Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Buying a Car With Lots of Safety Features? Here’s Why It May Not Lower Your Insurance Costs

by BD Banks

<div>Buying a Car With Lots of Safety Features? Here's Why It May Not Lower Your Insurance Costs</div>

Image source: Getty Images

If you’re in the market for a car these days, you’ll probably notice that newer models have way more safety features than the models of years past. Many new cars have features that include backup cameras, lane departure warnings, brake warnings, and more.

The purpose of these features is to help drivers avoid accidents and damage to their vehicles. So if you’re spacing out a bit on the road and your car starts beeping at you to brake, you may be inclined to heed that warning and avoid rear-ending the driver who’s stopped in front of you. And if you use a backup camera, you may be less likely to back into another vehicle that happens to be exiting a parking lot at the same time you are.

You might think that having a car that’s loaded with safety features will result in you paying less for auto insurance. But actually, those features could end up costing you more for one big reason.

It’s all about the money

U.S. News & World Report puts the average annual cost of car insurance at $1,547 this year. But the amount of money you’re quoted for auto insurance will depend on different factors. These include:

  • Your driving record (think speeding tickets and such)
  • How many years of experience you have driving
  • Where you live
  • The type of car you have

The last one makes sense, because if you’re buying a new car for $45,000, your insurer will have to spend more to replace it than a car costing $29,500. But it’s for this reason that you might spend more to insure a car that’s loaded with safety features.

Those fancy backup cameras and side-view cameras? They cost money. Auto insurers are aware of this fact. And while those features might play some role in preventing accidents, insurers know that in the event of an accident, they’re going to have to pay up to replace those features. As such, you might pay more to insure a car with these features than one without them.

Do safety features actually help prevent accidents?

Ultimately, paying attention on the road may be a better means of avoiding accidents than relying on your car’s various warnings. But Forbes reports that vehicles with blind spot monitoring have a crash involvement rate that’s 14% lower than vehicles without it.

As such, you could make the argument to your insurer that safety features reduce the risk of an accident and see if it results in a lower premium rate. But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t.

That said, you may be able to save money on car insurance by shopping around for quotes and doing things like taking a defensive driving course (though make sure any course you look into is approved by your insurer). You can also see if you’re eligible for a low-mileage discount, which may apply if you don’t use your vehicle for commuting purposes due to working from home.

Finally, if you own a place of your own, you can see if bundling your auto and homeowners insurance policies results in some savings. But don’t be surprised if choosing a car with safety features doesn’t.

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