Do you think your car insurance rates are too high? Luckily, it’s possible to learn how to lower car insurance so you can save each month.
Some of the most common methods are switching to a higher deductible or lowering your coverage. Both of these aren’t ideal because they put you at financial risk should you ever be in a bad accident. You’ll need to pay more to get your car fixed, and you might not have enough coverage to manage all the bills.
Rather than taking that approach, why not look for extra discounts instead? That way, you aren’t putting yourself at risk. You’ll get to enjoy the same policy, just at a lower price. In particular, auto safety features can be a great way to get amazing discounts on your bill.
Why Do Car Insurance Companies Offer Discounts for Safety Features?
You might be wondering: why would a car insurance company offer a discount for safety features? Isn’t that none of their business?
Car insurance companies are more likely to reward low-risk drivers. You’ll notice that high-risk drivers often pay more in insurance premiums. This is because they’re more likely to get into an accident and file a claim.
Auto safety features are a way to lower your driving risk. Research has shown that many can reduce the risk of accidents, so in an insurance company’s eyes, this means you are less likely to file a claim. Because of that, they can pass some of these cost savings to you in the form of discounts.
So no, you don’t have to tell the car insurance company about your auto safety features. But if you don’t, you won’t get these discounts. And while they may not be a ton individually, they can really add up if your car has a lot of safety features.
How to Lower Car Insurance With Auto Safety Features
Now that you know more about why insurance companies offer a discount for safety features in a car, what safety features actually count?
Typically, insurance companies wait to offer a discount on a particular feature until statistics have shown that it effectively reduces insurance claims. This means that many of the latest tech gadgets in your car might not count toward a discount because there probably isn’t data available on how they stop insurance claims. That said, these features are still a valuable tool for many drivers and probably save many lives. Insurance companies just aren’t convinced until they see proof.
Therefore, most of the discounts you’ll find come from the tried-and-true features from over the years. Let’s take a look at what safety features might be included in a typical discount.
Daytime Running Lights
Daytime running lights are the lights at the front of your car that are always on. They come on as soon as you start the car, and you can’t turn them off. While this might seem annoying, it’s an important safety feature to provide more visibility on the road, especially if a sudden storm hits and you don’t turn on your headlights.
These days, daytime running lights are pretty much standard. Even base trim models should include them. Because of that, you probably won’t get a huge discount for having this feature, but every penny counts.
Airbags are a crucial safety innovation, so much so that the government has required all cars manufactured after 1999 to have front airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates airbags have saved 50,457 lives between 1987 and 2017.
Of course, airbags can come in many shapes and sizes. In addition to front airbags, most cars include side airbags, as these keep you protected if you’re side-swept by another vehicle. Your car might also have inflatable safety belts or airbags in the rear window to keep backseat passengers safe.
When it comes to auto safety discounts, it varies depending on how many airbags you have. Generally, the higher the number, the greater the discounts. Because airbags are specifically designed to keep people safe, you’ll usually see these discounts in your personal injury protection or medical payment coverage.
You may remember that cars before the ‘80s required you to pump the brake to come to a stop if you were skidding. After the introduction of anti-lock brakes became standard. However, this became a thing of the past. The technology has been mandated in cars as of 2012, so there’s a good chance your vehicle currently has this safety feature.
You might not get a discount in every state for having anti-lock brakes, especially since it’s now standard. But in Florida, New Jersey, and New York — three of the states we provide coverage in — insurers are required to give you a discount for having anti-lock brakes.
Electronic Stability Control
Another newer innovation in auto safety features is electronic stability control. This is especially helpful to have if you’re skidding out of control on a slippery road. Your car keeps track of how well your vehicle is responding to your steer commands using sensors. If it finds it’s not turning as it should, it will automatically apply the brakes to help you keep the car under control.
This tech has been included in all cars since 2012, so again, it’s probably something your vehicle has. You’ll typically see the discount come off of your collision coverage since that’s usually the type of claims this system prevents.
Automatic Seat Belts
Mostly featured in older cars, automatic seat belts were a way to ensure people buckled up while driving. These quickly fell out of fashion, but you may still be able to score a discount if your car has them.
That said, some companies do offer a discount just for having a regular old seat belt in your car. This discount typically comes off your medical payment and personal injury protection premiums since seat belts are meant to protect you and your passengers.
Primarily, you might think of safety only when you’re driving. But both you and your insurer also want your car and possessions to be safe when you’re not around. That’s why many offer discounts for having an anti-theft system.
This can include things like a loud alarm that goes off when someone tries to break into the car. Most cars come with that standard. But if you upgrade or install extra gear, you may qualify for an even bigger discount off of your comprehensive policy.
As cars become more and more engineered, new safety features like crash-resistant doors have emerged. This means that if your door is hit, it is intended to crumble instead of smushing you. This keeps you from being crushed and hopefully acts as a barrier from other debris.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a common discount yet, so you might not qualify. But keep your eyes open just in case.
Lane Departure Systems
Lane departure systems are still a newer technology, meaning they’re not standard yet in most vehicles. But if you do have a car that has this system, it could help you save.
These systems work by having a sensor that monitors the lane markers painted on the highway. If the car notices you’re drifting, it emits an audible alert. Some more sophisticated models even pull you back into the lane, and you may be able to score more of a discount with these.
How to Lower Car Insurance With Other Types of Discounts
If your car currently lacks specific safety features and you don’t have the cash to upgrade, there may be other ways to lower your car insurance bill. Companies often offer a wide variety of discounts to help their customers save! Some of the deals you can try for include the following:
- Student discount. Doing well in school can pay off! Typically, these discounts require students to get grades of “B” or higher. You may need to submit a report card to verify.
- Good driver discount. If you don’t get into an accident or file a claim for a few years, you may qualify for a good driver discount. Every insurance company has different requirements, so check to see if you are eligible.
- Valued customer discount. Insurance companies appreciate your business. If you’ve been a customer for several years, they may reward you with a discount on your insurance.
- Defensive driving discount. Sometimes, if you take a defensive driving class, you’ll get a discount on your insurance. This varies by state, though.
- Senior discount. If you’ve reached your golden years, your car insurance company may cut you some slack. Think of it as a retirement bonus.
Enjoy Affordable Auto Insurance From Freeway
One tip for lowering your auto insurance even more? Switch to Freeway Insurance! Get your free quote today to see how much you can save.