April 10, 2013

San Francisco-based Esurance has launched a "What If Calculator" on its website to help policyholders understand how moving to a new address, adding a vehicle to their policy, or filing an accident-related claim could impact the price of their car insurance.

Users can get information about the following scenarios:

  • Tickets: various types of traffic tickets or moving violations can impact rates differently; for example, a driver can see how a reckless driving violation increases their premium

  • Accidents -- an accident-related claim can impact premiums

  • Changing vehicles -- certain cars that have safety features, such as passive restraints and airbags, can help lower a premium

  • Moving -- moving to a different ZIP code in the same state can often change a premium

[Esurance takes on distracted driving]

The tool is purely informational: Actual changes will not be made to the policy. That's because, for example, the amount of time it takes for tickets to impact a consumer's rate varies by ticket type and state, Esurance says.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, ...