The Most Expensive 2016 Cars To Insure

Let’s face facts, if you’re financially able to purchase a high-performance sports car or top-shelf luxury vehicle you’re probably already prepared to fork over the proverbial arm and a leg to insure it.

But to indulge the schadenfreude of those less financially fortunate – or more fiscally responsible – we present the 2016 list of the costliest cars to insure, as compiled annually by, in the accompanying slideshow.

The car that tops the charts this year is the hot-blooded Dodge Viper GT sports car, with an average annual auto insurance premium of $4,048. The Viper displaces the Nissan GT-R Nismo sport coupe that led the list for the past two years, and for 2016 drops to the number six spot.

Though its unlikely anyone would ever cross-shop the two models, those who would eschew the Viper and instead make a far safer and saner choice like the Honda Odyssey LX minivan, which the website cites as being the cheapest car to insure for 2016 at an average of just $1,113, would wind up saving $2,935 annually in premiums or a total of $14,675 over a five-year ownership period.

Source: Forbes

Garneau seeks Senate advice on rules, regs for future of driverless cars

By Joan Bryden


OTTAWA _ Canada’s Senate, often accused of being an anachronism, is being asked to wrestle with the futuristic dream of driverless cars.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau wants the Senate’s transportation and communications committee to launch a study of the regulatory, policy and technical issues that need to be addressed so that Canada can safely and smoothly make the transition to self-driving vehicles a coming automotive revolution that’s already being road tested in Ontario and elsewhere.

His request for a Senate study is part of the Trudeau government’s attempt to recast the much-maligned upper house as an independent and valued institution that has an important parliamentary role to play.

It follows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s creation of an arm’s-length advisory board to recommend non-partisan nominees for appointment to the Senate.

Among other things, Garneau says the committee should examine the potential for Canada to set standards for the development of automated cars that can operate safely on icy winter roads.The technology I’m talking about is not science fiction,” Garneau said during an appearance late Wednesday before the Senate committee.

“The technology I’m talking about is not science fiction,” Garneau said during an appearance late Wednesday before the Senate committee.

“It is in development today and has the potential to improve safety, efficiency and the environmental performance of transportation in Canada and other countries.”

Still, he said there are many questions that must be addressed, including the long-term impact on privacy, energy, land use, transportation demand and employment.

Garneau and Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly were invited to appear Wednesday before the committee to discuss the mandate letters given to them by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when they took charge of their portfolios. Garneau took the opportunity to ask the committee to launch a driverless car study.

“I’m one of these people who believes that the Senate is part of Parliament, that has done some very serious and very important and groundbreaking studies and I want to engage with them in the most productive possible way,” Garneau said in an interview.

Self-driving vehicles have the potential to make driving safer, he said, noting that automated vehicles “don’t fall asleep, they don’t drink.” And they’re potentially more energy efficient because “there’s less of a heavy foot on the gas and heavy foot on the brake kind of driving.”

But there are also challenges, like ensuring vehicles have backups should their computer systems fail and figuring out how to replicate human judgment in unpredictable winter driving conditions.

Driverless vehicles will automatically keep a safe distance from other vehicles but, Garneau noted: “We in Canada have to make judgment calls in the winter time when we’re on icy roads and black ice. So that’s got to be part of it as well because they’re not all nice California roads.”

Moreover, Garneau said automated cars raise issues of liability and insurance, cyber security, to ensure that vehicles’ computer systems can’t be hacked, and privacy, to protect those who don’t want their whereabouts constantly tracked.

“There are rules and regulations that will have to be put in place that don’t exist at the moment.”



Uber launches campaign to push Alberta NDP on insurance needs

JODIE SINNEMA | Edmonton Journal

Uber is hoping a grassroots uprising will push the provincial government to move faster to approve insurance for the ride-sharing company.

The California-based company is urging its fans to tweet their support and write to their MLAs and cabinet ministers to make sure the government meets a March 1 deadline to approve broader insurance and licensing needs for Uber.

Even though Edmonton became the first Canadian city to pass an Uber-friendly bylaw in January, the company can’t get a licence under the new bylaw without provincially approved insurance to better cover consumers. An Uber driver caught without proper insurance could face a $5,000 fine.

“Without approval by the NDP government before March 1, thousands of Albertans will lose their ability to earn by providing rides, and tens of thousands will lose access to a much needed transportation option,” says a statement from Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, in senior communications for Uber Canada. “We are eager for continued collaboration with the province and are hopeful they will act soon.”

As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, Premier Rachel Notley’s office had received at least 300 letters through the Uber campaign.

“Government is currently looking at options,” a statement from the office of Transportation Minister Brian Mason said.

Alberta is committed to finding an appropriate solution allowing ride share companies to operate in a fair manner, while also protecting drivers, passengers, and other road users.”

Mason was unavailable for further comment.

De Le Rue, based in Montreal, said if “the provincial government doesn’t act on driver’s licensing and insurance before this bylaw comes into effect on March 1, Uber will be forced to cease operating in Alberta.”

MADD: Car-locking systems stopped 1.77 million drunk drivers in US

By Brian Witte


ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Car-locking systems have stopped more than 1.77 million people from driving drunk since some states first passed laws requiring offenders to install them in 1999, Mothers Against Drunk Driving said in a first-of-its-kind report on the devices in the United States.

The data come from the 11 major manufactures of the ignition interlock systems, and the report was released Wednesday. The devices, the size of a cellphone, are wired into vehicles. A convicted drunken driver must blow into the device to get a blood alcohol content reading before the vehicle will start. The system sends a signal back to its manufacturer with the reading.

Twenty-five states have laws that require ignition interlocks for all offenders following any drunken-driving offence. Every state has enacted some kind of ignition-interlock law, but some require the devices only for certain levels of offences and blood alcohol levels, or give judges discretion. MADD is calling on those other states to tighten their laws.

“MADD knows ignition interlocks save lives, and they could save even more lives if every offender is required to use the device after the first arrest,” said Colleen Sheehey-Church, MADD’s national president.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends states require mandatory ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders. NTSB vice chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr said the technology enables people to continue driving to make a living and get around, but it separates the person from his or her drinking and driving.

“Ignition interlock, although many people may think it’s an extreme measure for people who are first offenders, it prevents them from becoming a second offender or a third offender,” Dinh-Zarr said.

Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, said expanding state ignition interlock mandates is extremely expensive and burdens state parole and monitoring budgets.

“Instead of expanding interlock requirements to include low-BAC, first-time drunk drivers, states should focus their resources on the most dangerous drunk drivers,” Longwell said.

In Maryland, where the MADD released the report, lawmakers are pushing to require all drunken drivers with blood alcohol contents of 0.08 or greater to have the devices. State law now requires them for those with a BAC of 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit for driving.

The systems stop drivers with a BAC of .025 or higher. The report says more than 1.77 million people have been stopped from driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, but the figures are higher for those who blow at least 0.025: More than 12.72 million stopped.

Lawmakers sponsoring the Maryland bill noted they have been trying to tighten the law since 2009, but they have faced opposition from lobbyists for the alcohol industry.

“There is no grey area. Either you’re on the side of the angels or you’re with the liquor lobby,” said Del. Ben Kramer, a Democrat who is sponsoring the bill.

Sheehey-Church said residents and visitors in states such as Maryland, Florida, California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania “deserve the same protection offered in states with strong ignition interlock laws — such as Texas, Arizona, West Virginia and New Mexico.”

The group also is focusing on Maryland because of the December death of Officer Noah Leotta. He was killed while working on a driving-under-the-influence assignment. The Maryland measure is dubbed “Noah’s Law.” At a news conference, Noah’s father, Rich, tearfully described the pain of losing his son, who police say was hit by a drunk driver with two previous convictions.

“It’s a very simple thing, and it saves lives,” Leotta said. “It could have saved Noah’s life. He might be here today if this was in that person’s car.”



Self-Driving Vehicles Meet Their Match When Snow Creates Sensor Blindness

Insurance Journal

In Jokkmokk, a tiny hamlet just north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, where temperatures can dip to 50 below, Volvo Cars’ self-driving XC90 sport-utility vehicle met its match: frozen flakes that caked on radar sensors essential to reading the road. Suddenly, the SUV was blind.

“It’s really difficult, especially when you have the snow smoke from the car in front,” said Marcus Rothoff, director of Volvo’s autonomous-driving program. “A bit of ice, you can manage. But when it starts building up, you just lose functionality.”

After moving the sensors around to various spots on the front, Volvo engineers finally found a solution. Next year, when Swedish drivers take their hands off the wheel of leased XC90s in the world’s first public test of autonomous technology, the radar will be nestled behind the windshield, where wipers can clear the ice and snow.

As automakers race to get robot cars on the road, they’re encountering an obstacle very familiar to humans: Old Man Winter. Simple snow can render the most advanced computing power useless and leave vehicles dead on the highway. That’s why major players including Volvo Cars, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.; Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc.; and Ford Motor Co. are stepping up their efforts to prevent snow blindness.


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