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Car Insurance rate hikes due to legalization? The last dying breath of prohibitionists claims against marijuana.

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Michael Komorn

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In the middle of a debate on the legalization of marijuana, the opponents to legalization made the claim, without any details or statistics, that legalizing marijuana would cause auto insurance to rise. This is another bogus claim, in a long line of bogus claims, used to continue prohibition of a plant.

In the long line of false claims made by prohibitionists, the theories seem to be getting weaker and weaker as time goes by. Looking back through the claims made over the last 100 years, it is foolish to continue believing these, or anything else the prohibitionists throw at us.

Marijuana causing Mexicans go "loco" and murder everyone like they were assassins. Based upon a fictional story in a book published in the early 1900's.

Jazz musicians seducing white women with marijuana. Seems kind of racist against blacks and Mexicans so far. The war on drugs is also, currently to this day, even in legalized states, used to prosecute and arrest more blacks and latino's than whites.

Marijuana causing murders and suicides (See Reefer Madness movie)

Marijuana causing brain cell death.

Marijuana causes you to be a lazy no good beatnik and or a motivational syndrome tree-hugging hippie.

Marijuana causing testicular cancer.

Marijuana causing lung cancer.

Marijuana gateway theory to hard drugs like heroin or crack cocaine.

Marijuana causes addiction to marijuana.

Marijuana funds terrorism.

Marijuana causing drop in IQ points.

Legalizing marijuana will not stop the cartels and black markets.

Marijuana causes man-boobs.

Marijuana turns straight people into homosexuals.

Marijuana makes you have lower sperm counts and more trouble conceiving.

Marijuana makes you drop out of school and if you ever smoke marijuana you will never become President of the USA (See Bush, Clinton and Obama.)

Marijuana makes you crazy and prone to psychosis (We circled back to the 1920's again)

Marijuana gives you a heart attack because it increases your pulse temporarily. 

Marijuana suppresses your immune system.

Marijuana causes crime. (Back to Reefer Madness)

Legalized/Medical Marijuana stores cause crime.

Prohibition of marijuana (or Alcohol) works.

Cannabis causes traffic accidents ( not according to NHTSA's largest ever study on marijuana drivers http://komornlaw.com/35-years-research-reports-driving-cannabis-marijuana/ )

Car Insurance rates increased in Colorado, where marijuana is legal, although it was due to the incredible population increase and a settling of the market after Colorado repealed no-fault insurance.

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/27/colorado-car-insurance-premiums-rise/ 

 


Have you been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or drugs? Remain Silent and Contact Komorn Law Immediately to protect your rights and freedom 800-656-3557.

 

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Colorado is No. 3 in the country for rising car insurance premiums. Here’s why.
Consumers have faced a 50 percent jump in premiums since 2011

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post Chelsa Nava checks out the damage to her husband’s car in the parking lot of the Colorado Mills Mall on May 8, 2017 in Lakewood. A hail storm moved through the area.
By ALDO SVALDI | asvaldi@denverpost.com | The Denver PostPUBLISHED: February 27, 2018 at 5:00 am | UPDATED: February 28, 2018 at 12:43 am
Auto insurance premiums in Colorado rose at the third-fastest rate of any state in the country and at more than three times the pace of inflation over the past six years, according to a new rate survey.

“Colorado has seen a pretty significant increase in overall premiums,” said Neil Richardson, a registered insurance agent with The Zebra, an insurance search engine behind the Zebra State of Auto Insurance 2018.

Colorado’s 54.2 percent increase in the average premium between 2011 and 2017 lagged only Montana at 64 percent and Mississippi at 60.3 percent and outstripped the 20 percent gain measured nationally. Those hikes don’t account for costs from the May 2017 hailstorm that hit the metro area, which caused a record-setting $1.4 billion in damages, but that event can only drive costs higher in the future.


Individual premiums can vary widely based on the car, miles driven, a driver’s record and the types of coverage sought. To account for that, the study looked at what a single male, age 30, with a good driving record insuring a 2013 Honda Accord EX would pay. The same policy was priced across the country, down to ZIP codes.

When Colorado abandoned the no-fault insurance system in 2003, premiums fell from eighth- highest in the country to the middle of the pack, said Carole Walker, executive director with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. No-fault required insurers to pay their customers’ medical costs regardless of who was at fault in an accident, but now the insurer covering the driver found at fault must pay. Premiums typically are higher in no-fault states.

“We were in this grace period after no-fault, which took away mandatory coverages,” Walker said. “Colorado is now on this collision course. There are some factors we can control and some we can’t.”

Colorado’s premiums, although rising rapidly, have a ways to go to get back into the top 10 again, according to the study. The state ranked 18th with an average premium of $1,435 under the scenario studied, Richardson said.

But back in 2011, that premium was $944 a year. And the hikes are piling on rising living costs, especially for housing.

Denver resident Jordan Smith saw her six-month premium go up from $384 in 2016 to $420 in 2017. Given all the accidents she was seeing on her commute to Boulder, the increase wasn’t a complete surprise, she said.

But then in 2018, her premium shot up 28 percent, even after she had replaced her leased 2014 Mazda 6 with a much less expensive 2005 Subaru Legacy, a move she thought would help bring her premium down.

“My most recent renewal notice of $538 was a bit of a shock. Instead of adjusting my budget, I decided to shop around and got something closer to what I was paying before,” said Smith, who got her premium back down to $440.

Experts offer several reasons to explain the big increases. A streak of bad weather, primarily heavy hailstorms, have required large payouts. Colorado has ranked second only to Texas for hail-damage claims in recent years.

State Farm catastrophe claims specialist Jeremiah ...Joe Amon, The Denver PostState Farm catastrophe claims specialist Jeremiah Stombaugh looks at the damage to the Audi A4 on May 16, 2017 owned by Bill Durnall of Littleton at their remote site in parking lot N of Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. Durnall was caught near Federal and I-76 west in the May 8, 2017 hailstorm.
Lower gasoline prices have resulted in more people on the road, and the northern Front Range has seen an influx of newcomers. More traffic means more accidents and more claims and higher premiums.

Distracted driving remains a big problem, despite repeated campaigns to get people to stop using their mobile devices while driving. And there’s some evidence that legalized marijuana is having an effect on premiums, Richardson said.

“In every state where recreational marijuana has been legalized, with the exception of Massachusetts, car insurance rates have increased,” he said.

Between 2016 and 2017, premiums rose an average of 3.2 percent in states where recreational marijuana was legal, but only 1.6 percent on average in states with a full ban still in place.

Vehicle repair costs are a big factor. Newer vehicles come with more expensive cameras and sensors in their bumpers and windshields designed to reduce severe accidents. The trade-off is that minor repairs that used to cost hundreds of dollars, such as a bumper replacement, can now run thousands of dollars.

As premiums rise, more people lower coverage levels or drop policies entirely, despite the penalties they face if caught. Some of the steepest increases are coming in coverage for uninsured motorists.

About 16 percent of drivers in Colorado are driving without insurance, Walker said, adding that for some people, the choice comes down to making the rent or paying for groceries.

 


Similarly, in Washington, Insurance studies show that the state has some of the worst drivers in the nation.

https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article147026734.html 

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You’re a good driver but your insurance rate keeps going up. What gives?
BY DAVE GALLAGHER
dgallagher@bhamherald.com
 
April 27, 2017 06:01 AM
Updated April 28, 2017 06:03 AM
Washington state has more bad drivers than the national average, and that makes a difference in car insurance rates.

According to a new study by QuoteWizard, car insurance rates have risen significantly in Washington since the beginning of 2016. Rate increases vary by insurance carrier, but three – State Farm, Liberty Mutual and Farmers – had the highest, ranging from 13-16 percent. QuoteWizard researched filing data from the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner to come up with its results.

Car insurance rates rise for people with bad driving records, and Washington drivers are worse than average, according to QuoteWizard’s data. Factoring in accidents, speeding tickets, driving under the influence, citations and fatalities, Washington ranked ninth worst in the country in 2016.

Seattle drivers are also not great when it comes to avoiding accidents. According to a recent report by Allstate, Seattle drivers average a collision every 7.1 years. Seattle ranked 183rd out of 200 cities studied for best drivers.

Several factors make Seattle and Washington state prone to rising insurance rates, said Adam Johnson, content manager at QuoteWizard. The city and state are both experiencing strong population growth, which is creating more density and drivers. Traffic jams are also an issue, particularly in the Seattle area. Lousy weather is also cited as a factor.

One relatively new factor is the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to the report. Vehicle fatalities involving drivers that had used marijuana was up nearly 10 percent between 2014 and 2016, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as reported by CNN.

Those factors have led to higher-than-average insurance rates in Seattle, according to the QuoteWizard report. The national average for car insurance is about $102 a month, while Seattle residents pay an average of about $139 a month. Seattle drivers between the ages of 18-24 pay the highest among different age groups, averaging $165 a month. Seattle drivers ages 55-64 pay the least among the different age groups, averaging $116 a month.

The report also notes that 20 percent of Seattle drivers have tickets or infractions, which raises premiums an average of $20 a month. The 20 percent total is about on par with other cities researched for the report, Johnson said.

 

https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/the-best-and-worst-drivers-by-state 


2012 rates:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2012/03/08/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-auto-insurance-rates/ 

https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/3232/states-cheapest-car-insurance/ 

In 2016, the zebra compared car insurance rates across the USA. By checking legalized states before and after legalization and comparing them to states that do not have legalization , we can compare if legalization of marijuana changed car insurance rates.

https://www.insure.com/car-insurance/car-insurance-rates.html 
 

Since each website lists a different criteria and price range for nation wide insurance rates, its better to use a consistent data set.

https://www.obrella.com/news/will-marijuana-use-impact-car-insurance-rates/ 

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Smoke Marijuana? Here’s What You Need To Know About Its Impact on Car Insurance Rates.
By Micah Pratt | September 27, 2016

car insurance and smoking
Long considered by much of American society—and our government—as a total no-no, marijuana is just now starting to lose its taboo label. Today, four U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow the recreational use of pot. Another 20 states have legalized medicinal use of THC, marijuana’s potent compound, and many pot advocates and political researchers expect these numbers to grow.

As the legalization of marijuana becomes more popular, experts have wondered about the effect this could have on our society, the economy, and various industries. With other industries struggling to catch up to the impacts of marijuana use, we wanted to find out what this means for car insurance. Does marijuana use affect your rates?

There are several factors in play here, so let’s take a look at the data and break down what this means for the future of auto insurance.

The Data: Marijuana Use and Auto Insurance Rates

For our analysis, we looked at two key sources of data. The first is the percentage of Americans who regularly use marijuana. The Washington Post pulled this data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This information is broken down by county to show where in the U.S. people are using more marijuana.

Our second source of information is state Department of Insurance reported auto insurance rates, which we have used throughout obrella.com.

To compare, we looked at the pot-use data, using the largest metropolitan city in large states, or the entire state for some low-population states. We then looked to see if there was a correlation between these high-use areas and high-cost insurance. Here’s what we found:

There is no correlation between marijuana use and car insurance rates.

Let’s go into more detail. Of the five areas with the highest auto insurance cost (listed below), only two (Seattle and Denver) are in the top weed-use category. It is notable that these cities are in states that have legal recreational marijuana. However, three of these expensive areas actually had some of the lowest rates of marijuana use.

how marijuana affects car insurance
Conversely, three of the cheapest areas for car insurance (Hawaii, San Bernardino, and San Francisco) have the highest rates of THC use.

This is why we can say that, according to our research, higher use of marijuana does not seem to lead to more expensive car insurance. But why would this be?

There are a few reasons why there is no current correlation between weed and car insurance. First, there are several factors that go into the total cost of insurance. We wrote about this in detail on our Car Insurance Frequently Asked Questions pages, but here’s the gist.

Insurance companies use several sources of information to set rates. This includes data about whether a particular geographic location is statistically more prone to car accidents. The more likely drivers in an area will crash, the higher that area’s rates tend to be.

If high rates of marijuana use lead to more crashes, we might expect those areas to have more expensive insurance. That leads to this question:

What are the effects of marijuana on driving and car crashes?

To find this answer, we looked for reported studies on the issue. In May 2016, The Washington Times reported that in Washington state, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, the percentage of drivers who had used pot within hours of a fatal crash had doubled between 2013 and 2014.

This may sound alarming at first. The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to tell whether the drivers in these fatal crashes were actually impaired by the THC they consumed. According to Science Daily, research shows that although blood tests can assess the level of THC in a person’s system, “There is no science showing that drivers reliably become impaired at a specific level of marijuana in the blood. Depending on the individual, drivers with relatively high levels of marijuana in their system might not be impaired, while others with low levels may be unsafe behind the wheel.”

The reality is that even if more drivers happen to have pot in their system after a crash, that doesn’t mean that the marijuana is actually contributing to more accidents.

A factor that does contribute to the cost of car insurance is alcohol. This is particularly true for male drivers, who are statistically more likely to be in alcohol-related fatal crashes. This is because, in contrast to testing for THC, blood-alcohol content (BAC) tests are much more scientifically reliable. Unless marijuana testing becomes more dependable, it seems that alcohol will remain a much bigger factor in car insurance costs.

Car insurance companies are certainly watching closely to see if pot usage may eventually become a relevant factor for setting rates. But it will take more research—and legislation from state governments—before we see any movement on the issue. According to PreciseLeads.com:

“Until legislators determine the actual effects of marijuana and refine legislation to address it, all that insurance agents in legalized states can do is watch and wait as policies develop — advising clients, as always, to drive safe.”

But even though we can’t find any link between marijuana use and average car insurance rates, that doesn’t mean that as an individual, you can’t get into trouble.

Can You Get a DUI for Marijuana Use?

Despite the scientific unreliability of THC blood tests, many states, including some of those that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana, have laws against driving with pot in your system.

This means that in these states, you could be arrested and charged with a DUI for having THC in your blood, even if the marijuana isn’t currently impairing your driving. Having a legal prescription for pot will not exempt you from these laws.

DUIs can dramatically affect your own car insurance. You could receive significant rate increases for several years—up to $1,500 per year in some cases. You could even have your policy canceled by the insurance company. In addition, your state may legally require you to purchase SR-22 coverage to continue driving. This type of coverage is costly and can make the process of shopping for insurance difficult. To be safe, never drive while under the influence of alcohol or any drug.

 

So there you have it. Car insurance rates are dictated by bad drivers, distracted drivers, uninsured drivers, alcohol and prescription drug impaired drivers and the weather. Marijuana is not a factor for any increase in insurance, according to the federal government and the reality of a lot of people smoking marijuana who do not get into accidents.

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