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Green Car Insurance

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Insurance companies now reward individuals who drive eco-friendly cars
  • Because of the impact these cars have on our environment, many insurance companies see the benefit in rewarding the people who drive them
  • More models of the green car come out each year, and companies are working to make each style more fuel efficient
Can going green lead to savings on car insurance?

The concept of going green is not just a society-wide push to reduce energy demands and prevent global environmental disaster. In fact, going green is a concept to reduce costs of consumer goods, including car insurance.

For many, too much of their income is spent on non-renewable sources and products. People want more money to spend in other areas of life: a better home, a sleeker car, nicer clothing, and healthier diets.

With the popularity of green cars, insurance rates for the Prius and other similar cars are affected.

The initial idea is better gas mileage in hopes of saving our planet. But what effect does going green with a vehicle choice have on car insurance? After all, an insurer’s bottom line is not influenced by environmental changes or is it?

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Why are insurance companies siding with the eco-friendly green movement?

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  • More and stronger storms increase the likelihood damage will be incurred by a vehicle.
  • Floods increase the chances that a car will be swept away and damage the property of another person, the vehicle itself, and perhaps even the driver.
  • As the planet warms, drivers will experience physiological effects that, in turn, affect their ability to drive. The elderly are especially vulnerable to drastic changes in temperature. If they have a heat stroke while driving, then the car insurance company will likely have to pay out on an expensive claim.
  • With entire areas being wiped out — like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina — the fewer customers’ insurance companies will have. Natural disasters have terrible consequences on the car insurance business. Market share decreases, claims increase, and entire economies are shattered.

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How have car insurance companies responded?

Green car insurance has become a new concept of our time and is based on the vested profit interests of the insurance companies.

  • Several companies are offering five to ten percent premium discounts for customers driving eco-friendly vehicles.
  • Companies are enticing consumers to their insurance products with green tokens of appreciation.
  • Some provide 100 percent cost offsets based on vehicle emissions. If your vehicle emits 20 percent fewer bad particles than the average, then your insurance rate will reflect that in savings.
  • Further, some companies ensure the customer that an ample percent of the profits they earn are donated to charities.

Are green vehicles safer?

There are many safe and protective reasons behind insurance companies reducing premiums on green vehicles.

  • Vehicles that do not rely on fossil fuels have a reduced chance of fire during an accident.
  • Most green vehicles have been produced within the past five years and are subject to new government guidelines in production; which have increased the safety of the vehicles.
  • Eco-friendly cars have brighter lights, are more impact-resistant, and tend to have side impact airbags.

Where is the green car industry today?

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It’s a strange day we live in. Twenty years ago, at the beginning of the green car movement, insurance companies prided themselves on how well they were able to profit from their clients. Today, being green or eco-friendly is important to a car insurance company’s image.

For consumers, the time is now to take advantage of the low rates available.

Over the past decades, car companies have invested heavily in creating production model vehicles that are environmentally friendly. Early concepts were impractical, to say the least.

Their driving range hardly got someone to work and back, the vehicles were smaller than the Geo Metro, and finding a mechanic to fix one was as likely as finding a $100 bill on the street.

Fast forwarding to the past ten years, automakers from around the world have moved from producing the concept to having entire fleets with green functionality. At first, it was just the motor. General Motors promoted Flex Fuel designs to burn gasoline mixed with ethanol or vegetable-based fuel.

Of course, their concept wasn’t new or difficult to produce. In fact, Henry Ford originally intended for vehicles to run on ethanol. Other automakers, like Toyota, are promoting hybrid motors that use gasoline to charge batteries. The batteries, once charged, take over powering the vehicle down the road.

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