Drive green, save on insurance

While walking, biking or mass transport are the most environmentally friendly ways to get around, driving is a necessary evil for many of us – but so many individual trips we make tend to be trivial or could be consolidated into a single journey.

There’s certainly an environmental incentive by doing reducing miles driven as less driving = less oil being consumed = less greenhouse gas emissions plus other exhaust chemicals.

There’s also a financial incentives such as spending less on fuel and maintenance – but here’s an extra one.

The more time you’re on the road I guess the greater the chance are of you having an accident; which can make for more of an insurance risk.

Some insurance companies are recognizing this and are offering drivers clocking up lower than average mileage a discount on their premiums.

One such company is GMAC Insurance in the USA. Their program uses technology available through OnStar, an in-vehicle safety and security system, to measure total miles driven.

If a GMAC Insurance customer has an OnStar subscription, they automatically receive a discount of approximately 26 percent; but additionally if the customer drives fewer than 15,000 miles in a year, they may be eligible for up to 54 percent discount on their auto insurance. This can translate to over $400 based on a normal $800 insurance premium.

The discount works on a sliding scale – the fewer the miles driven, the larger the discount.

Regarding the issue of privacy; according to Michael J. Dunklee from GMAC who let me know about their program, locations to which the customer drives and the speeds at which they drive are not reported to GMAC Insurance – just total mileage.

You can learn more about the GMAC Insurance program here.

Going green does have it’s rewards and it’s great to see companies introducing innovative programs to reward people for actually consuming less! It might not be so popular with the oil companies though ;).

By the way, if your auto insurance company doesn’t offer such a program; it wouldn’t hurt to have a word in their ear about it!


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