Your car's features can reduce your insurance rates

Written by Penny Gusner on March 26, 2014 & Posted in Auto Insurance

Whether it's a new or used car that you're buying, you need to be aware of which features the vehicle is equipped with. Some features can help you obtain discounts, while others may raise your rates.

Vehicles with higher horsepower or that have been customized can increase your auto insurance premium. In fact, if the vehicle has custom items, like rims and stereo system, you may need to add custom parts and equipment coverage to your policy to cover these items, because your basic personal auto insurance policy normally won't.

Features of a car that lower your risk as a driver, or may help cut down on the amount paid out on claims, will help lower your car insurance rates in the way of discounts applied to certain portions of your policy.

For instance, anti-theft devices will lower your comprehensive coverage premium (from around 5 percent to 30 percent) since these items help reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen and/or will help in the recovery of your vehicle if it is stolen.

Anti-theft devices and deterrents that may result in a discount include:

  • VIN etching on windows and windshield
  • An alarm with siren and flashing lights
  • An active alarm that cuts starting system, fuel or ignition
  • A passive alarm that automatically sets when engine is off
  • A vehicle tracking system
  • A vehicle recovery system

You will receive larger discounts for more advanced anti-theft systems, such as the Lojack recovery system, and lower discounts for items like the alarm that sets when you lock your vehicle.

Safety features are advancing every year, but the newest items, such as lane departure warning, have yet to earn a discount with most auto insurance providers. It takes time to collect data to show that these new features are lowering accidents, and thus claims, and thus deserve a car insurance company to discount it.

The following safety features are the ones car insurance companies most commonly offer a discount on coverage for (it may be collision, liability and/or medical coverages, depending upon the item):

  • Air bags
  • Daytime running lights
  • Seat belts
  • Antilock brakes
  • Traction-control system
  • Electronic stability control system

What discounts are available and how much coverage premiums are reduced vary from one car insurance company to the next. By comparison shopping for auto insurance quotes when buying a car you can discover which auto insurance carrier is offering the best discounts as well as lowest overall rates


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