Daylight Saving Time and Insurance

While you'd never think that Daylight Saving Time and insurance could have anything to do with each other -- they do.

In fact, I did a blog post in the past few months about sleep and insurance, and that's where you find that Daylight Saving Time makes a difference. The issue is lack of sleep when we "spring forward".

This year, we are springing forward 3 weeks early. The US decided to implement an early switch to save energy. All of North America is following suit. According to an article in the Hartford Courant, the issue of saving energy is debatable. However, that hasn't stopped the US congress from pushing this into law.

Will we really save more energy? Or will more daylight hours just inspire us to do more outside our homes -- including getting in the car to go shopping or play a round of golf? According to an article on CBS5.com, the increase in use of electricity in the morning pretty much balanced out the reduced electricity usage at night when Australia implemented a longer daylight saving time period.

Unfortunately, it's not just a value neutral proposition. Going to Daylight Saving Time generally produces a sleep-deprived population for about a week or so, as people become adjusted to the new time. All of us will lose an hour of sleep, which is a precious commodity in today's hectic world.

What's the big deal? Well, our sleep deprivation apparently turns up in an increase in auto insurance claims in the week following the move from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time. Studies clearly show that sleep-deprived drivers can be as impaired as a driver that's been drinking, depending on the amount of sleep lost and the time of the day.

So, here's another way that North America could be using more energy rather than saving it -- on repairing cars!

From the standpoint of insurance, there are also additional costs. We are helping to drive up the cost of car insurance by having more claims.

One of the solutions which has been proposed is permanent Daylight Saving Time. If it's really going to help us with energy, then why aren't we opting to get more light during the most important hours all through the year? We also won't have sleep deprived drivers, or more accidents.

Keep in mind that your auto insurance premiums are dependent directly on your insurer's claims history overall. If your insurer is getting more claims than other insurers, you could be paying too high a premium. That's why it makes sense to check whether you are getting a good deal at least once a year by going through the process of getting quotes from other insurers. Don't wait until you get the notice of your insurance renewal; you may not have enough time to do a bunch of comparison shopping. It's better to start well in advance of your policy ending. 

If it's time for you to review your car insurance deal, check out a few of the sponsors for this site. The Internet makes it easy to compare quotes. It's well worth your time.

Switching car insurance providers is easy too -- so don't be intimidated into staying with a company that isn't earning your business.

Monique L. Attinger
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