Does Having Airbags in Your Vehicle Give You Insurance Discounts?
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Having airbags in your car is important – they can protect you from impact in a car crash, which means your overall chances of getting injured are much lower. Insurance companies want to encourage people to have safety features like airbags in their car, and they will give you a discount if you have airbags in your car. Here’s what you need to know about this discount and other key discounts for car safety features.
How Much of a Discount Can I Get for Airbags?
You can get a fairly significant discount just for having airbags in your car. If your car was built in the last 20 years or so, they will be required to have airbags in the front of the car. However, cars with additional side airbags, and some cars today even offer some form of airbags or other inflatable support in the back seat of the car. In most cases, the discount you get will depend on how many airbags you have. GEICO offers a very hefty discount for airbags – up to 40 percent off your PIP or medical payments coverage for a full set of airbags. Esurance offers a similar discount of up to 33 percent. However, if your airbags don’t offer as much protection, you may only receive a 10 percent discount, for example.
Why Do Insurance Companies Offer Discounts for Airbags?
When insurance companies calculate your premium, they try to determine how likely you are to file a claim. The more likely you are to file a claim, the higher your premium will be. They offer discounts for anything that will make you less likely to file a claim. Since having airbags can prevent you from getting injured in a crash, insurers will offer discounts on your personal injury protection coverage as well as medical payments coverage. These types of car insurance will pay for your medical treatment if you get injured in a crash, as well as treatment for anyone else in your car at the time. Airbags will not earn you a discount on your liability, collision, or comprehensive coverage, because they don’t make you any less likely to get in a crash in the first place.
Why Are Airbags Important?
Airbags are incredibly important for your safety out on the road. Airbags essentially create a cushion between you and the hard surfaces of the car. This reduces your chances of getting injured as a result of impact with the steering wheel, dashboard, or windows. It’s important to make sure your airbags are maintained properly – they need to be able to open extremely quickly in the event of a crash. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t have very small children sitting in seats where there are airbags. The force of the airbag can actually cause injury to someone who is very small. Some states actually have laws about when children can sit in the front seat of a car.
Engineers first started working on airbags in the 1950s and ‘60s, but they weren’t installed in commercially available cars until the 1970s. By the early ‘90s, most car manufacturers were including them in their vehicles, and front airbags became mandatory by the end of the decade. Since then, many companies have upgraded to including side airbags in their vehicles.
What Other Safety Features Can Get Me a Discount?
There are many other car safety features that will get you a discount on your car insurance. Insurance companies are always happy to reward customers that are driving safer vehicles. Some safety features to consider installing on your car include:
- Anti-lock brakes. These brakes prevent the wheels from locking up if you need to brake quickly, which can prevent you from skidding. As of 2012, all new cars are required to have anti-lock brakes, so there’s a good chance your car already has them. Most insurers will offer a discount for those who have anti-lock brakes, and some states even require that their insurers offer this discount.
- Anti-theft devices. There are many different types of anti-theft devices, including car alarms, car tracking systems, and more. If you have comprehensive coverage, you can earn a discount on your policy with anti-theft devices. The more up-to-date your anti-theft device is, the higher your discount is likely to be.
- Anti-collision sensors. Newer cars often come with sensors to help prevent you from getting into collisions. It’s not only self-driving cars that come with these sensors. Many new models come with electronic stability control, which will prevent your car from skidding or rolling on sharp turns. There are also many new cars that use lane change sensors and cameras to warn you of other vehicles in your blind spot and to help you back in and out of parking spaces without hitting anything.
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC uses modern technology to prevent your vehicle from slipping and sliding on wet, icy roadways. It does this by controlling power to the steering wheel. Only a few insurance companies offer this discount, but regardless, ESC is good to have in your vehicle as it can prevent many nasty traffic accidents.
When you sign up for car insurance, be sure to ask your agent about discounts for airbags and safety features in your car. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best discounts possible for your vehicle, so make sure to assess every safety feature it offers and ask about discounts. If you’re struggling to choose between car insurance companies, comparing their discounts is a good way to determine which one will give you the best value. Of course, when shopping for a new car, make sure to choose one that has airbags to protect you from impact in the unlikely event you are in a collision. For full protection, you’ll need to make sure you have both front and side airbags.