Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Insurer launches free online racing game to promote responsible driving



Don't try this at work, but car insurer Liberty Mutual has released a free online racing game that seeks to encourage safe driving. It has a single-player mode, or up to six players can compete against each other online. From the company's press release:
“In designing the 2099 game, we posed the question: what would responsible driving look and feel like in the future?” said Greg Gordon, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing at Liberty Mutual. “Certainly, we envision our cars being more high-tech. On the other hand, there is one element of driving that will never change – an area we wanted to spark awareness around – the importance of staying safe behind the wheel.”
The company says the game "is designed for people who enjoy taking 15-30 minutes from their day to play free online games."

What's insurance got to do with it? The game rewards safer drivers by giving them more insurance, which can then be used to repair the car and keep going.

Insurance news and summaries

The Washington post has a rundown on four of the top officials in the newly formed Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

Colorado's 9News has a story about a local man whose homeowner's coverage was dropped after 42 years, after five claims in 13 years, three of them for less than $500. All involved wind and hail damage.

Insurance Journal says that the National Flood Insurance Program, which lapsed at midnight Monday night, will be suspended until June 7 or later.

Asurion is reportedly planning to offer coverage for iPhones at $13.99/month, with a deductible of $99-$199.

Neal T. Gooch has been sworn in as the new insurance commissioner for Utah.

The Seattle Times has a poll story suggesting that health reform critics would rather modify federal health reform, instead of repeal it.

The Vancouver (WA) Columbian has a story about health care reform in Washington state.

Finally, there's a bizarre story out of Guatemala -- no insurance angle yet, although we suspect there will be -- about a giant sinkhole that swallowed a building. It's worth the click just to see the aerial photo of the thing.