• To Save Energy or Not Save Energy, That Is the Question



    You’re caught in the middle of a conundrum. You want to save money on your car insurance, but you also want to save the environment, and the two do not go hand in hand exclusively, as you’ve discovered. For many people, saving money is the winner in this financial/ethical face off, because they just don’t have any other choice. You would love to purchase the latest and greatest hybrid, but will your entire family even fit in it? Must you continue to drive that mammoth SUV? You can answer these questions if you take a couple of things into consideration.


    Considerations for the Mammoth SUV


    Although bad for the environment, many families drive SUVs or minivans for convenience. They have more room on the inside to accommodate mom, dad, and all the kids. They also have more room on the inside to accommodate all the stuff that, no matter where they are going, must be brought along. Throw in the family dog, and you have a vehicle packed to the brim, but at least everyone is comfortable, which makes the “Are we there yet?” questions less frequent.


    When it comes to saving energy, these vehicles fail miserably. They are gas-guzzlers, and science confirms that this is destroying the environment. You will spend a lot of money keeping these vehicles fuelled and on the road. In fact, when gas prices were at an all-time high in the U.S. several years ago, it cost families well over $100 to fill their tanks each time, which begs to question: Will you really save money buying an SUV over a fuel-efficient vehicle? You will in a few areas.


    Insurance companies love these vehicles. You will spend less on your auto insurance for your SUV or minivan because they receive higher safety ratings. This translates to cost savings for the insurance company, and as a result, most are willing to pass that cost savings on to their customers. The reason why is if you get into an accident, there is less cause for concern. You and your family will be safer in the event of a collision, and your vehicle will stand up to the incident better, too.


    Consideration 2: Saving the Environment


    This does not mean, however, that you cannot save money on your automobile insurance with hybrids. You can. In addition, you’ll save money elsewhere. Many insurance companies offer fuel-economy incentives to their customers, meaning that if you purchase a car that saves on gasoline, you’ll realize some important savings on your automobile policy. You might not need to purchase a hybrid in order to see a financial advantage on your car insurance; you might do well with an economy car, provided you don’t need too much space.


    If you are set on getting a hybrid, your cost savings on your automobile insurance will depend on your willingness to shop for a policy or have an agent shop for a policy for you. Some companies hike up their premiums to cover hybrids because they are more expensive to purchase and maintain and because they don’t handle collisions as well as larger vehicles do. Other companies offer incentives to buy hybrids because they are encouraging their customers to go green. In addition, you must add your gas savings into the equation to see exactly which option is more affordable for you.


    You can save money on your automobile insurance and go green at the same time; it just takes doing some homework on your part. Open up your spreadsheet program on your computer and do your research. Plug in vehicle costs, maintenance costs, anticipated gasoline costs, etc. Then, contact insurance agencies to see what they’ll do for you whether you purchase an SUV or a hybrid. Once you have all the numbers in, you can see, realistically, the most economical way to go.


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