Car insurance rates in Arizona

Insurance costs for the top 10 new cars sold in Arizona

Last week we posted about Arizona’s car insurance rates rising due to new cars flooding the market, and the rising costs to repair those cars once they have been in an accident.

Arizona is the 4th ranked state in the US for new car purchases and falls in line just behind California, Colorado and Georgia. Perhaps you are in the market for a new car yourself right now. Let’s hope it’s not because your old was just totaled. When purchasing a new car, the big question always comes down to “How much”. Often we overlook the next big monthly expense beyond the car payment. I’m talking about the car insurance payment. If you have been driving an older car for a while and are just about to get yourself a new one, you might be in for a bit of a surprise when you learn about your new car insurance premium.

So what are the most expensive cars to insure in Arizona?

CoverHound is a car insurance rate comparison website that has gathered information on the top 10 new cars sold in the United States, and has selected its top 10 states for car sales. For our purposes, we are only interested in the rates for Arizona.

Beginning with the top 10 new cars sold in the U.S. numbers are provided by a November 2015 report on the top 10 best-selling cars in 2015 through the month of November. As with any top list, the numbers are always changing, but this a pretty good indication of the most popular cars on the market.

This list is by no means an insurance quote for you, and Insurance companies have a lot of factors they use to determine you actual rate, as well as any discounts that you may be eligible for. But if you are in the new car market, consider this a helpful guide to a ball-park range for the Arizona drivers of the top 10 cars sold in the USA.

Here is the list of Top 10 cars sold in the United States

1. Ford F-Series: 695,143 sold in 2015 through November 2015.
2. Chevrolet Silverado: 537,552.
3. Ram Pickup: 407,981.
4. Toyota Camry: 392,056.
5. Toyota RAV4: 283,564.
6. Honda CR-V: 314,462.
7. Honda Accord: 320,501.
8. Honda Civic: 302,588.
9. Toyota Corolla: 330,887.
10. Nissan Rogue: 260,711.

TO establish a baseline CoverHound calculated the insurance costs for the top 10 cars in each of the states selected. These Insurance costs shown are the lowest rates for “Basic” Coverage across all carriers at, for a hypothetical shopper profile of a single and currently employed, 30 years old male who is not a homeowner, continuously insured for four years and drives the vehicle he owns (paid in full) for an average of 6,000 miles a year.

So how much does it cost to insure the top 10 cars sold in the United States in Arizona?

1. Ford F-150- $1,118.00
2. Chevy Silverado- $1,162.00
3. Ram Pick up- $1,086.00
4. Toyota Camry- $1,270.00
5. Toyota Rav4- $1,236.00
6. Honda CRV $1,124.00
7. Honda Accord- $1,142.00
8. Honda Civic- $1,124.00
9. Toyota Corolla- $1,102.00
10. Nissan Rogue- $1,234.00

Hope this list helps you in your new vehicle searches. Have some collision repair damage that you need repaired? Click the button below for a free estimate.

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Are new cars driving up auto body repair and insurance costs for Tucson AZ drivers?

2015 was a banner year for new and used car sales and 2016 is so far on the same track. In fact car dealers haven’t seen banner sales years like this since 1999. With this influx of newer cars being sold and driven in the U.S. the result is a rise in costs within the automotive claims and collision repair industries.

Our car buying tastes have returned to pre-recession levels.

New car sales are projected to reach 17.6 million in 2016, and with used car sales increasing by 6.5 percent in Q1 2016. Used car sales will also exceed prior year sales. Among the publicly traded dealership groups, all seven reported their 27th consecutive quarterly increase in same-store used car sales.

Not surprisingly, light truck sales have also gained a great deal of momentum post-recession. Americans have always had a fondness for trucks and SUV’s. Sixty percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in April 2016 were light trucks, and so far the year-to-date sales for 2016 show that trucks account for over 58 percent of sales, pushing well ahead of car sales.

The “light trucks” segment includes traditional body-on-frame pickups, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and the very popular crossover segment (CUVs). Nearly 60 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in April 2016 were light trucks (with year-to-date CY16 trucks accounting for over 58 percent of sales), surging well ahead of car sales.

Strong new car sales mean higher auto body claims

During the recession when people drastically slowed down their new car buying, it drove up the average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. quickly. Fast forward to now when new vehicle sales are hitting records, the auto body industry is starting to see more newer vehicles within the claims mix.

As you can imagine, repair costs began to rise post-recession. Another factor that drove auto body repair costs in 2014 and 2015 is a rise in severe winter in many parts of the U.S. that led to increases in collision and liability losses.

Newer cars are costlier to repair

The largest increases occurred for the newer model year vehicles, as indicated from a comparison across vehicle age groups.

The year-over-year increase in repair costs for vehicles aged current year has grown fastest among the individual age groups, increasing the overall gap between the repair costs for the newest and oldest vehicles.

1. Diversity in vehicle types involved in collisions- Changes in vehicle mix among the newer model year vehicles can in part explain some of this growing difference in repair costs. With an influx of the light trucks, SUV’s and CUV’s, these vehicles are traditionally more expensive to repair.

2. New cars are more complex- Other factors such as growing vehicle complexity helps explain why repair costs for the newest vehicles is outpacing that of the older model year vehicles. Compared to a typical collision repair of an older car or truck, newer car repair orders contain a higher volume of repair/replace/R&I of electronic components such as distance sensors, speed sensors, yaw sensors, impact sensors, cameras, etc. In the first quarter of 2016, these parts accounted for 1 percent of all parts included on appraisals for vehicles of current model year vehicles, versus less than ½ a percent for vehicles 4 years of age and older. The rate of increase is also faster on the newest vehicles.

3. New cars get repaired, older cars get totaled- A trend is emerging among auto body repairers, where the newer cars tend to get tagged by the insurance company to be repaired, and the older cars simply get totaled out. This shifts the mix of vehicles in any given body shop to be the newer, more technologically advanced, and also more difficult to repair cars.

4. Higher parts bills, lower labor bills. These newer vehicle repairs usually have more parts replaced, and more labor hours per repair As more newer cars start hitting body shops, auto body repairers will see a shift of their repair dollars come from parts versus labor. Auto body repairers have typically had most of their revenue from labor.

5. Most cars aged 7 years and older get totaled.- The majority of total loss vehicles are aged 7-years and older. For a while, auto body repairers were fighting a trend of more and more cars becoming total loss vehicles. This is changing in 2016where the trend is that total loss claim costs are flattening out over time or experiencing only very moderate declines.

Will our insurance premiums start to rise?

The bottom line is that we will start to see more new and more expensive to repair cars hitting body shops while most of the older fleet will start to get totaled out. This increase in costs could likely drive up insurance premiums in the future. The automotive claim and collision repair industries can expect to see further growth in newer model year vehicles over the next three to five years as new vehicle sales remain strong. Primary expense drivers like an increase in light truck sales, and higher content vehicles, this will also put added pressure to both repair costs and total loss costs.

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Windshileds of the future

5 ways your windshield will change in the near future.

5 ways your windshield will change in the near future.

Not since the invention of laminated safety glass in the 1940’s has there been much technological advancement to the common automotive windshield. However the windshield is actually a structural component of the modern automobile.

This lack of advancement is about to change in the very near future.

Today’s windshields are being fabricated with stronger, thinner and more lightweight materials. Automotive glass is becoming strong enough to serve as structural components much like Aluminum and carbon fiber have become.

Much like the smart phone in your hand, but glass is being used to run entire IoT (Internet of Things ) systems, ranging from entertainment to cloud connectivity, 3D imaging to vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

Here are six possibilities of the future of auto glass:

1. Sun visors and headlights could be a thing of the past

Some luxury brands already have rain sensors in windshields that turn on the wipers automatically when water is detected. These sensors are imbedded in the film that is sandwiched between the two layers of glass that make up the windshield.

This same film will be used to perform other functions in the future such as auto darkening similar to transitional eye glass lenses that shift from clear to sunglasses when exposed to light.

These types of windshields could also block harmful ultraviolet radiation. Studies show that consumers are willing to pay a premium for this kind of sun and glare blocking.

Engineers using nano technologies are working on ways to incorporate military style night vision capability using thermal imaging into the windshields of cars. This automatic night vision could eliminate the need for headlights all together

2. Solar powered Vehicle to Vehicle Communication

For decades, student engineers have been working with automakers to develop solar powered cars. With the rapid rise of electric and hybrid powered cars, solar power is the next logical step to fuel and extend the range of these vehicles.

Embedding a thin layer of solar panel cells could eventially cover the hood, roof and trunk and provide energy to power more sophisticated GPS units that share info beyond PS and map directions. Vehicles will be able to share traffic data compiled from all vehicles in the same local area. The DOT is currently testing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications on 3,000 cars and trucks.
Another application for V2V and smart windshields involves vehicle-to-cloud (storage) uploading and data sharing, allowing cars to talk with each other, sharing info on road closures and detours, accident sights, traffic bottlenecks and other road hazards.

3. Heads-up displays

Engineers are developing windshields that can project 3D images that could aid in operating the vehicle.

With this technology, the driver’s eyes never leave the road. Integrated heads-up displays could allow drivers to access safety features such as issuing alerts for close obstacles like pedestrians or cyclists, safe braking distances, GPS guidance and mapping functions, and weather and traffic updates.

Automotive and safety engineers are also studying eye-tracking, by observing the driver’s eye movements. A self-driving or autonomous vehicle will be able to interpret if a driver has fallen asleep or is distracted and will guide the car safely off the road. Potentially this eye-tracking technology could be embedded in the windshield glass

4. Sensors and cameras within inches of glass

Many cars currently come equipped or optioned with basic sensors to alert drivers of blind spot dangers, lane-departure warning alerts, auto correction to keep wheels inside lane markers, and collision avoidance. These are incremental steps toward the mass acceptance of fully autonomous vehicles.

Mounting these sensors low to the ground or embedded in bumpers can be very expensive to replace. This could create legitimate insurance policy concerns during maintenance or repair time. If these same sensors or cameras were mounted close or attached to a windshield, this could reduce a lot of the expense to Insurance carriers at replacement time. However, any replacement of that glass will require a factory-trained recalibration which will create the need for very specialized repairs. Not all auto body and glass shops will be capable of making these investments in training and staffing.

5. No more wiper blades

Windshield wipers work adequately in rain, but are less effective the harder the rain is. Addressing these issues, Italian designer Leonardo Fioravanti invented a self-cleaning and water-repelling nano-dust system into his prototype Hindra vehicle.

His new system eliminates the need for wiper blades through the use of advanced nanotechnology and the aerodynamic principles of the car. The windshield repels the water and the wind coming over the windshield thereby blowing the water right off the glass.

Currently, specialized coatings exist that can repel water, ice and oil, but they wear off quickly. McLaren is currently testing a technique of using high-frequency sound waves on smart windshields to repel water as it hits the glass.

The car you drive tomorrow could incorporate any number of these technologies and will ultimately combine to create a safer and more connected car in the near future.

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Future of Car insurance for AZ drivers

What will the future of car insurance be like for Arizona drivers?

Car insurance has not changed much in decades. The reason for that is cars haven’t changed all that much in decades. But new technologies, automotive production methods and anti crash avoidance technologies are poised to make significant changes to automotive insurance that will be a welcome change for motorists. The future of car insurance will be very different from what we have today.

Insurance Consulting agency Deloitte Consulting predicts in a recent report that the future of road travel will become significantly changes based on two factors: the self driving or semi-autonomous vehicles, and shifts in driving and transportation preferences such as a switch to shared transportation.

Each of these scenarios opens up new needs for existing insurance plans and creates new insurance customer segments looking for passenger automobile related coverage. These needs, once realized, will driveto new insurance coverages, and classes, as there will be a demand for new ways of classifying what the insurance industry calls “Insureds”.

The Deloitte study predicts the future will call for four new states of insurance:

Future scenario 1: Personally owned, driver-driven vehicles

This is the most conservative state, which emphasizes the large assets tied up in today’s system, the report says.

In this vision, private ownership stays as it does now, where people are unwilling to give up the freedom and personalization that comes with owning your own car. It also makes the assumption that car owners will never give up their cars and therefore fully diverless cars will never come to be. However it does factor in the widespread use of computer controlled anti crash technologies and the insurance savings that will result.

In this scenario, the traditional model of personal auto insurance will continue, the vehicle owner will be the primary named insured, and the coverages will be the familiar ones of driver liability, collision and comprehensive.

Future scenario 2: Shared driver-driven vehicles

With companies like Google and Apple now entering to car making scene, following paths established by independent auto manufacturers such as Tesla, and Fiskar, Even on demand ride sharing services such as Uber factor into this second scenario which sees an emerging trend of shared access vehicles. This new trend would be fueled by economic scale and increased competition that drives the expansion of shared vehicle services into new geographic territories and new consumer segments.

This scenario s a fit for mostly urban dwelling passengers who value the convenience of point-to-point transportation and the cost savings of expansive car-sharing and ride-sharing networks.

This scenario still retains the human behind the wheel; however, this group of people includes fleets of vehicles such as taxicabs and limos, owner/operators of “black car” services and car rental companies.

The vehicle owner could be an individual or a business, and the coverage would be for driver, liability, collision, and comprehensive. Uber, Lyft and similar ride-sharing services would fall in this category.

Future scenario 3: Personally owned autonomous vehicles

In this scenario, the assumption is made that fully autonomous drive technology is viable, safe, convenient and economical, however consumers still insist on owning their own cars.

Insurance rates see significant reductions because of driverless functionality and its demonstrated safety, reliability and other ancillary benefits. But 100 years of our love affair with or cars keeps going into the driverless car era.

This scenario would require a new product that the report calls “personal autonomous vehicle insurance,” or “AV coverage.” The individual vehicle owner would require coverage for comprehensive and liability while the AV system manufacturer or the operating system provider would require a commercial policy that includes AV product liability. This two-party insurance scenario would be completely new to the industry. You insure the roadworthiness of the car, the AV insurance owns the liability if the self driving systems were to ever fail.

Future scenario 4: Shared autonomous vehicles

This scenario in my opinion is the least likely to happen and most utopian of all the scenarios. If anything this would only come to be with the next generation or two of car owners. This scenario combines both autonomous technology and ride sharing mobility.

In tis scenario, companies offer a range of passenger experiences to meet varied needs at differentiated price points. The earliest adopters are likely to be urban passengers, because few of them own cars now, and they’re credited with the popularity of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Companies like the the Google car are banking on this type of service becoming widespread, and as the infrastructure expands, these new fleets of autonomous shared vehicles could spread to densely populated suburbs and beyond.

In scenario 4, all stakeholders would have commercial AV insurance. The companies who own the vehicle fleets would require comprehensive and liability insurance. The AV system manufacturer or the operating system provider in this state also would require a commercial policy that includes AV product liability.

How will this future impact today’s Arizona driver?

The future could become an era of insurance reinvention as carriers could incorporate coverage into new or other products and services. The report predicts that self-insurance could emerge as a dominant model for large shared vehicle fleets.

It also predicts that the ratio of personal to commercial auto policies will begin to shift as shared vehicles become more prevalent than individually-owned vehicles.

But most importantly, the shared insurance burden and fewer crashes will mean more money in your pocket whether you own your car, or not.

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Auto Glass repair Tucson AZ

Arizona Automotive Glass legislation that could affect Arizona car owners

Arizona Automotive Glass legislation that could affect Arizona car owners.

Auto glass replacement is not a glitzy business, but there is one company who you probably automatically think of when you think of auto glass replacement. No doubt, Safelite has done a great job marketing themselves and they possess a large share of the auto glass market. You might even be singing their jingle in your head right now.

For glass companies marketing to Arizona drivers, some new legislation could have shaped how they are allowed to reach consumers. Thanks to an automotive glass bill passed by the Arizona House of Representative Insurance Committee on February 3. This new legislations was designed to amend loopholes to prior insurance statutes designed to regulate the way automobile glass repair and replacement is marketed.

The bill titled “Unlawful Practices: Auto Glass Repair,” was approved by a unanimous vote in the House, but received a “no” vote in the senate. However, because the committee voted no, the bill will not move on to another committee nor to a full state Senate vote at least for now.

HB 2500, as the bill was called in the senate, was designed to amend an insurance statute to regulate the marketing of automotive glass. The legislation also would have made it unlawful for automotive glass shops to “take an assignment of any claim relating to the repair or replacement of auto glass.”

The bill would have made it a class six felony for a company to take an assignment of benefits on an insurance claim. A post loss assignment of benefits is what allows glass companies to bill the insurance companies directly for work performed and is considered to be standard practice in the auto body repair industry.

Typically what happens in an auto body repair or a glass replacement where you are using your body shop to file and handle you claim on your behalf, you are dealing with assignment of benefits. This allows the shop to get paid a lot faster, and it saves the customer from having to file the claims paperwork, get the check, cash it and then pay to shop to do the repair work. In this case for Arizona, tis legislation would have made it illegal for the shop to become the recipient of the repair funds on your behalf.

Arizona would have been the only state in the Union where an assignment of benefits is forbidden. Currently all 50 states allow this. An assignment of benefits is used in body shops, home damage/repairs, even health insurance claims. An assignment of benefits is not considered fraud and does not encourage fraud in any way.

Some Arizona auto glass company owners voiced their opposition to the bill.
The president of the Arizona Auto Glass Association said the bill “appears to be an excessive over reach by the insurance companies, Safelite and their associates and agents. As an association, we recognize there are parties that operate in a fraudulent manner. However, this bill would punish the honest service providers while making no distinction between the two.”

Most of the comments from the committee representatives dealt with their distaste for car washes, door-to-door salespeople and people offering glass repair on the side of the road,” said Soat. “My company has 85 operators working in some 20 states, and we operate in states ‘without’ the zero deductible. I wanted them to know that if the zero deductible disappears tomorrow windshield repairs would still be free in the state of Arizona because most of the insurance companies waive deductibles for repairs.”

Auto glass companies such as Safelite AutoGlass supported the legislation:

“Safelite is very disappointed that the committee voted not to pass this critical legislation that would protect Arizona consumers from unscrupulous and predatory practices that exist in the vehicle glass repair and replacement industry,” says Scot Zajic, Safelite’s vice president of legislative affairs. “This bill was supported by many Arizona-based glass shops, national anti-fraud groups and insurance companies whose sole purpose was to eliminate these practices that allow profiteering on the backs of consumers and their hard-earned insurance premiums that they pay.

Those in favor of the legislation feel that consumers are steered towards unscrupulous fly-by-night glass repair and replacement companies who offer discounts such as cash, rebates and kickbacks to the customer for choosing them to do the repairs.

The bill was ultimately killed in the senate and will take some time before it can go before the senate for a vote in the future.

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Self driving cars in Phoenix

Google Is Now Testing Autonomous Cars in Phoenix AZ

Google Expands Autonomous Car Testing to Phoenix

The self- driving car just got closer to Tucson drivers than ever before. Friday April 8th, Google parent company, Alphabet, announced that it would be bringing its autonomous car testing to nearby Phoenix Arizona soon. This announcement marks the fourth city where Google is undergoing live testing of its completely driverless car. The other current locations are Austin Texas, Kirkland Washington and Google’s home base in Mountain View, Calif., being the other three.

Why is Google testing cars in Arizona?
Jennifer Haroon, head of business operations for the Google Self-Driving Car project said that Arizona is known as a place where research and development are welcome, innovation can thrive, and companies can set up roots.” Also, Google needs to test its technology in all driving conditions and climates, from three feet of snow, pouring rain and even extreme heat. Arizona drivers certainly know that the Phoenix area has a very desert climate, and Google acknowledges that “The Phoenix area has distinct desert conditions, which will help us better understand how our sensors and cars handle extreme temperatures and dust in the air.”
Unlike other autonomous cars that are considered semi-autonomous and include steering wheels, brakes, and other manual override controls, the Google car is designed without those features. It is designed more like a self -driving passenger compartment than a self-driving car. California has proposed rules requiring a steering wheel, brake pedals, and a licensed driver in all autonomous vehicles on the road, which Google has publicly sparred with the state about as it hinders their testing and the ultimate goal for the car. Arizona is more liberal with their automotive regulations.
The steady march towards driverless cars in Arizona.
Currently, the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) is developing guidance scheduled for a July release regarding autonomous vehicle safety. The NHTSA’s goal is for legislation to be put into place that declares, under federal law the artificial intelligence system in an autonomous car could be considered a driver, thus paving the way for Google’s driverless car to go anywhere it wants to.
As stated in documents published by the NHTSA, “the rapid development of emerging automation technologies means that partially and fully automated vehicles are nearing the point at which widespread deployment is feasible.” In other words, the NHTSA recognizes that the speed and advancement that car makers are gaining towards a partially or fully driverless car, that legislation discussions, development, and new laws need to be written to handle these technologies. The self-driving car is literally pulling into our driveways.
A focus on safety for all drivers
The NHTSA recognizes that bringing self-driving cars to the public requires a rigorous testing regime that provides sufficient data to determine safety performance and help policymakers at all levels make informed decisions about deployment.
The automotive industry and peer to peer technology platforms play a key role in this process by both conducting such testing and in providing data that establish the safety benefits of automation technologies that exceed the current level of roadway safety.
The NHTSA states that within six months, they will propose best-practice guidance to industry on establishing principles of safe operation for fully autonomous vehicles. These guidelines will be the basic nation framework used in testing and development as well as new state and federal laws that will need to be written to address driverless cars.
During this development phase, the NHTSA and the Department of Transportation has declared that they will work with States, and other governmental entities and with industry to help ensure that this testing takes place in a way that protects safety on today’s roads while increasing safety for tomorrow.
NHTSA will continue its extensive research program to maintain its broad and deep understanding of new technologies. This knowledge base is essential in the agency’s efforts to determine what new tools might be necessary to ensure advanced technologies achieve their life-saving potential.
So Tucson drivers, the driverless car is literally only and hour and a half away.
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10 Least Expensive 2016 New Cars To Insure In Tucson Arizona

Right now gas prices are low, so Arizona drivers are saving money. Tucson drivers are also out buying new cars and trucks. In fact 2015 was a banner year for most car companies. But with the variables in car insurance and the high expense of being insured, we thought we should bring you this years list of the top 10 most cost effective new cars to insure in Tucson Arizona. conducts an annual ranking Vehicle insurance pricing by comparing auto insurance rates in every state for more than 2,300 models from six major insurance companies.

Once you have made the decision to buy a new car, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of acquiring your new car. It is also easy to overlook costs of ownership that do not wear off long after the new car excitement has. That is why it is important to consider the price of insurance, and that is something a lot of us overlook until we are on the phone with the insurance company right there in the driverseat of our new car while still on the dealership lot (I myself have fallen into this trap only to be surprised at my insurance premium increase!)

For 2016, SUV’s, popular crossovers, and the ubiquitous family hauler- the minivan dominate the list. The reason for this is variables such as the likelihood of theft, the replacement cost of the car itself, the cost of repairs, and the overall safety record of the car all contribute to the insurance rate according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Also engine sizes, even among the same makes and models, can also impact insurance premiums. Cars with high-quality safety equipment might qualify for premium discounts.

Insurers not only look at how safe the car is to drive and how well it protects occupants, they also look at the potential damage a car can inflict on another car. Certain larger vehicles and trucks could inflict more damage on a car than other makes and models, and as a result some insurers may charge more for liability insurance.

How the rankings were compiled commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for 2016 models. Averages were calculated using data from six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm) in 10 ZIP codes per state.

Averages are based on full coverage for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.

A wide variety of vehicles in the top 10 means there’s a low-cost insurance option for consumers’ varying needs. Here are the 10 least expensive 2016 models to insure:

2016 Nissan Frontier King Cab
Average annual premium: $1,204

2016 nissan frontier

2016 Jeep Cherokee Sport
Average annual premium: $1,203


2016 Buick Encore SUV
Average annual premium: $1,200


2016 Ford Escape
Average annual premium: $1,194


2016 Jeep Compass Sport
Average annual premium: $1,190


2016 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD
Average annual premium: $1,181


2016 Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,180


2016 Dodge Grand Caravan AVP 2WD
Average annual premium: $1,174

2016 Honda CR-V LX
Average annual premium: $1,170


2016 Honda Odyssey LX minivan
Average annual premium: $1,113


So if you are in the market for an inexpensive new car that will be easy to insure in Tucson Arizona, you can’t do any better than to purchase one of the models listed above.

And if you are trying to trade in your old beater and want to get top dollar, consider taking it to us for a good detail and some mild autobody touch up or damage repair. Want to know in advance what that might cost?

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Are Car Accidents Driving Higher Insurance Costs For Arizona Drivers?

Are car accidents driving higher insurance costs for Arizona drivers?

This year is already shaping up to be a record-breaking El Niño influenced year. With over three feet of snow falling in the Washington DC area in one day, other areas of the country such as the south and southwest are experiencing wetter weather and more severe and damaging storms.

These extreme weather conditions could contribute to an increase in car crashes which will certainly have an impact on the wallets of drivers everywhere, even Here in Tucson Arizona. Compounding this situation even further, these extreme and frequent weather events come at a time when the number of auto insurance claims are rapidly increasing and auto body repair claims are becoming more expensive. These conditions all come to boil in the one area that matters most to Arizona car insurance customers, the cost of insurance.

For a while now, we have noticed both with our customers at Orielly Collision Centers, and in industry journals and news, that claim severity or claim costs associated with auto accidents have been climbing steadily over the past decade. We all know what claim costs means – your repair bill, but claim severity is the amount of damage a vehicle needs to be fixed in order to be safe to drive again. Today’s cars as we have said before, are far more sophisticated, technologically advanced and thus, more expensive to fix. The materials are more exotic and require more specialized equipment and training for repair. The parts are more advanced and also more expensive. Cars today have sensors and computers everywhere, and even a simple fender bender can now demand a higher claim amount just to repair the car. Body shops must use advanced diagnostic tools that require specialized training by technicians, which increases labor costs.

I’m addition, medical care costs for post-collision health care have increased. On average, insurance claim costs for bodily injuries rose 42%, and collision coverages are up 17% during the past decade. Across the board, car accident related costs are at all-time high.

Until recently, you probably did not see much of a monthly car insure rate increase as the slow and steady increase in claim costs had been offset by a decline in the number of claims filed. This helped keep insurance rates fairly stable for consumers. This element of the equation is changing now. Accident frequency is starting to show an increase, which is pushing costs up and putting pressure on insurance rates for consumers.

So why are auto collisions on the rise?

Insurance industry experts point to several different factors that combined are contributing to a spike in automobile accidents. Number one on the list is traffic congestion. Data suggests that traffic congestion, either independently or in combination with other factors, is the likely cause of the increase we are seeing. The more cars on the road, statistically, the more chance for a collision even with the safest drivers.

Geographically speaking, there are some common threads among the states that have seen the largest increases in accidents. These include such factors as traffic congestion, distracted driving, increase in miles driven and changing demographics, particularly more senior or young drivers. These factors have traditionally affected the number of accidents.

The evidence is also indicating that technologies designed to reduce a major problem can actually lead to the increase in small problems. Take for example the rise of red light cameras. Data show that red light cameras have reduced the frequency of people running red lights. This has led to a reduction in the number of T-bone collisions at intersections which historically result in some of the most severe crashes and injuries. This is a positive statistic, but it has also created a situation where the frequency of rear-end crashes as drivers stop abruptly to avoid a red light camera ticket and the vehicles following them cannot stop in time.

Increasing public awareness, driven by education from groups such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with their much-publicized crash test ratings, have created a demand for increasingly safer cars. Such public demand has forced the development and implementation of collision avoidance technology. The hope is that these technologies, one mainstream, with significantly if not eliminate completely low-speed accidents that occur mostly in dense and even slow moving traffic.

Insurance companies have always sought put ways to protect the public if they get in an accident by advocating for safe repairs and protection from fraud and abuses of the medical and legal systems.

There are other important consumer protections that can also impact the cost of auto accidents. Currently, many carriers work with auto body and glass repair shops to ensure that consumers receive quality repairs after an accident. Consumers and their insurers have a high stake in making sure vehicles are properly repaired. Through the existing relationships insurers have with shops, they can provide consumers with guarantees on the work, often for as long as the policyholder owns the vehicle.

Being able to maintain these relationships with auto body repair shops that have a track record of providing cost-effective, high-quality repairs, like O’Rielly Collision Centers, ensure that properly repaired cars are returned to the roads which helps promote safety for all motorists.

So how does an Arizona driver handle increased car insurance costs?

Policymakers must remain focused on strategies and public policy solutions that can help reduce the number of automobile accidents and the associated costs that impact drivers. The first step is taking a realistic look at the data trends and the external trends that are working together to drive up insurance costs. This approach will keep motorists safe and contribute to lower insurance costs for all Arizona drivers.

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Autonomous driving cars

How the autonomous driving car will impact Tucson Arizona drivers.

How the autonomous driving car will impact Tucson Arizona drivers.

I have been holding off on writing about this topic for a while but it seems as though the inevitable is coming our way very quickly. I’m talking about the day we see fully driverless (or autonomous) cars on the road. We already how autonomous technology in new model cars such as cars that can park them selves, or cars that can hit the brakes for you when it senses a collision. We have had cars that can help us keep from skidding for a long time now, a feature called Electronic Stability Control.
A year or two ago when this topic came up, it seemed so far off in the distance, unfathonable even, the thought of seeing driverless cars in my lifetime. But after the Detroit auto show and the Consumer Electronics Show this January, it seems as though a semi or fully autonomous car could be in your garage in as little as 5 years. So how might that impact collision repair in Tucson Arizona?

For starters The Obama administration just this Thursday January 14th 2016, proposed a 10-year, $4-billion push to spark the development of self-driving and connected cars, hoping to one day eliminate roadway deaths.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that a time where there are no automotive deaths is something worth pursuing.
The proposal has the support of executives from Google, Delphi, General Motors, , Ford, Tesla and Volvo who stood with Foxx and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind. After several years ‘ worth of high profile and costly recalls, civil penalties and other actions tied to high-profile investigations and safety scandals, it is no wonder that automakers are in agreement with any driverless car legislation.

One holdback to swift advancement of driverless cars is individual state laws and highway regulation. As such, Foxx wants consistent national regulations on self-driving cars. Transportation regulators will also encourage automakers to get assistance while they develop new technology in an effort to speed up the approval process.
Automakers are encouraged, for example, to use an exemption to safety standards allowing companies to test new technology on a fleet of up to 2,500 vehicles for up to two years. The NHTSA also plans to work with state governments and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators within six months to develop consistent and cohesive state regulations for autonomous vehicles. Currently, Nevada and a few other states allow testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Foxx said autonomous cars and connected vehicles have the potential to ease traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and reduce traffic fatalities.

“If the government doesn’t change its ways, drivers in the future will not be moving on our highways, they will be crawling in traffic,” Foxx said. “So if we want to keep our economy moving and our people safe, we need to act. We’ve got to promote cleaner and better alternatives.”

The rate of traffic fatalities fell to its lowest point in history in 2014 but rose at an alarming rate over the first six months of the year, the NHTSA said in November.

In 2014, Rosekind said, 32,675 people died in motor vehicle crashes. That was a 0.1% decrease from the previous year and the lowest number since 1975, when the agency began tracking rates as a ratio to the total number of miles traveled.

Foxx said the government wants to use every tool available under current regulations to make it easier to test self-driving cars and the technology that makes them work.

Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said a hearing will be held early this year to discuss how the government can play a role in the development of automated vehicle technologies.

So how will this affect drivers in Tucson Arizona?

First of all, laws will change with regard to driving, to allow for semi autonomous cars to share the same space as cars with drivers. It will take years before all cars are fully autonomous. What will change quickly is the increase of car to car communication which will pave the way for semi and fully autonomous cars. With this technology, the cars around you can tell your car what it is doing and your car can respond accordingly. For example, if the car ahead of you is applying the brakes, your car could begin to apply the brakes as well.
As far as collision repair is concerned, there will still be collisions even with semi autonomous cars. Technology is not fool proof and there will still be collisions with thongs other than cars such as deer or other wildlife.
These new cars will be extremely technologically advanced and expensive to repair. Technicians will have to be constantly trained and very technologically advanced. Some body shops will not be able to keep up, while the rest will become very specialized.
The truth is we can’t fully predict what the future will be like for Drivers in Tucson with Fully driverless cars, We will just have to wait until the future arrives.

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What Tucson Arizona car owners need to know about the Volkswagen scandal.

What Tucson Arizona car owners need to know about the Volkswagen scandal.

Volkswagen s in deep trouble after admitting this week that the willfully cheated on federal emissions testing by placing software in their car that will only turn on emissions programming when the car is being tested, and then turned off when the car is in regular driving mode.

The scandal has escalated so quickly that the company’s CEO resigned and has left the prospect of an expensive recall looming.

Volkswagen has admitted that it rigged U.S. emissions tests to make it look as if its diesel-powered cars were emitting fewer nitrogen oxides, which can contribute to respiratory illness.

American regulators have identified some 482,000 cars in the U.S. that are involved. The company said 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with the cheating software.

Company CEO Martin Winterkorn denied any wrongdoing but resigned Wednesday. Meanwhile Volkswagen has set aside $7.2 billion to cover the anticipated costs of resolving the issue, and its stock has plunged.

The issue involves four-cylinder engines in Volkswagen or Audi cars from 2009 to 2015, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The company has ordered those models not be sold.

Tucson Arizona Volkswagen diesel owners are left to wonder whether their cars will no longer perform well after having a recall repair, or worse; the scandal could destroy the cars’ resale value. Many VW owners feel cheated by Volkswagen.

VW stock shares dropped immensely after the scandal broke and have remained low. The losses are bigger than BP suffered in the days after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

This is a corporate catastrophe, and the ripples will begin to hit Tucson Arizona diesel owners in time. VW, the largest car manufacturer in the world, is now in mortal danger. It can almost certainly manage the immediate financial hit; whether it can recover from the reputational damage, it has suffered remains to be seen.

The bigger question now is if other car makers performed a similar cheat. There is no evidence of that yet. But all will now face tougher scrutiny.

As the resale value for VW diesel drops, this will increase the rate at which cars are totaled in Tucson. In order for a car to be totaled, the cost of the repairs has to exceed only 70% of the value of the car. If the car’s value drops significantly, not only will your diesel Volkswagen get totaled, but the check you receive from the insurance company will be much smaller. This could be a big problem if you owe money on the car.

Another issue could be parts availability for collision repairs. Some of the crash parts are diesel car specific, and the car maker could look to cut costs by shutting off some of the replacement parts.

For now all we can o is wait and see what the fallout ultimately brings for diesel powered VW owners.

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