Personal Injury Lawyers
Attorney Van O'Steen

Pamphlet Points Out How We Run Head-on Into High Insurance Rates

Van O'Steen

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A friend recently gave me a pamphlet titled “Why Does Auto Insurance Cost So Much?”  He received it in the mail from his insurance company.

The pamphlet contains a great deal of useful information that I want to share with you. It begins with a warning that there is no “quick fix” to the complex problem of rising insurance rates.

The pamphlet highlights these causes:

  • Drinking and driving—Alcohol-related crashes kill someone every 22 minutes.  Disabling personal injuries are caused at the rate of one every minute.  The cost to us of all these tragedies is $13 billion a year.  We must have tougher laws against drunk driving and we must strictly enforce them.  Those who drink must not drive.
  • Unused seat belts and air bags—Vehicle accidents kill more than 46,000 people each year and injure 3.4 million more.  Seat belts and air bags can prevent more than half of these accident deaths and injuries.  Always buckle up and be sure your next car has air bags.
  • Auto theft—One out every 44 cars in America is stolen or broken into each year.  A car is stolen every 24 seconds.  Always lock your car and take your keys.  Place valuables in your trunk.
  • Insurance fraud—This crime is big business, second only to income tax evasion.  About 20 cents of every premium dollar pays for fraud investigations and fraudulent claims.  Insist on complete honesty from yourself and others when you are involved in an insurance claim.  Support stiffer penalties for insurance fraud.
  • Unsafe driving, cars and roadways—Speeding, failure to yield, driving left of center, improper overtaking or turns and following to closely are factors in two-thirds of all auto collisions.  We need stronger enforcement of speed laws, better driver education and increased design safety for cars and roads.
  • Suing hastily—We must make greater use of the entire litigation process, which means both sides—the victim and the insurance company—striving to resolve accident injury and damage claims fairly and efficiently.  Increased use of mandatory arbitration would help. Arizona law now requires that many claims be submitted to arbitration.  This system should be expanded, and the parties should agree to make the arbitrator’s decision binding.

My friend’s insurance company pamphlet concludes with the statement, “We’re all on the same side.”  Unfortunately, that is not always true.  With some effort, however, we can find fair solutions to our problems, including the problem of high automobile insurance rates.