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Drivers living near restaurants pose higher risks than church neighbors

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Why people who live close to restaurant are more likely to pay more for auto insurance.

Drivers who live within a mile of a church are far less likely to have a car accident than drivers who live more than a mile from a church. But those who live within one mile of a restaurant face a significantly greater risk of an accident than most other drivers.

Those are among the key findings of a study released by predictive analytics company Quality Planning Corp., which helps insurance companies price insurance products.

QPC examined the relationship between where a vehicle owner lives and the likelihood that he will be involved in an auto accident, and concluded that the riskiest place to live is within one mile of a restaurant. In fact, if the owner of an automobile lives within one mile of an eating establishment, he is 30 percent more likely to crash his car than if he lived more than one mile from the restaurant.

The study examined more than 15 million policyholders and 2 million claims, mapping the proximity of vehicle-owners’ addresses to various types of businesses, including amusement centers, bars, churches, dentists’ and doctors’ offices, parking lots, banks, car dealers, car washes, child day-care centers, gas stations, medical buildings, movie theaters, optometrists’ offices, schools and shopping centers.

The study found that the riskiest places to live near are restaurants, grocery stores, schools and banks. At the other end of the scale, individuals that live within one mile of an airport, park, forest or racetrack are much less likely to suffer vehicle damage.

When it comes to car crashes, churches are the least risky neighbor. People who live within one mile of a church are 10 percent less likely to have an accident resulting in a property damage claim than if they lived one more than one mile from the church.

Auto insurers often use a policyholder’s ZIP code to calculate risk. QPC has identified more than 500 variables that are highly correlated to auto accidents, many are specific to a policyholder’s home address.

“It’s important to remember that these observations are indicative of the area, and we would naturally expect higher accident rates in higher traffic areas,” said Bob U’Ren, QPC vice president of marketing.

For more information, visit www. qualityplanning.com.


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