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Do Cars with Enhanced Safety Features Lower Car Insurance?

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By Deanna McCarty on December 16, 2020 in insurance basics

Everyone wants to feel safe on the road. Car companies focus on this desire by adding additional safety features to even base models of vehicles. Read on to find out how these features could help with peace of mind and how they impact insurance rates!

Do Cars with Enhanced Safety Features Lower Car Insurance?

The Zebra conducted a survey with 1,165 drivers. Of these respondents, 54% believed anti-theft technology would impact their rate and 46% believed that in-car safety technology would impact their rate. So, which group of respondents was right? Both, neither, or just one?

Do cars with enhanced safety features actually lower car insurance rates? The answer is: sometimes. Forbes breaks down the catch-22 insurance companies experience around advanced safety systems, “On the one hand, the technology can prevent accidents. On the other hand, it raises the cost of the car – and of repairs. That means auto insurance companies have to pay more when there are claims.”

Consumer Reports lists advanced safety systems as:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • High-Speed Automatic Emergency Braking
  • City Automatic Emergency Breaking
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Rear Cross Traffic Warning
  • Lane Keeping Assistance
  • Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • And more!

However, some companies, Say included, offer an anti-theft discount for drivers who have a qualifying anti-theft device installed in their vehicle. These range from car alarms to GPS trackers to disabling devices that prevent the car from being driven without the key. So, these devices could make your car safer and save you money on your car insurance policy!

Cars with Enhanced Safety Features May Cost More to Replace

If you’re prone to distraction on the road, these features might be essential to keeping you and your passengers safe. However, enhanced safety features might cost you more up front when purchasing your vehicle and will likely not save you money on your car insurance policy in the immediate future.

Forbes touches on the repair cost differences between cars with advanced safety features and those without, “The average repair bill can be twice as much as a conventional vehicle’s following a collision due to expensive sensors and their calibration requirements.” For example, let’s look into replacing a park assist camera. Seems small enough, right? It’s just a little backup camera that helps ensure you don’t run over the neighbors’ toys. According to Repair Pal, “the average cost for park assist camera replacement is between $589 and $605.” Even though it seems like a small part of your vehicle, the cost for repair is sizeable!

Word on the street is these safety features will start saving you money in the near future. However, there isn’t enough data in the car world to truly prove this positive effect, yet. Once substantial numbers are reported showing that accidents were prevented because of these features, insurance companies will likely to begin to offer discounts rewarding drivers who use “safer” vehicles.

Important to Review your Coverage to Find Opportunities for Discounts

Discounts are great. Everyone wants to save a little cash money on mundane expenses like car insurance. We get it – that’s why we offer a range of discount options for our customers.

There are discounts offered for specific safety features like anti-lock brakes or airbags, but these vary based on insurance provider and state. The safety discount that is increasingly more prevalent is the “safe driver” discount where insurance companies offer a percentage off your insurance premium if you allow them to track your driving on the road, real time.

Here at Say, it’s important to us that all our drivers stay alert and safe on the road, which is why we offer a defensive driving discount.

No matter which insurance provider you select, be sure to let them know about safety or anti-theft devices your vehicle has to find out what discount options are offered.

Conclusion

So, those high-tech safety features might not help you save on your monthly car insurance policy, but they could help you stay safe out on the road. Plus, there’s hope that insurance companies will offer discounts sometime in the near future to reward drivers for adding some of these to their vehicle.

Stay safe on the road!

Go with the clear choice.


Deanna McCarty is the Director of Personal Lines Underwriting. She has overall responsibility for planning, directing and coordinating Personal Lines Underwriting operations. Deanna has been an Underwriting Director for 4 years, prior to that she was Manager of the St. Louis Claims Branch. She has been an employee of the company for over 20 years and has worked as Director for Say Personal Lines operations since its inception. Her experience in health claims, P&C claims, and underwriting has helped her gain knowledge of various aspects of the insurance world.

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