A recent report by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), shows that Volvo’s low-speed but high-tech crash avoidance system on the Volvo XC60 SUV model has dramatically cut down on auto insurance claims filed.
The system, called City Safety, has been standard on the Volvo XC60 since the 2010 model, as well as the 2011-12 S60 sedans, 2012 model S80 sedans, and XC70 wagons. City Safety works from speeds of 2-19 mph, and will automatically brake a vehicle if it senses that it is either too close to and/or going too fast toward another car (or in fact any object, moving or stationary) within 18 feet.
The study by the HLDI only focused on the XC60, and found that property damage liability coverage claims (where at-fault drivers pay for damage caused to other vehicles) was reduced by 27% compared to other midsize luxury SUVs.
Additionally, the average claim from such accidents involving the XC60 was $3,058, which is actually 10% higher than other midsize luxury SUVs and 27% higher than other Volvo models. This data reveals the XC60 is actually safer because the number of smaller accidents, and thus smaller claims payouts, have been reduced. This, in turn, drives up the average payout. Or in other words, City Safety is effectively reducing minor fender benders.
With the recent sharp rise in digital distractions (e.g., text messaging, digital billboards, etc.) for drivers on the road today, City Safety (and perhaps similar systems in the future) could end up saving both consumers and insurance companies a ton of money.