State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is implementing a new auto insurance discount. Using its actual claim payments for driver and passenger injuries by make and model of vehicle, the company is awarding discounts of up to 40 percent on medical payments and personal injury protection premiums.
State Farm’s new vehicle safety discount is replacing the company’s passive restraint discount, which applies to cars with air bags or automatic safety belts, for 1994 and newer private passenger vehicles. For many years, State Farm has used its claim payments for vehicle damage and theft on similar models to determine which vehicles qualify for lower premiums for the collision and comprehensive coverages.
Models generating the lowest payments for damage and theft are generally charged from 10 to 40 percent less than the standard collision and comprehensive premiums for vehicles in their price range. Models generating the highest payments for damage and theft are generally charged from 10 to 40 percent more than the standard premiums for those coverages for vehicles in their price range.
Thirty-six new models benefit the most from State Farm’s make and model rating system, qualifying for both the 40 percent vehicle safety discount and the 10 to 40 percent lower-than-standard collision and comprehensive premiums.
Along with some larger models, including SUVs and pickup trucks, big autos such as some Acuras, BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and Jaguars also fall under that category. Approval of these changes is pending in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They do not apply in Massachusetts, Texas and North Carolina, where state-mandated programs are used.