There are so many new features and more coming every day that sometimes even the vehicle insurers can get confused about the discounts they should offer. General consensus is that companies do take them into account when they calculate their premiums and offer some savings for the owners with safer automobiles.
Commonly, automobiles with better seatbelts, airbags, anti-lock brakes, alarms, immobilizers, GPS trackers and even VIN etching can save you money on auto insurance. But the premium reduction may not be clearly visible to put a finger on and it may not be as much as people expected for several reasons.
First of all, if you buy Liability only auto insurance coverage, none of these are applicable because those features either protect the car or you better and if the car doesn’t have Collision and Comprehensive coverage and you don’t have Personal Injury Protection they don’t come into play.
And even when they are considered because you have full coverage, the discounts suggested only apply to a certain portion of the policy. Therefore, people may be disappointed with the final savings they get. Essentially, even getting as large as a 40% discount on a small portion of a policy may not amount up to much in terms of reductions on the final premium charged that it just becomes a sales gimmick.
For example, companies advertise that they offer 40% discounts for having some simple anti-theft devices and it is certainly very generous. However, auto theft is included in Comprehensive coverage, which is only a part of a policy. Furthermore, theft is only one of the perils included in the Comprehensive portion of a policy. There is fire, storm, flood, accidental damage and so on in there.
Secondly, automobile insurance companies can be very cautious at times and may want to wait long enough to see solid statistics before they offer discounts for certain features. However, they may be quick to charge more for the higher vehicle price and additional repair costs. Let’s face it, more advanced autos with all the new safety features like lane departure, drowsiness and collision warnings and all the sensors and cameras will be expensive. Also, it will cost more to repair them because of excess damage all these features may sustain.
As a result, it may actually cost more to have the latest safety features that aren’t widely accepted to be working, especially if the owner paid a lot of money to have them added. On the other hand, some of the common features like better seatbelts, airbags and alarms come as standard with the new automobiles for some time now. So, people don’t actually pay extra for them. Therefore, there is nothing to calculate and recalculate and worry about getting certain discounts or not.
Thirdly, there are reports suggesting that automobile insurers may be right to wait before judging some of the features. It appears that motorists come to overly rely on the technology and drop their guards. They are there to help and warn motorists, who may be getting carried away and thinking that they will prevent the accidents or steer away from collisions. So, insurers may be cautious of cars with overloaded gadgets.
Fourthly, the effects may be indirect. Safer and securer cars will eventually give better statistical readings that will reduce insurance premiums. They will have fewer accidents and cause less injuries to its occupants and they won’t be stolen as much as others. All these small details will add up when it comes to rating the car for insurance purposes.
Besides, safer cars aren’t just about the visible gadgets they have. They are also put through many safety and crash tests. Several bodies including manufacturers, the non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and The National Highway Safety Administration and commercial companies carry out various tests on them.
These details are only available to insurance companies. Also, there are readily available and published insurance ratings for almost every make and model manufactured. Those ratings already include all the crash and injury safety and theft prevention measures as well as engine capabilities and related risks.
So, having a car, which is within a low insurance group, already qualifies the owner for a large discount. And they don’t get those ratings easily. Motorists may be better served with looking at the bigger picture rather than trying to quantify every little extra feature with a dollar premium reduction. They certainly get rewarded handsomely by choosing the right car.
It is important to remember that discount amounts or ratios change depending on the company and the state. Some companies offer these discounts without making a song and dance about it. Also, some states require that companies offer savings for certain features.
And more importantly, there is no substitute to getting the quotes and comparing actual dollar amounts. Does it really matter which discounts they offer as long as the car qualifies for them and the company ends up being the most competitive overall. Chasing after certain savings may lead to missing this big picture. So, whatever you do, always get a few quotes and compare the coverage on offer and the price.