It appears that bad drivers live shorter lives than good drivers and not just because they get in accidents.
The same motor vehicle driving records already widely used to help determine car insurance pricing can also be used to predict the potential length of an individual’s life.
According to a new study, motor vehicle records shed new light on lifestyle risk and can help life insurance executives, actuaries and underwriters better structure insurance policies in the U.S.
The Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Mortality Study completed by LexisNexis and RGA Reinsurance Co. analyzed more than 7.4 million MVR requests and determined they are a predictive data source of an individual’s all-cause mortality — meaning one’s likelihood of dying in general.
The researchers found that individuals with major violations, such as alcohol-related infractions and excessive speeding, have all-cause mortality rates 70 percent higher than individuals who do not.
Additionally, the presence of six or more driving violations on an MVR elevates an individual’s all-cause mortality rate by 80 percent.
The researchers say the trends discovered in the study also apply across all age groups and genders. Generally, women have a lower incidence of adverse driving records. However, the relationship between all-cause mortality and major violations is more pronounced for women than men. Women with major driving violations face 100 percent greater all-cause mortality rates than women who do not; men with major violations have 61 percent higher all-cause mortality rates than men who do not.
It was also found that the more violations on an individual’s MVR, the higher the relative mortality ratio. In particular, individuals with between two and five violations experienced 24 percent higher mortality, and those with six or more violations experienced 79 percent higher mortality ratios. The trends are consistent across all age groups, indicating that the number of violations is a predictor of increased mortality.
Individuals with high numbers of major driving violations represent the worst risks. Having just one major violation on an MVR elevates an individual’s all-cause mortality by 51 percent; while having four or more violations elevates an individual’s all-cause mortality to more than twice that of individuals without major violations.
“Our research shows that motor vehicle records can be a reliable indicator of lifestyle risk for insurance applicants,” said Elliott Wallace, vice president, life insurance, LexisNexis. “By examining the severity and number of violations on an applicant’s MVRs, a life insurer can make more accurate pricing decisions, improve risk posture and improve underwriting efficiency.”
“[T]he use of data sources like MVR can provide big time and cost savings,” said Karen Monks, analyst, Celent.
LexisNexis provides data and analytics to businesses including the insurance industry. RGA Reinsurance Co. is the principal operating subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America Inc.