As a means of helping local police to better serve residents of and visitors to Las Vegas, the city recently passed a law mandating that officers could no longer respond to minor car accidents. And while this could end up helping residents dealing with more pressing matters, there is also some concern among experts that this could lead to significant increases in local auto insurance rates. That, in turn, might prompt people to be more aggressive in shopping around for coverage, and it’s something insurance agents will have to watch closely.
The change came because it was found that Las Vegas police officers were spending as much as 250 hours per week responding to accidents that did not involve an injury of any kind, and city officials felt that time could be better spent, according to a report from ABC News. However, it seems that this could create a major problem for auto insurers because it will likely lead to instances of drivers who were at fault in an accident not receiving citations for having broken driving laws. That means that there will be greater risk in the local market in general, which could in turn lead to more expensive auto insurance premiums for everyone as a means of covering the potential added costs. In addition, some are concerned that this would lead to an uptick in auto insurance fraud.
“When the police go out, they are trained and educated in what to ask and what to find, and commuters aren’t,” Michael Geeser, the head of the Nevada Insurance Council, told the news agency. “If you have a habitual red light runner and they cause accidents that are not injury-related, then that goes unnoticed by the insurance industry, because they only note citations.”
Opposite of a recent trend?
Recent data has suggested that a number of cities are paying for more for their auto insurance policies than the national average, and this has sparked something of a movement among local legislators to enact laws that would help to save their constituents money when it comes to auto coverage. However, no such changes are yet in place for Las Vegas, and as such, residents there might be able to expect hefty increases in their premiums going forward. Insurance agents might want to keep monitoring developments in the city, as this could provide an opportunity for more business if people grow dissatisfied with their current coverage.