Automakers are continually adding safety features to their models but this isn’t making coverage cheaper.
Every year, vehicles have a new list of safety features, but they don’t appear to be reflected in auto insurance discounts. A handful of years ago, the devices commonplace in the latest models didn’t even exist. In theory, these are making cars safer. Yet insurance companies are not reflecting that safety boost in the premiums charged for coverage.
Many consumers are now asking why they’re not paying less when they own far safer vehicles.
The reason is that while traditional insurance rates are calculated on risk, there is now a great deal more at play. Many vehicles rolling off the lots today have a plethora of new safety features. Rear backup cameras, lane change alarms, blind spot alerts, collision preparation systems and other features aren’t considered as a part of auto insurance discounts.
The results of a new study by The Zebra showed that purchasing a vehicle with additional safety and security tech saves drivers an average of under 1 percent on their premiums. For many people, that’s not a big enough impact to notice.
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The same study showed 17 states offer no auto insurance discounts at all for new safety technology.
Overall, there are some types of insurance discounts available to drivers, but they don’t include the latest tech. The safety tech features on the latest models don’t usually include any savings at all – or extremely little. However, older devices can make a larger difference.
For example, most auto insurance companies will offer policyholders a discount if they have a passive or active anti-theft device. This can include anything from car alarms to physical products meant to stop the steering wheel from turning or to disable the ignition. The presence of electronic stability control is also often rewarded with lower premiums.
Many in the insurance industry believe there is a main reason for this trend. The auto insurance rates don’t reflect the very latest safety technology because the long-term benefits data doesn’t yet exist. Until insurers can see stats that show improvements to the rate of crash, reductions in damage and prevention of injury, it is difficult for them to measure how much of a risk reduction is provided. As these features become older, it is more likely that discounts will start to become more appealing and widely available.