If the threat of $5-a-gallon gasoline or concern for the environment haven’t motivated you to trade in your gas-guzzler, maybe the additional savings from green vehicle insurance discounts will be the tipping point.
Several car insurance companies now offer discounts of up to 10% to owners of hybrid and electric vehicles. Discounts for green vehicles are part of a trend in the insurance industry to put a greater emphasis on lower mileage and other eco-friendly habits versus pure safety features. The fact is that your average Prius isn’t much safer than than your average Ford F150. While some eco-friendly cars do have advanced features that help them prevent accidents, most modern vehicles have all the same safety bells and whistles, whether they’re hybrid, electric or internal combustion.
What does make a difference in the collective mind of insurance underwriters is that they think you’re a more responsible person for choosing to drive green. And they equate your greater sense of responsibility with a reduced risk of accidents. Their actuarial tables confirm their thinking. Statistically, green vehicles are involved in fewer serious accidents than are gas-guzzlers (maybe because it’s impossible to exceed the speed limit in a Leaf or a Volt) and their sophisticated ignition and electronic systems make green vehicles less attractive to car thieves looking for a quick getaway.
Do you drive an alternative-fuel vehicle? Insurers are being encouraged by state and federal governments to promote non-fossil-fuel use. So driving a car that uses bio-diesel, electricity, ethanol or natural gas may also make you eligible for a discount.
Of course, other factors besides the car you’re driving ultimately determine what your car insurance premium will be. By doing a little research and shopping for competitive car insurance quotes, you can determine if the insurance savings for owning an eco-friendly vehicle are worth the additional purchase price and fuel savings over time.
If you’re not ready to shell out big bucks for a hybrid or an electric car, driving less can help you qualify for a green vehicle insurance discount if you enroll in one of the voluntary Pay-As-You-Go programs available from several insurance companies. For agreeing to install a device in your car that tracks the miles you drive, you receive a discount because fewer miles on the road equates to less opportunity to be in a car accident.