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Farmers Insurance Offers 5% Discount to California Hybrid and Altfuel Owners

The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies announced a 5% discount to customers in California who own a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. (Earlier post.) This is the first such insurance discount offered to hybrid and altfuel owners in the US.

The discount, effective 1 October 2005, is for all customers who own a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. All new business customers will receive the discount as of the new business date and existing customers will receive the discount upon renewal.

According to R. L. Polk, California tops the list for the number of registered hybrid vehicles in the US. In 2004, more than 25,000 hybrid vehicles were registered in the state of California—a 102% increase over 2003.

The use of alternative fuel vehicles (such as CNG or electric vehicles) has increased 17% in California from 66,366 vehicles in 2001 to 77,761 vehicles in 2003.

Customers are opting more for vehicles with environmentally friendly hybrid or alternative fuel engines and that trend is expected to continue because of high gas prices and a growing number of hybrid models. We are happy to offer drivers who are concerned about the environment a discount.

—Kevin Kelso, President of Personal Lines at Farmers

Farmers Insurance is a member of the Zurich Financial Services Group.



What does insurance have to do with the environment?
If anything, I would think socalled hybrid equipment and the like would be a higher risk because as oil prices go up, the black market for such stolen equipment will be much larger as people become more desperate.

How about a government tax break if you own an environmentally friendly car or home? That would make more sence.

Brian Batson

I've just learned of this discount, on the heals of hearing the arguments over HOV lanes. I support the rights of industry to provide incentives to consumers, directly or indirectly - it doesn't matter. It is too bad when we perceive those programs as an unfair practice. Personally, though, I'd like to ask the insurance companies to provide incentives to "not drive" at all (ok, to drive less and less).

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