D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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While options such as OnStar and high-end entertainment remain on the menu for new car buyers in General Motors showrooms, the automaker has partnered with MetLife to throw in a “free” year of car insurance as a new feature for buyers in the Pacific Northwest.

The promotion only applies to buyers in Oregon and Washington State of any new 2010, 2011, or 2012 GM model – Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac – and includes cars, trucks, and crossovers. The actual insurance policy includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Buyers who decline the offer and select to purchase their own auto policy will receive no discount, other than any incentives or rebates available on the specific make and model they select.

According to MetLife, the policy features a “new car replacement” provision for any car that is totaled in the first 15,000 miles or first year of ownership. During this period of time, the included policy requires no deductible or other out-of-pocket costs for consumers, not even for the depreciation of the value of the automobile.

After the policy ends, consumers have the choice of either renewing with MetLife, or selecting their own insurer. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), policyholders in Oregon pay an average of $727 annually for their auto insurance, while those in Washington pay an average of $840. The national average cost for auto insurance is $789 a year.

While General Motors has issued a statement claiming that the promotion looks to help combat the uninsured motorist issues plaguing the nation, plus to gauge the appeal of including insurance in the price of its automobiles, we’re convinced the real goal is to sell more cars. The company does not yet know if the promotion will be rolled out on a nationwide basis. For those in Oregon and Washington, the promotion runs through September 6, 2011.

If you choose to purchase your own auto policy, there are plenty of ways to bring down the cost of your insurance plan while still maintaining the minimum coverage required (usually liability coverage). Most of these involve risk management and smart driving habits. Customers with a good credit history and clean driving records pay the least for auto insurance, while high-risk drivers with many infractions on their records pay the most. Thus, vehicle owners can lower their auto insurance rates by maintaining a good credit score and driving safely.

Many auto insurance companies also offer discounts for taking part in a use-based auto insurance program and for bundling auto insurance with homeowners insurance or other types of policies. For instance, American Family Insurance advertises a 29% discount for bundling home and auto. Make sure to ask the insurance agents you speak to about discounts.

Also, auto insurance experts recommend you shop around for quotes from different companies. Your quote from Onstar Insurance, for example, might be thousands of dollars more than your quote from National General Insurance.