Going green and saving green with your eco-car
Your green car can help your car insurance
With the rising awareness of environmental issues and the need to sustainably manage the planet’s resources, reducing your carbon footprint is now a lifestyle choice. After all, nearly 30% of the US global warming emissions come from the transportation sector; a staggering statistic. As a result, fuel efficient vehicles, such as hybrid and electric cars and trucks, are gaining popularity. They are fast becoming a mainstream reality, since they help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while being more affordable at the same time. They can also reduce your car insurance costs.
There are many green options out there, so you’ll find it easy to choose the one that suits you best, whether that’s a hybrid or an electric vehicle, or even a clean diesel car, which a highly fuel efficient technology that lowers vehicle CO2.
Hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, combine a fuel-powered source with an electric motor; electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model S (which was also the top selling electric car in the US in 2015), have a limited range but also emit zero greenhouse gases if the electricity comes from renewable sources.
The right car choice can lower your car insurance
Choosing green vehicles can also offer another benefit besides helping the environment: they can lower the cost of your insurance. You’ll be doing your part for the planet while enjoying savings
Choices are out there to help green your world
from driving an eco-friendly vehicle, as some providers will offer lower premiums because green cars are often smaller and less powerful. This makes them highly attractive for many people, be it individual drivers or fleet managers.
Another reason why car insurance rates are cheaper for eco-friendly vehicles is that the odds of being injured in an accident are 25 percent lower, the addition of a battery making cars 10 percent heavier; a fact established back in 2011.
Whether you own a personal vehicle or a fleet, and require personal, chauffeur or taxi insurance, the truth is that most providers are willing to offer some kind of discounted rate if you drive an eco-friendly vehicle. For example, hybrid drivers can have lower insurance rates due to the unique battery charging technology in their cars, which can encourage them to improve their driving habits. This is because hybrids achieve better fuel economy at low, constant speeds, and the batteries can also have a longer lifespan as a result.
Cars with tools to save you money
Your insurance rates may reflect your driving
Because hybrids use a regenerative braking system, they can capture and store kinetic energy when the brakes are engaged. As such, gradual braking becomes necessary to save fuel – and can be considered essential for keeping a clean driving record. In turn, that can prevent sudden braking, which can lead to accidents. This further helps drivers achieve lower car insurance rates.
Drivers with a DUI citation can see their insurance rates rise by an average of 92 percent, while reckless driving can increase rates by 83 percent; further proof that simply maintaining a spotless record can help you tremendously with regard to your insurance premium.
All this means that opting to drive a green vehicle can actually help you save money, both at the moment of purchase and in the long run. This is true specifically when it’s time to have it insured and fueled.
The importance of going green is becoming widely recognized, with governments even going as far as offering incentives for drivers to choose hybrid and electric cars. So not only do they offer better tax credits and a discount in car insurance rates, they have the added benefit of being kinder to the environment.
Tips for the new car buyer
When it comes to purchasing a new car, people usually focus on the technical characteristics of the vehicle itself, which often means that another important part of the buying process – getting car insurance – often becomes an afterthought, if not entirely forgotten.
But that can sometimes result in quite a few headaches when a buying decision is finally made – one might find himself or herself with an unexpectedly steep car insurance bill, which can end up making the choice of car wrong altogether.
Luckily, when it comes to hybrid owners, they have much better chances of getting a good deal on their insurance because companies seem to favor eco-friendly vehicles, although the reasons for it might not be the ones you’d expect.
But even if you’ve bought a hybrid, there are still questions you should ask before getting car insurance for a hybrid, which can help you determine the best insurance company for your needs. So some of the important questions any hybrid owner should ask themselves before choosing an insurance provider:
What’s Your Total Budget?
This one goes not only for hybrid owners, but it should most definitely be a big part of the buying process for those who plan on buying a hybrid as well.
A hybrid can give you benefits when it comes to insurance
Figuring out your total budget means that you should consider the expenses not only for the car itself, but take into account the potential insurance expenses that will come with it.
Can You Get Better Risk Assessment?
Luckily for hybrid owners, many of the top insurance providers look kindly towards hybrid drivers and often give them significant discounts on their insurance policies.
But it’s not because of the car itself – they have simply found that hybrid owners tend to be safer drivers and, additionally, drive fewer miles in general. What that means that you, as a hybrid owner, simply are less likely to get into an accident and thus there’s a lesser chance of them ever having to make a payout.
But there’s another side to insurance – if you want it to cover your repair expenses, your insurance rate might go up significantly – hybrid parts are typically more expensive and that can increase the payments.
Who Can Drive Your Car?
Another commonly overlooked question that people forget to ask themselves is who exactly will be driving the car. Is it only you? Or are other members or your family or even friends also going to drive it?
The fact is that an accident might occur while someone other than you is behind the wheel, so you have to anticipate it and make sure that the insurance company has you covered for all the people that might be driving the car.
Do They Cover OEM Part Replacement?
Hybrids need some special questions
Don’t fall into the trap of basing your insurance choices solely on price – even if it seems they have you covered for all that you need. Always carefully check if they offer to use original manufacturer’s parts in a repair, or if they specify aftermarket parts, which are more generic and thus are cheaper, but can cause problems because they may not be specifically designed for your models.
Of course with hybrids, in many cases the company just won’t have a choice except to provide you with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. But for the less crucial stuff, they might still do it.
It’s something that’s very often overlooked by car owners looking for insurance, and this detail, often hidden deep in the fine print, can end up costing you when you have to replace at least some of the parts out of your own pocket, even when you have insurance.
Can You Get Assistance 24/7?
When you’re dealing with a stressful situation like a car accident, you obviously have enough on your plate already and just want to resolve it as soon as possible, so one of the worst situations to be in that case is if you can’t get assistance from your insurance company after work hours and have to wait until the next day, even to simply fill out a claim report.
Of course, most of the bigger companies have 24/7 claims service, but you still have to check – it’s an essential part of having insurance in the first place, so you don’t want to have any unpleasant surprises.
Also, figure out in advance what the company’s exact policy is on accepting claims – what kind of information do they need, how complicated is the initial process and how quickly can you do it.
Going through those five questions should make getting the right car insurance for your hybrid an easy choice.