Safety Equipment Auto Insurance Discounts
Safety Equipment Car Insurance Discounts
Driving a safe vehicle not only protects you and your passengers; it also protects your wallet. Car insurance companies often offer discounts to drivers whose vehicles are equipped with certain safety features.
What Is Vehicle Safety Equipment?
Vehicle safety equipment refers to any added device that increases your safety and/or decreases the likelihood of your car being stolen.
Types of Safety Equipment
There are many safety features you can add to your vehicle and, depending on your auto insurance company, you may be able to save some money on your premium just by having them.
The following types of vehicle safety equipment could get you a discount on your car insurance and might even save your life.
Passive Restraint Systems
Passive restraint generally refers to:
- Automatic seat belts.
- Driver-side and passenger-side airbags.
The idea behind passive restraint is that the driver doesn't have to activate these safety features on his own, decreasing the likelihood that they are not used.
An anti-lock braking system (ABS) helps prevent your car from skidding by maintaining traction between the tires and the road.
Most auto insurance companies offer discounts for having an ABS installed.
Daytime Running Lights
Having lights on during the daylight hours may seem counterintuitive; however, they can significantly increase your safety, making you much more visible to drivers and pedestrians than you would be without them.
NOTE: Discounts are also sometimes given for adaptive headlights, such as night-vision assist lights that can bend with the vehicle and even sense vehicle speed.
Blind Spot Detection and Lane-Departure Warning Systems
These systems aren't the same; however, they work together really well to decrease your chances of an accident.
- A blind-spot detection system lets you know when it senses an object in your blind spot.
- A lane-departure warning system has a much broader range and actually senses the speed and distance of approaching vehicles as you attempt to change lanes.
Also called backup cameras, these are popping up as factory-installed devices in many newer cars.
Rearview cameras help you see other vehicles or objects you might not catch in your rear- and side-view mirrors.
Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems
If your vehicle is a 2008 or newer model, it should have come from the factory with this addition installed. Having the correct tire pressure not only assists with safer driving and proper maintenance, it can also save you fuel.
Anti-theft devices, such as alarm systems, appeal to car insurance companies, because they lessen the risk of your vehicle getting stolen, which could cost them thousands.
Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems
Stolen vehicle recovery systems, such as LoJack, help police officers locate your vehicle after it's been taken.
Because your likelihood of seeing your vehicle again increases with one of these systems, the risk to your insurance company of paying for that vehicle is lower. You might find that this lowered risk equals lower premiums.
Emergency Response Systems
The details of emergency response systems vary by vehicle. Examples include:
- A system that turns off the fuel and unlocks the doors when airbags deploy.
- A system that alerts an actual response center if it senses an accident.
All emergency response systems are designed to keep you as safe as possible and/or seek help immediately following an accident.
Asking for Safety Equipment Discounts
Because discounts and their terms vary amongst car insurance companies, you'll need to speak with each one to determine which features of your vehicle might save you money.
Before you speak with an insurance agent about auto insurance discounts for vehicle safety equipment, take note of these points:
- If your agent hasn't asked about the features on your vehicle, he doesn't know about them; you need to speak up.
- These days, many vehicles come equipped with certain safety features. Some are so common, owners don't even think to mention them to their insurance agents. Before you talk with an insurance agent, make a list of your car's factory-installed safety features.
- If you're not sure what they are, check your owner's manual.