Car Insurance for Eco Cars

By Desiree Baughman
Desiree maintains insurance licensure in 46 states, and by combining years of experience as a writer and insurance professional, she delivers information consumers can easily relate to and understand. A graduate of Sweet Briar College with a diverse writing portfolio, she regularly serves as an expert source and commentator for respected outlets like CBS Money, Bankrate, and Ragan.com.

Car Insurance for Eco CarsIt may be hard to believe, but hybrid cars aren’t quite as new of a development as many think. The history of hybrid cars may date as far as back as 1665, when a Jesuit priest and astronomer created a plan for a small four-wheeled, unmanned “steam vehicle” for a Chinese emperor. A name we all recognize, though, may have really started progression towards the “green” machines we know today — Henry Ford actually began thinking about electric-powered vehicles in 1904, and by 1905, an apparently ahead-of-his-time engineer by the name of H. Piper even filed a patent for “petrol-electric hybrid cars”.

Granted, the original plans for hybrid vehicles certainly differ from their current reality. Green or “eco” cars are characterized as being lightweight, small, and inexpensive to buy, operate, and in most cases, repair – only fitting for today’s world where compact is king. This is precisely why 39% of car owners in a recent Consumer Reports survey reported considering a hybrid as their next vehicle, and given the growing number of hybrid options, they won’t have a problem doing so. J.D. Power and Associates estimates that 7% of the U.S. market will be hybrid vehicles by 2015, more than triple what it was in 2007.

The positive environmental impacts of hybrids isn’t the only “green goodness” either — insuring them tends to have an attractive price tag, too.

Why is Insurance Cheaper for Eco Cars?

Also known as “green vehicles”, eco cars may be less expensive to insure — sometimes by 10% — and many insurers offer instant discounts for eco car owners. In fact, Traveler’s Insurance has an entire division dedicated to insuring hybrid cars, as do GEICO and Farmer’s Insurance Group. The cheaper premiums are attributed to many reasons, including:

  • They tend to be smaller and more lightweight, thus causing less damage in the event of an accident.
  • They’re less powerful, which is beneficial for the same reasons as stated above.
  • They tend to perform well in safety tests.
  • Being the green-minded individuals hybrid vehicle owners are, 63% of hybrid vehicle owners report driving 40 miles or less daily on average. Environmentally-conscious drivers often make prime candidates for pay as you drive (PAYD) policies, which can save them money due to less driving.
  • Since hybrid vehicles are still essentially “new” to the standard auto market, they often come with all the extra bells and whistles as far as the newest safety features.
  • Statistically, drivers of hybrid vehicles are often safer drivers.
  • They’re less likely to be stolen.

Some insurers will even offset the amount of pollution that your car may cause by crediting things such as environmental charity contributions in lieu of paying for car insurance.

Shopping for eco car insurance is no different than looking for standard car insurance, except that you may be handsomely rewarded with lower premiums that will have others a little “green” about your low rates.