You bought a new car with all the bells and whistles. Not only does it have a rear camera so you can make sure no one is there before you back up, but it beeps when you get too close to your mailbox. Even better, it has special features that make loud noises if you aren't staying in your own lane and slows your car down if you’re getting too close to the car in front of you.
It’s awesome feeling so safe in your car, and you’ve got a feeling these added safety features will help you save money on auto insurance. But, will they?
Safety features that actually lower your insurance rates
Because auto insurance rates take the likelihood of a collision into account, safety features that can prevent a crash or reduce damage from a crash can lower your insurance rates.
According to an article by State Farm, standard safety features that you should have include, but aren’t limited to, front air bags, electronic stability control, safety belts and the LATCH child safety seat system.
These four safety updates are a bit more recent and may also help lower your rates.
Forward collision warning – This safety feature warns you if you’re coming too close to a vehicle in front of you. In some vehicles, it may even automatically slow your car down.
Adaptive headlights – These headlights improve visibility around curves by pivoting the lighting in the direction you’re heading in as you turn.
“When the HLDI studied adaptive headlights offered on Acura, Mazda, Mercedes, and Volvo models, it discovered that they lowered property damage liability claims by as much as 10%,” according to State Farm.
Blind spot detection – This feature alerts drivers of objects that may be in their blind spots, helping them avoid a collision with other cars or anything else they can’t see.
Anti-theft system – If your car is a model that is frequently stolen, you may be able to save on insurance costs if you have an anti-theft system in place.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only features that can help you save money on auto insurance, and the topic may even be more nuanced than you think. For example, some cars with all the safety features in the world may cost more to insure for different, unrelated reasons.
There are also many factors that go into auto insurance rates beyond safety features, and some of them may not be in your control. You can’t control your age, after all.
How to score lower auto insurance rates no matter what you drive
If you want to save on auto insurance, your best course of action is focusing on what you can control. This absolutely includes choosing a car with relevant safety features that make it a less risky bet, but there are other factors to be aware of, too.
Your credit score – Believe it or not, insurers often look to your credit score to determine how risky you are as a driver. You can take steps to improve your scores including paying down your debts, maintaining a good payment history and keeping the number of inquires on your credit to a minimum.
Your driving record – While you can’t erase any past tickets or collisions on your record, driving safely today can help lead to lower insurance costs. The longer you avoid a wreck or a speeding ticket, the lower the rates can go.
Your deductible – Keeping a low deductible on your auto insurance typically requires you to pay a higher monthly rate. On the flip side, you can save money on auto insurance if you boost your deductible.
Your insurance company – If you haven’t shopped around for auto insurance lately, you should probably make this task a priority. Most auto insurance companies will quietly raise your rates over time, which is why shopping around can yield great savings. Fortunately, you don't even have to leave your house to get free auto insurance quotes and compare the prices. In fact, you can do so right here on Policygenius.