Apr 3, 2017

Cars with high-tech safety features are driving up insurance costs

Jens Meyer / AP

New cars packed with high-tech safety gear designed to help prevent crashes are leading to soaring insurance costs, the Wall Street Journal found. Safety features, such as built-in braking systems and tech that prevents drivers from drifting out of lanes, are becoming increasingly available, but as the WSJ notes, "progress comes with a price":

  • "Enabling the safety tech are cameras, sensors, microprocessors and other hardware whose repair costs can be more than five times that of conventional parts. And the equipment is often located in bumpers, fenders and external mirrors—the very spots that tend to get hit in a crash."
  • Only a fraction of buyers are currently opting for the new tech, "as a result, replacement parts are disproportionately expensive... Insurance companies, unwilling to shoulder all the pain, are passing some of the cost off to buyers."

Why this matters: High-tech cars could make driving conditions safer, but as of now, the costs of repairs are not outweighing the benefits of their potential safety protections for insurance companies. Some insurers estimate 25% to 50% of all vehicles will have to integrate the new tech before accident rates decline enough to offset higher repair costs.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,140,327 — Total deaths: 60,887 — Total recoveries: 233,930Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 278,568 — Total deaths: 7,163 — Total recoveries: 9,920Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured.
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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York reports record 630 deaths in 24 hours

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths in one day.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S., killing more than 7,100 people in total, and over 1,000 in 24 hours alone. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

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World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday, as the global death toll surpassed 60,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half of the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 47 mins ago - Health