insurance rates low. Make sure your pet stays healthy by grooming it regularly and taking it to the vet for regular check-ups or to consult if something seems “off.” Doing the leg work on the front end will keep costs low in the future, just like with human health insurance.
While still being cost-conscious, you don’t want to skimp out on protection for your family pet. In the event of an emergency or just regular health issues, you want peace of mind knowing that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg and that your pet will be happy and healthy again in no time.

High Deductible or Low Deductible?

 

When it’s time to shop for insurance, you may be tempted to pick a plan based on deductibles without knowing the full consequences of what your choice means to your future. Understanding how deductibles work will help you calculate your risk and how to optimize your insurance plan to save you money while properly covering you.

At its most basic, a deductible is the threshold amount an insured person has to pay for a service (accident repairs, an emergency room visit, etc.) before an insurance policy will step in to cover the rest. A premium, conversely, is the amount of money you pay into your insurance on a schedule (yearly, quarterly, etc.). Usually, your premium and your deductible are inversely proportional; that is, the higher your premium is, the lower your deductible is, and vice versa. A plan with low deductibles offers higher coverage, and a plan with high deductibles costs less monthly but demands more out-of-pocket money in the event of an accident.

Note that the deductible is not, in fact, the copayment, or proportion of the cost you’re responsible for. Deductibles exist to deter small claims that an individual could likely pay totally on their own in order to save the insurance company money on petty costs.

When it comes time to decide how much you want to spend on  your premium versus your deductible, there are some important factors to consider regarding your own situation, your budget, and your emergency fund.

Insurance exists to ensure that you’ll be financially stable in the event of an accident or similar tragedy, so picking an premium/deductible package based solely on saving money in the present may not be the wisest solution. Suppose someone chose an insurance plan that demanded a low monthly payment of $100, but a deductible of $3000, for example, confident that nothing bad will happen to them and they can use the extra cash that they won’t be spending monthly on insurance. Such an individual may feel good about spending so little money on a monthly basis to “be covered,” but in the event of an accident, may not have $3000 sitting around to cover costs, so the insurance policy proves completely useless to the person in peril.

Cutting premiums to save money only really works if your emergency fund is well-stocked. That is, if you can easily afford to pay a $3000 deductible in the event of a crisis, then a low premium may be just fine. Without any accidents, the math may look “better” with a low premium, but accidents are just that — unforeseen, unplanned emergencies.

The simple answer to the “high or low deductible” question lies in your ability to pay said deductible in a moment’s notice. Choosing a high deductible for the sake of cutting costs may turn around and bite you if something bad were to happen. Do your math carefully and think about your emergency readiness before you start skimping on insurance premiums.