Which Safety Features Can Give You a Discount on Your Auto Insurance?
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You know that you can unlock discounts for being a safe driver, and you can even unlock them for your age, good credit, and more. One thing you might not have known, however, is that the more safety features you have installed on your vehicle, the more you save. Not all insurance companies offer discounts for these features, and some will only pick a handful off the list to discount your premium. So, you will want to check with your existing insurance company and find out if you qualify for discounts based on what you have on your vehicle – or when you’re considering a new purchase.
The Top Safety Features that Save You on Your Annual Insurance Premium
The more safety features a car has, the fewer accident injuries insurance companies have to pay for. Some features can even prevent accidents, which decreases the chances your insurance company is paying out for an accident you’ve caused. Therefore, it makes financial sense for them to encourage more drivers to purchase vehicles equipped with the latest safety features – and they do so by offering discounts.
The more airbags a vehicle has, the higher discounts you could unlock. For example, a vehicle that has a side curtain and front airbags will receive more discounts than a vehicle that only has front airbags.
The reason insurance companies are happy to give you a discount on your premium for airbags is because when you have airbags, you are less likely to experience severe injuries – which means they will pay less out on Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims and medical payment claims; thus, reducing your liability for them.
When looking at a new car, you will find one that has both side curtain and front airbags, but if you are shopping for a used car, it might be beneficial to only look at those with both if you want to unlock the maximum discount.
Almost all insurance companies offer discounts for having airbags in your vehicle – so it could be worth it.
Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS)
Anti-lock brakes, known as ABS, are a discount that is optional for insurance companies. However, some states are now making it mandatory for insurance companies to give discounts if you have this in your vehicle, including New Jersey, New York, and Florida. If you live outside those three, then it is up to the insurance company.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Some insurance companies, not many, offer discounts for having a car with ESC. ESC prevents your vehicle from slipping on ice or even wet roadways by controlling the power to each wheel. Only a handful of insurance companies have added this as a safety feature discount, but it is still worth it even if your insurance company doesn’t give you a discount, because it reduces the chances of a single-vehicle collision on slippery conditions.
Seat belts have been around for some time, but only recently did insurance companies start rewarding drivers for having them in their vehicle. Some car insurance companies will offer hefty discounts – up to 15 percent off – just for having this standard safety feature in your car. The 15 percent doesn’t come off the total, however. Instead, it comes off your medical payment coverage and PIP insurance premiums.
Daytime Running Lights
Daytime running lights are a standard for most modern vehicles, but older models may not have them unless you purchased an upgrade. These headlamps run even during the day, which can increase your visibility. Not all insurance companies reward you for this feature, but some will give you discounts off of liability coverage, medical payment coverage, collision coverage, and even your PIP premiums. Most of the discounts average 5 percent or less – so while not significant savings, it is worth it.
Crash Resistant Door Features
If you have a door that features the latest crash resistance, which means they have safer crumpling on impact, you could save up to 5 percent – but most insurers do not offer this discount.
While not a safety feature for when you’re driving, it is a feature that protects your car while it’s parked. If you have an anti-theft system, you will receive a discount, but the amount for the discount depends heavily on the type of system. The more advanced ones, such as those that automatically disable the engine, will yield higher discounts than basic versions.
Overall, insurance companies average 5 to 30 percent discounts for this system.
Lane Departure Systems
Lane departure warning systems or those that automatically push your vehicle back into its lane are becoming a standard fixture on modern vehicles. Insurance companies see these as a prime way to stop drowsy driving and distracted driving accidents, which is why they will reward drivers that purchase new cars with it. The discount depends on whether it just warns you or automatically puts you back in your lane, and every insurance company varies on how much they offer.
Safety Feature Discounts by Insurance Company
Below are the current safety discounts offered by some of the major auto insurance companies in the United States.
|Insurer||Safety Discount||Discount Amount|
|Allstate||Anti-lock brakes, airbags, and anti-theft devices||Up to 10%|
|Amica||Anti-theft devices, electronic stability control, passive restraints, forward collision warnings, and adaptive headlights||Varies|
|Esurance||Factory installed airbags and automatic seatbelts||2-33% off MedPay/PIP|
|Farmers||Standard safety features||5-10%|
|GEICO||Airbags, antilock brakes, anti-theft systems, daytime running lights, and new vehicle||25-40% off MedPay/PIP
Up to 5% off Collision
Up to 25% off Comprehensive
|Liberty Mutual||Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and adaptive headlights||Varies|
|Progressive||Standard safety features||5%–10%|
|State Farm||Standard safety features, passive restraints, and anti-theft devices||Varies|
|The Hartford||Airbags and anti-theft systems||Varies|
|USAA||Standard safety features||Varies|
Is It Worth the Upgrade?
You could spend hundreds, if not thousands, upgrading a car to have the best safety features, but if you are doing it solely to save on insurance, it may not be worth it. If, however, you want a safe vehicle for your family, there is no harm in paying a little more to have one equipped with the latest safety advancements and technologies. After all, you have insurance, but wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to use it because of the features in your vehicle preventing an accident in the first place?