Archive for September, 2011

Car features that save you money on insurance

Nearly all vehicles sold in the U.S. today have a plethora of standard and optional features. Some of these features, such as the tire pressure monitoring devices on new cars, are federally manda Standard and optional car features aren’t just there to provide a greater measure of safety or comfort. In many cases, they can also help you save a lot of money on your car’s insurance.

Auto insurance companies look at nearly every aspect of your vehicle when determining the best quotes available. Since safety features provide a greater measure of protection for occupants and fellow motorists, such features can reduce the amount of risk viewed by insurance companies. With reduced risk come reduced premiums — drivers can save up to hundreds of dollars per year thanks to their vehicle’s included safety and security features:

• Anti-lock Brakes. Introduced in most mainstream vehicles throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, anti-lock brakes have gone a long way in safely reducing stopping distances under all road and weather conditions. Anti-lock Brake systems help drivers prevent brake lock-up by pumping the brakes several times per second, causing the pulsation most people feel when they apply full brakes. The vast majority of new vehicles have ABS as a standard feature.

• Airbags. Most auto insurance agencies offer discounts for having supplemental restraint systems such as frontal and side curtain airbags and automatic seat belts. These features help protect your body from extreme forces in the event of a crash, preventing serious injuries.

• Anti-theft Systems. One risk auto insurance companies factor into premiums is the frequency in which a particular vehicle model is stolen. The higher the risk of a vehicle being stolen, the higher the monthly insurance premiums for that vehicle. Anti-theft devices help reduce the risk of a vehicle being broken into or stolen, which also reduces the possibility of the owner filing an expensive claim for that vehicle. Anti-theft measures include vehicle tracking systems, immobilizers and audible car alarms.

• Traction and Stability Control. These systems prevent your vehicle from going out of control on wet or otherwise unfavorable road surfaces. Traction and stability control work with your vehicle’s ECU to control throttle and brake input, helping your vehicle maintain its traction.

• Daytime Running Lamps. While they’re not entirely popular with many motorists, DRLs improve visibility in daytime conditions. Some insurance companies offer discounts for liability, collision and medical coverage if your vehicle comes equipped from the factory with DRLs.