Megan Shepherd is personal finance editor at Finder committed to delivering precise, informative content that helps readers navigate the financial world of loans. Megan also specializes in helping readers evaluate their insurance coverage options, backed by an insurance license and more than four years of providing guidance in the industry. Megan’s contributed her expertise to Forbes, Fox, Time and Reviews.com. She earned her BS at the University of Texas at Dallas and enjoys tuning up her backhand on the tennis court.
- Life, disability, car, health, accident, critical illness, dental and vision insurance
- Underwriting guidelines
- Insurance policy comparison
- Certified general lines agent in life, accident, health and HMO
- Featured on leading publications, including Forbes, Fox, Time, reviews.com, carinsurance.com and more
- Earned certificates of completion from A.D. Banker & Company on topics including HIPPA, personal auto insurance, the ethics of insurance, personal lines and life insurance plans and policies
- Bachelor of Science, Business Administration with Entrepreneurial Focus | University of Texas at Dallas | 2012–2014
- Insurance Support World
- Life Insurance Blog
- The Journal
Industry insights from Megan Shepherd
We asked Megan for her insights into the current state of the insurance industry — and trends she predicts for the coming year.
Usage-based car insurance policies became ever-more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you think this trend is here to stay?
Yes, the trend of using telematics to personalize car insurance rates isn’t going anywhere. While it may have required people working from home or driving less to consider a usage-based approach, now that it has taken off, both drivers and insurers recognize it makes more sense for rates to be based on your actual risks and mileage — instead of just demographic statistics alone. And it isn’t only stand-alone telematics car insurance companies like Metromile and Root that have realized this. A large majority of top car insurers have stayed on trend by introducing or optimizing their usage-based car insurance offering. Plus, with more and more insurers partnering with fintech companies, the software to monitor how you use your vehicle is only getting better.
With more cars on the road now that the pandemic has finally slowed down, do you predict car insurance premiums will increase over the next year?
More cars on the road now that the pandemic is winding down, coupled with smart technology in newer cars, may account for more car accidents with higher repair costs, which generally means an overall increase in car insurance rates. Still, it’s important to consider the lasting effect of companies who permanently change their workforce to a work-from-home model. Less commuting or flexible hours could change the number of accidents we see in large cities. And while a rise in usage-based car insurance means safe drivers who make the switch can see lower insurance rates, it may not be enough to tip the scales on the typical year-over-year rise in car insurance premiums.
From car telematics to wearable fitness trackers, how has the use of personalized data affected the cost of car and life insurance?
Rates set on personalized data force the insurance industry’s cost structure to be fair. If you lead a healthy lifestyle, or practice safe driving habits, your rates can now reflect that instead of statistics surrounding factors like your age or gender. Discounted rates for healthy people or good drivers isn’t a new idea — we’ve long seen lower life insurance rates for non-smokers or car insurance discounts for accident-free drivers. But wearable tech or telematics devices give insurers a better chance to understand you, which means it can accurately price your insurance policies for you specifically, instead of based on demographic statistics.
Latest articles by Megan Shepherd
35 articles written by this author
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