Safety First: Your Car's Safety Features May Save You Money on Car Insurance

By Ryan Hurlbert on March 16th, 2010
Auto Insurance

It wasn't that long ago when padded dashboards and lap belts were the latest car safety features. The automotive industry has come a long way since then, and features that were only available in expensive luxury cars can now be found in many economy cars today. New cars have many safety features that may come factory-installed, including:

  • Night vision
  • Traction and stability control
  • Anti-lock braking systems (ABS)
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind spot intrusion warnings
  • Drowsy driver warnings
  • Seat belts that tighten up in a crash
  • Head rests that move forward to reduce whiplash

Safety Features May Save You Money

Many car insurance companies offer discounts for safety equipment. In order to save money on premiums, you should ask your agent if your insurer provides a discount for any of your car's safety features.

Here are several car safety features that your insurance company may give you a discount for:

  • Anti-lock Breaking System (ABS). This safety feature is able to pump the vehicle's brakes several times per second--much quicker than a human. If ABS is a factory installed feature on your car, you may receive a discount on your liability, collision, No-Fault and medical payments coverages
  • Airbags and Automatic Seatbelts. Many insurers offer discounts for airbags because studies have shown that they are able to reduce injuries to vehicle occupants. However, some insurers have suspended this discount because many new vehicles provide airbags as standard equipment. Contact your agent to see if your insurance company provides a discount for either of these safety features
  • Daytime Running Lamps (DRL). If your car is equipped with factory installed DRLs, you may be entitled to a discount for your liability, collision, No-Fault and medical payments coverages
  • Anti-theft Devices. Cars equipped with anti-theft devices usually qualify for a discount on the comprehensive portion of the auto policy. Anti-theft devices that may be eligible for a discount include alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers. Vehicle tracking systems, such as LoJack, which are able to track cars by satellite, may also qualify for auto policy discounts

Modern safety features can make driving safer, but they don't replace experience, attention, and safe driving habits. As these advanced features become commonplace, auto insurance companies may evaluate which new features merit a discount.

Check with your agent to make sure your discounts are as up to date as your car. Compare quotes from multiple insurance companies to choose the best policy for you and your family--and be sure to mention all of your car's safety features.

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