Think your windshield is just one big piece of glass? Think again. With newer vehicle makes and models constantly introduced comes a lot of new technology behind that glass. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), as well as the push toward self-driving vehicles, is changing the way cars are manufactured–and could affect your car insurance. Instead of talking about what will happen, it is easier to talk about what won’t, or what may occur. As technology keeps changing, no one knows yet exactly how emerging tech will affect your car insurance. But here are some looks at what some experts are predicting.
1. Your Insurance Rates Won’t Decrease
All those safety features being added into cars won’t translate to lower insurance prices, experts say. All that technology that talks to you, drives automatically, and everything in between, is expensive.
An article on nerdwallet.com points out that “windshields on cars with advanced driver-assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, can cost 82 percent more to replace than vehicles without those features.”
2. Your Windshield Replacement Won’t Get Faster
No, your windshield replacement will not get faster. In fact, the windshield technician’s job will become even tougher so don’t be surprised by longer wait times.
An automobile with advanced windshield features needs to be calibrated following the install. That’s not an easy step by any means. Technicians have to recalibrate under precise conditions, and currently, arguments are taking place regarding who is responsible. Is it the glass shop that replaced the windshield or is it the car owner? Windshield technicians currently must prove that advanced technology requiring calibrations further complicates matters, and therefore incurs higher costs.
While ADAS calibration is necessary and required by the Auto Glass Safety Council, it’s not currently priced into many insurance company models. So oftentimes, the tech who has to calibrate isn’t paid by the insurance company for the work. Thus most windshield replacement shops have customers sign a waiver when they pick up their vehicle stating they will take it to have a recalibration done. The customer is then responsible for transporting it to the dealership for a recalibration. Again, you the customer are often unhappy with this choice, and again it often comes down to insurance. If there were standards set by insurance, the process may not be as cumbersome as it is currently.
3. You May See Usage-Based Insurance Plans
Don’t be shocked by a usage-based insurance plan. This may be one of the outgrowths of the Internet of Things and its effect on almost everything—including auto insurance. Insurance companies can use digital profiles to monitor driving behavior and then develop the insurance plan accordingly. Therefore the better you drive, the better your price which could result in up to a 40 percent decrease in rates for policyholders. The less you drive, the lower your rates. As always, experts disagree as this is opposite to number one above. In other words, anything can happen.
4. Vehicle Sharing May Become More Popular
Vehicle sharing is becoming increasingly popular and no doubt will have an effect on car insurance. In essence, you could rent your car to a stranger for a set amount.
If drivers opt to go this route then insurance companies may consider insuring the driver, or perhaps even the sharing company in case of leased vehicles. It’s a changing market and almost anything can happen.
5. Autonomous Vehicles May Affect Your Car Insurance
With self-driving vehicles, it will be harder to pinpoint fault. So will the driver be responsible or will liability shift to car makers? It’s all “what ifs” at this point.
And though there aren’t many truly autonomous cars on the road, accidents are happening. In fact, recently a tragedy involving a self-driving Uber vehicle resulted in a fatality.
More than a year ago the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. This was based on the Society of Automotive Engineers (“SAE”) classification levels for automation based on how much, or how little input, is required by the driver. The policy says that individual states need to decide liability among highly automated vehicle owners, operators, passengers, manufacturers, and others when a crash occurs. Then the question becomes: in the case of an accident who is liable? It also creates an issue if individual states set liability and fault levels at different levels. There are so many questions then including who is liable when a vehicle leaves state lines? This will all put further attention on who is at fault and will likely affect your insurance plan in the future.
6. OEM Versus Aftermarket Glass: Learn What it All Means
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and it is the original glass placed in your vehicle and comes with automaker branding. Aftermarket glass is not always made to the same standards as the original glass was. Debates rage on about which is better, and sometimes this even causes problems with insurance payments. For example, your insurance provider may not want to pay for a windshield replaced with anything other than the aftermarket glass. And some companies such as Honda are requiring OEM glass in some cases. So then the question becomes who pays the difference?
All of these issues are swirling around the auto glass industry as it relates to insurance and it doesn’t look to get easier anytime soon—if ever.
Though all these issues seem confusing, Glass.com can help you find a reputable windshield technician who can help you navigate through these tricky situations as it relates to your windshield and insurance.