Politics has been described as the art of the possible. Maybe setting car insurance rates should be described that way too.

Actuaries sitting around crunching numbers for the likelihood of crashes have led to some very screwy practices by insurance companies.

In New Jersey and a lot of other states, insurance companies are allowed to charge you more just because your credit rating is lower. They claimed they’ve looked at the data and there’s a correlation to accidents.


If there’s any correlation whatsoever it’s far more likely that the truth is there’s a correlation in accidents in which it cost those insurance companies money by people deciding to put in a claim. People who are struggling financially are the ones who will have a lower credit rating. It probably doesn’t mean they have more accidents than their neighbor who is wealthier. It likely means the wealthy neighbor will absorb the cost of a fender bender out of pocket instead of risking putting in a claim that might jack up their own insurance rates. And so let’s call this what it really is on the part of insurance companies. Greed.

Here’s another one. The moment you get a divorce, insurance companies have decided that you are a riskier driver. Again, are you suddenly driving worse because you’re single? Highly doubtful. It probably goes back to the exact same reason. Finances.

Divorce sets people back. Divorce is expensive. If you come out of it without financially hurting, you’re the rare case. Again, when you’re financially hurting you might have no choice but to put in a claim for minor damage as opposed to when you were married and doing financially better and maybe would have absorbed that cost and not gone through insurance.

So let’s stop this fairytale that New Jersey insurance companies are really looking at risk of crash. They are simply looking at risk of them having to shell out some dough. God forbid somebody puts in a claim and finally uses the insurance that they have paid for years. What a racket.

So I started thinking what other screwy ways might insurance companies think of to set rates? If they want to pretend this is only about the risk of crash, have they looked at whether hair color correlates to who crashes more? We tend to accept the unfair status quo of setting rates on things like credit ratings. But imagine the public outrage if they suddenly charged redheads more money and blondes less.

How about the color of your car? There’s actual data to back this one up. In a study, it was found that certain car colors are more and less likely to be involved in accidents.

Who would pay most under that half-baked scheme?

Owners of black cars. The study shows black cars have a whopping 47% more chance of being involved in a collision. It has actual data backing up. So why aren’t insurance companies going after car color?

I’ll tell you why.

See the examples of credit rating and divorce. Because the car color will not have anything to do with whether somebody is more or less likely to put in a claim. The money is all they actually care about.

Here’s how the study breaks down which car colors are most and least likely to be involved in a crash.

The most accidents:

1. Black

A study reported in Money Super Market found black cars are 47% more likely to be involved in collisions than cars of any other color.

Black Sport Car
Rawpixel Ltd

2. Gray

The second-most dangerous car color to have. Gray cars pose an 11% higher risk than the safest car color, which we will get to.

Ethan Finkelstein/ Townsquare Media Hudson Valley
Ethan Finkelstein/ Townsquare Media Hudson Valley

3. Silver

10% greater risk than the safest.

Generic car on white background

4. Blue

This popular color poses a 7% higher risk.

Three Dimensional Image of a Blue Car

The least accidents:

1. White

This is the safest color car you can drive. It has a 12% lesser chance of being in a crash than a black car. And that’s in all weather and lighting conditions.

Fast car moving with motion blur
Hon fai Ng

2. Yellow

Your banana car will be second-safest on the list. If you don’t mind driving a car that looks like a banana that is.

Michael J. Rivera/TSM
Michael J. Rivera/TSM

3. Orange

Orange is NOT the new black. It’s one of the safer colors statistically speaking.

Photo by Oli Woodman on Unsplash
Photo by Oli Woodman on Unsplash

4. Gold

Not a popular choice but the theory behind why this is the fourth safest car color is simply that it stands out so much.

Michael J. Rivera/TSM
Michael J. Rivera/TSM

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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