When you’re shopping for a car, there aren’t a lot of surprises with regard to the price. Prices are clearly displayed, and we all know the dealership might haggle with you a bit, but generally speaking you know what you’re getting into!
Your auto insurance rates, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. Premiums can vary according to the type of car you choose. And, contrary to popular belief, a more expensive vehicle doesn’t necessarily equal higher auto insurance premiums. In fact, sometimes consumers are surprised to find that a pricey vehicle is cheaper to insure than they imagined!
Why is this? Often new and more expensive cars come with substantial safety features that greatly lower the possibility of an accident. With lower risk comes lower insurance premiums. So, keeping that idea in mind, look for these safety features when you’re shopping for a new car.
Additional airbags. Older vehicles might have two front airbags, but nearly every new car on the market today also includes side and side-curtain airbags. Some even have front-center airbags or pedestrian airbags that pop out over the windshield (in the event that you hit a pedestrian). These innovations lower the risk of significant injury.
Electronic Stability Control. The ESC checks 25 times per second to ensure that your car’s direction corresponds to the steering input. If not, this indicates that you have lost control of the vehicle. The system then applies the brakes andard on all cars sold in the US since 2012, so it could be an important consideration if you’re looking at slightly older cars.
Back-up camera. A back-up camera greatly reduces the risk of parking lot fender-benders and all new cars sold in the US will include them by May 2018.
Adaptive headlights. Driving on a dark and curvy road can be dangerous. Adaptive headlights pivot according to steering wheel input, for better illumination of the road ahead of you.
Blind-spot warning. A radar or camera system monitors your blind spot, and you’re notified by a light when another vehicle moves into this place. Most systems will also give you an audible alarm if you attempt to change lanes when another vehicle is in your blind spot.
Lane departure warning. Sleepy commuters are protected by lane departure warning systems, which sounds an alarm or even vibrates the steering wheel when the driver begins to change lanes without using the turn signal.
Forward collision warning. If you begin to approach another vehicle too quickly, an alarm or vibration signals drivers to pay more attention to the road. Many cars also include auto-braking, which will apply the brakes and help you avert an accident.
No one is saying that these safety features will always help you avoid an accident, or that their presence will always help you obtain lower auto insurance rates. But in general, a safer vehicle does mean lower risk; and you can’t put a price on your life. If you’re considering two or more different vehicles, call us for an insurance quote on each of them before making your final decision. You might be surprised to find that the more expensive, but safer car is less expensive to insure than you imagined.