Safety Features That Can Save Money on Car Insurance

Save Money on Car Insurance with These Safety Features

Who doesn’t want to save money on car insurance? It is entirely overpriced – I’m sure I pay too much and I tell my husband we could probably save money on car insurance in an instant if we looked around and we compared rates, but we are kind of lazy and also kind of love our agent, so we aren’t going to. However, I know that many others are looking for a way to save money on car insurance, and we have some pretty interesting ideas that you might not have considered in the past. For example, did you know that by calling your insurance agent and telling him or her about all the new and amazing features your new car has that you might be able to save money on car insurance?

If you’re a frequent new car driver like myself, you probably already know that cars come with some cool features. However, those who like to drive the same vehicle their entire lives until it actually dies and only then do they purchase something new, you might be surprised – and you might have no idea that the many features your car now has can actually save you money on car insurance if you just call on it. For example, I was recently having a conversation with my mother, who is a drive-it-til-it-dies pro. She is of the opinion that you do not purchase a new car until the one you have is no longer able to move – and only then after it’s been fixed a million times. It’s not uncommon for my parents to drive their vehicles until they have more than a half million miles on them (last count my dad’s car has 600,000 miles on it).

So, they have no idea that other people have cool feature sin their vehicles since theirs are 8-10 years old. When my mom first realized I had an outlet – like an actual outlet in which I can plug anything from my hair dryer to a microwave – she was in shock. I, on the other hand, have had an outlet in my vehicles for years. The same goes for Bluetooth, heated and cooled seats, entertainment systems, and rear back-up cameras (I haven’t had a vehicle in over a decade that does not have a rear back-up camera, and I don’t know how people drive without it). She also had no idea that they make SUVs now that tell you that you’re too close to the lines, or that slow down for you when you get within a certain number of feet from the car in front of you. I thought everyone knew these things – even if they chose to save money and buy a more basic vehicle, I honestly thought these things were just common knowledge.

They are not. And what’s amazing is that these are things that can save money on car insurance for drivers that have them. Okay, so my mom isn’t going to save money on car insurance since she does not actually have any of these features in her car, but at least she knows now that she can when hers dies and she finally decides to go car shopping for something new that she can drive for another decade. If you’re looking for ways you can save money on car insurance, check your owner’s manual to see if your car features any of these super cool – and saving – features that will save you big time.

How to Save Money on Car Insurance with Safety Features

You might not just automatically save money on your car insurance when you have these features installed in your car. For example, your insurance agent might not think to mention that you can save money on car insurance with any of these features. You might assume that he just knows, and he might assume that you will mention it. You do have to mention it if you want to save. In fact, I’d suggest you go through your vehicle’s owner manual right now to see what kind of safety features are equipped in your vehicle and make a list. Call your insurance agent and let him or her know what you have in there and then go from there. You will find out on the phone what kind of discounts you can expect to receive now that your insurance provider knows you have some specific safety features installed in your car.

Automatic Seat Belts

I’m going to start with this one as a way to save money on car insurance, because I guarantee most people have no idea this works. In fact, my guess is that most people don’t have this feature. For my old-school drivers who don’t like new cars every few years, this is going to help you out since most of the other safety features that are installed in vehicles these days are not going to be in your vehicle. This is something that was around long before air bags; and that’s a long time now.

Do you remember growing up and riding in your parent’s car? You’d sit down and a seat belt would come flying at you from the front of the car, putting itself around your neck and giving you absolutely no chance to do anything but buckle the lap belt? This is a motorized seat belt. It was designed to remind passengers to buckle up before air bags were invented and installed in vehicles. It seems that air bags have replaced this type of safety measure in vehicles, but many car insurance companies know that some of their drivers are old-school and still drive vehicles that they first bought a long time ago. What this means is that you still get a discount. You might not have air bags, but your insurance company might offer you the chance to have a discount to save money on car insurance if you have a motorized or automatic seat belt installed in your older vehicle (you hear that, mom?).

Daytime Running Lights

Did you know that these could offer you a discount? All our vehicles have daytime running lights, and we never gave it a second thought. However, we can save money on car insurance by mentioning this to our insurance company, and that’s a nice feature. If you’re not sure what a daytime running light is, it is headlights that come on automatically when your vehicle starts no matter the time of day. This is not a feature that’s going to offer huge savings by any means, but it’s going to offer small savings. Most vehicles have daytime running lights as a standard feature and have had them since the mid-90s.

Collision Avoidance

A nice safety feature that may sometimes be a little annoying, this is a great feature for those who are looking to stay safe on the road and save money on car insurance. You’re going to find that this is a love/hate system. It uses sensors in the vehicle to detect the potential for a collision and then does the driving for you. It takes some getting used to (which is where the hate comes in) when your vehicle suddenly slams on the brakes itself without your knowledge. However, if the vehicle in front of you has done the same thing, this can save you life or at least prevent an accident from occurring. There are a number of actions that this type of system takes to save you and the passengers in your car, such as tightening seat belts at the same time to save passengers. However, if you unfortunately get involved in an auto accident, you may consider getting help from a personal injury lawyer or an auto accident attorney to get the compensation you need. A car accident lawyer may help coordinate with the insurance company and present the claim that will help the accident victim get properly compensated.

Blind Spot Detection

Who doesn’t love a blind spot detection system? It’s what I love most about my SUV. I have four small kids and a big, big vehicle and I have to be able to drive safely even when I cannot see my blind spots. That’s why I love this feature the most; I love knowing that my mirrors change and that my dash will warn me when there is something in my blind spots. It makes me feel safe and very secure on the road. This is typically a feature that comes along with the lane-departure warning system, so check that out below if you want to save money on car insurance thanks to all the cool features your new ride might possess.

Anti-Lock Brakes

This is a big one, and most cars have this feature even if they are not brand new. In fact, I’m pretty sure all cars within the past decade or so have this feature, but I could be mistaken. A long time ago, wheels would lock when the brakes were slammed, and it caused a number of accidents. Drivers would do this thing where they would pump on the brakes to prevent skidding and other potential dangers, and vehicle manufacturers knew then and there that they had to do something to keep drivers safer. That’s where anti-lock brakes came in. This feature isn’t something we consider an upgrade today, but it is a way you can save money on car insurance. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, all vehicles manufactured after 2012 come with this feature – and many of them even before that. Some insurance companies will tell you the discount they offer for this, such as 10% at Allstate. Additionally, New Jersey, New York and Florida insurance companies are required to give their customers a discount for this feature so that they can save money on car insurance.

Adaptive Cruise Control

This is a feature that will save any drive on car insurance because it’s going to keep you safer on the road. Essentially, it’s a traffic monitoring system that uses the current traffic positions and your GPS coordinates to see the traffic flow, the pattern and what is happening on the road. The intelligence system in the car then uses that information to adjust your driving so that you do not approach vehicles in front of you too quickly and so that you are able to remain safe on the road based on conditions you might not yet be aware of.

Air Bags

Since 1999, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has required that all vehicles have frontal air bags to protect front  seat passengers and drivers, and many have been required to have side air bags also. Most all vehicles have front and side air bags to protect drivers and their passengers, and insurance companies recognize this and use this to provide you with a discount that will help you save money on car insurance.

Lane-Departure Warning

This is something I have a love/hate relationship with all the way. For one, I love that I get a car insurance discount on this one that allows me to save money on car insurance. I also love that it warns me before something like a car accident that I’ve drifted into oncoming traffic (I know you’re thinking that I must be the worst driver ever not to already know in advance, but sometimes when you have a child in the back seat that’s choking on something and you’re turning around to save a child and trying to find a place to pull over at the same time to so you can jump out and actually save the life of a child, you have issues with staying in the correct lane). However, there is nothing as irritating as the sudden and very violet vibration of the driver seat on either the right or left side that allows me to know that I am crossing over the line – especially when it’s on purpose, such as a lane change or when I’m passing. But, it’s safe and it’s effective and it does its job of saying, “Hey! WATCH THE ROAD, IDIOT!”

Electronic Stability Control

Required since the 2012 model year on all vehicles by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this is a feature that does save you money. This is a feature that can save your life and prevent an accident on a daily basis. Since anything can happen on the road and rainy or snowy wet days don’t call for all people to stay home in bed with their pajamas and a good book, some hot coffee and peace and quiet (but goodness, that does sound like a law someone does need to enact, right?), we all spend some time on the road when conditions are less than perfect for driving. That means we are all at risk for doing something silly on the road such as hitting a slippery patch on the road and skidding.

This feature is designed to save money on car insurance for drivers that have it in their vehicles because it works to prevent this from happening in any car. Instead of you having to take control and prevent a skid when it happens, sensors in the vehicle are designed to do this for you. The sensors in your vehicle work with the internal computer to determine whether or not your car is capable of handling roads during slippery conditions, and then they work together so that you can keep the vehicle on track and in control all by itself. It will give you a chance to stay safe by keeping you safe in conditions that are typically considered less than desirable.

If you want to save money on car insurance with something like this, you’re going to need to check with your company under the collision coverage you have, since this is where the discount is most often applied. Most insurance companies will happily allow you to save around 15% on your coverage if you have this option installed in your vehicle – and you will if your car is a 2012 model or newer.

Rear-View Camera

I said it once before; I have not driven a vehicle without a back-up camera since 2005. This it just something that I cannot live without (though I do prefer my back-up camera in my rear view mirror than in my navigation in the dash, but that’s not always my choice). This is something that is often given a discount since it allows you to back-up, to see what’s behind you and prevent you from running into things (like that tree you thought was next to you and not behind you). I thought that all cars came with this until we rented a smaller car recently on a trip with just our big girls – we were shocked to get into our rental Jeep and see that it did not have a back-up camera.

Emergency Response System

This is a feature that many insurance companies consider valuable, so you can save money on car insurance if your vehicle has one. However, it’s not that easy to explain since all vehicles are created differently and have different features. For example, one vehicle might have an emergency response system that immediately turns off the fuel and unlocks a locked door in the instance that air bags are deployed and driving is a dangerous feature. Another might actually call an emergency response center when the company is warned of an accident. For example, I have OnStar, and if they detect that my vehicle is in an accident, they will immediately call authorities and let them know that I’ve been involved in an accident and provide them with my location according to the internal GPS in my vehicle.

Anti-Theft Systems

When a vehicle is stolen, it costs car insurance companies a lot of money – a lot of money. That’s why many of them are willing to let their drivers save money on car insurance when they have an alarm system on the vehicle that makes it far more difficult to steal. I’ll go ahead and tell you this; get a BMW if you’re that worried. When my husband accidentally locked the keys in mine a few years ago, it took us three days to get into the car after calling AAA, BMW Assist, and several tow truck companies (and the police). Apparently, it’s near impossible to break into a BMW by popping a lock from inside the window as it doesn’t work and it sends the vehicle into shut down mode that can only be accessed at that point by a key (which, naturally, has to be special ordered and shipped). Seeing as how our phones were in there, our wallets and keys to our home and everything else was in there; it was bad. Thankfully, our local BMW dealer was able to get us in (on a holiday, no less) faster than anyone else.

On that note, if your vehicle has a stolen vehicle recovery system installed in it, that’s another great way to save money on car insurance. This is a feature that helps you see your vehicle again after it’s stolen because it monitors the location of the vehicle, and it’s going to allow you to save money. Police are more likely to be able to find a stolen vehicle that has a system like this installed, so they are more likely to offer you a discount since they probably will not need to shell out the cash for a car if yours is returned to you.

Tire-Pressure Monitoring System

Standard in all vehicles since 2008, this is a great feature that allows you to save money on car insurance. This is a system that tells you when your tire pressure is low so that you can fill your tires up or know to have them checked for a leak. This can warn you in advance and help you to prevent a blow out on the side of the road that can cause an accident. Additionally, there is another feature associated with this monitoring system that’s going to save you some serious money. You’re going to save big-time when you use this since you can keep your tires correctly inflated. When they are correctly inflated, you are less likely to burn fuel – wasted fuel. So now you are saving money on car insurance and on your gas purchases. That sounds like a win-win situation all the way around.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply