Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Anti-lock brakes are an important safety feature to look for when purchasing a vehicle
  • ABS will almost certainly help you save money on your insurance rates, up to 10 percent
  • Anti-lock brakes can help reduce accidents and are standard on most new vehicles

Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are a common safety feature that can save you money on car insurance. They’re a standard feature on cars today, and as a result, most companies offer an anti-lock brakes car insurance discount.

Safety features on your car are an easy way to get discounts on your car insurance. Safer cars mean lower risk for the insurance company, and that means lower rates.

So how much can you save with an anti-lock brakes discount and how do you know if you’re getting one? We’ll cover why insurance companies give you a discount, how much you can expect to save, and how to get the discount right here.

And if you want to start comparing rates that include the ABS discount, just enter your ZIP code above.

Table of Contents

Why are anti-lock brakes important to the car insurance company?

Having anti-lock brakes can prevent accidents and damage to your vehicle or other vehicles around you. Insurance companies are all about risk, so if they know your vehicle poses less of a risk, they are willing to give you more of a discount. So, which feature on your car is worth a discount on your car insurance?

There are a lot of different features in today’s cars that reduce the risk of an accident, and a lot of different car insurance discounts for safety features. ABS is one of the systems that insurance companies consider when determining your insurance rates.

Car insurance companies analyze your car’s safety equipment by pulling the VIN data on it. Because car insurance companies primarily determine rates via perceived risk, any additions such as anti-lock braking systems will be seen as safety features that will most likely decrease your rate.

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How can I get discounts on car insurance for anti-lock brakes?

You may already be getting the discount, but you should definitely ask. The following table shows the companies that offer an anti-lock brakes discount:

Anti-Lock Braking System Car Insurance Discounts
CompanyAnti-lock Brake Discount
Ameriprise3%
The Hartford3%
Amica5%
Esurance5%
Geico5%
Liberty Mutual5%
MetLife5%
Nationwide5%
Safe Auto5%
State Farm5%
The Hanover5%
The General8%
Allstate10%
21st CenturyOnly in CA
AAAAvailable, amount unknown
American FamilyAvailable, amount unknown
Country FinancialAvailable, amount unknown
FarmersAvailable, amount unknown
ProgressiveAvailable, amount unknown
SafecoAvailable, amount unknown
TravelersAvailable, amount unknown
USAAAvailable, amount unknown
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As you can see, every company offers a discount for owning a vehicle with an anti-lock braking system, no matter which type.

This next table shows countrywide averages for various companies. The annual average, along with the annual average after the anti-lock brakes discount is in place, as well as the six-month premium and monthly premium figures, are shown.

Average Car Insurance Rates With Anti-Lock Braking System Discount
CompaniesAverage Annual RateAverage Annual Rate with Anti-lock brake discountAverage Six-Month RateAverage Monthly Rate
USAA$2,541.91N/A$1,270.96$211.83
Geico$3,216.39$3,055.57$1,608.20$268.03
State Farm$3,267.63$3,104.25$1,633.82$272.30
American Family$3,443.09N/A$1,721.55$286.92
Nationwide $3,446.70$3,274.36$1,723.35$287.23
Progressive$4,043.83N/A$2,021.92$336.99
Farmers$4,188.80N/A$2,094.40$349.07
Travelers$4,444.85N/A$2,222.43$370.40
Allstate$4,898.25$4,408.43$2,449.13$408.19
Liberty Mutual $6,095.54$5,790.77$3,047.77$507.96
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As you can see, the anti-lock brakes discount can provide a lot of savings, sometimes more than $400.

Insurance providers see the inclusion of safety features as a decreased likelihood of you filing a claim and costing them money. Thus, the more safety features you have, the better for you not just in terms of safety but in terms of finance, as well.

Before we continue, the following news report shows why insurance companies prefer for an individual to have safety features in their cars.

Up next, we will go into detail on the ABS light, and what to do if it stays on even when unnecessary.

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What are anti-lock brakes?

Anti-lock brakes have been around since the late 1960s. These are a safety feature that causes your brakes not to lock up when you slam on them.

Without anti-lock brakes, you are supposed to pump the brakes quickly if you are about to run into something — but instinctively, many of us wouldn’t know or remember to do this as we are screaming toward a cement wall.

The act of holding down our brakes is what inevitably locks the wheels due to an excessive amount of brake fluid being sent to them. This is when we lose control of the car due to skidding.

The following short video shows how to engage anti-lock brakes.

ABS systems pump the brakes for you as you are holding them down. They also regulate the amount of brakes fluid that is being sent to your wheels, so they do not lock up. This means you have more control over your vehicle.

ABS systems automatically reduce brake pressure before a lockup and then increase the pressure again after traction is restored for the vehicle. This is accomplished by constantly measuring your vehicle’s wheel speed. Doing this is what allows it to know when to pump the brakes.

For this to happen, two components work together, the modulator unit and the wheel speed sensor. The sensor sends the tone wheel readings to your ABS unit, communicating whether or not the wheel is about to cease rotation.

How do I know if my car has ABS?

Does this vehicle have anti-lock brakes? How do I know when I am comparing cars as I shop? Do all new cars have ABS?

As stated previously, most new models come standard with anti-lock brakes, but you should still ask the dealer if your car or truck comes with ABS. If you have already bought the vehicle and forgot to ask the question, you can still easily find out if ABS is installed in your car.

Simply read your owner’s manual, and that will tell you what type of brakes you have. Also, when you first start your car, a yellow ABS indicator on your panel will light up if your car possesses the anti-lock brake safety feature.

The following video explains ABS a little further and goes into brief detail on what vehicles possess them.

Make sure you tell any car insurance companies you get quotes from that you have this feature.

You can install an anti-lock braking system on a car that didn’t have it previously, but you should check with your insurance provider to see if you still get this safety discount if the ABS is added on to the car after it has left the dealer’s lot.

The following table will go into detail regarding the two main types of anti-lock braking systems.

Types of Anti-Lock Braking Systems
System TypeDetails
Four-wheelStandard for most vehicles in today's market. The safer of the two types, even on larger vehicles.
Back-wheelUsed to come standard in many pick-up trucks, vans and sports utility vehicles.
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Up next, we will go into detail on the ABS light, and what to do if it stays on even when unnecessary.

What happens if the anti-lock brake system light is on in my car?

If this safety system’s light is on in your car, it can mean two different things. If the light comes on when you apply the brakes during turbulent weather, it usually means the anti-lock brakes have been engaged.

You will know because your brakes will feel different when you push on them. This is due to the pump within the braking system.

However, if the light comes on and stays on, this is a warning that something is not working properly in your anti-lock brake system. You should get it checked out immediately, otherwise, your anti-lock brakes might not work properly.

Up next, we will go into what kinds of anti-lock brakes are in cars these days.

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What kinds of anti-lock brakes are there?

The next table will show the three different kinds of ABS available, depending on the type of car you own.

Types of Anti-Lock Brakes
Brake TypeDetails
Three-channelThree-sensor anti-lock brake system usually found on pick-up trucks with four-wheel drive.
One-channelOne-sensor anti-lock brake system that can be found on pick-up trucks with rear-wheel drive.
Four-channel The best type of ABS, this four-sensor anti-lock brake system can usually be found on sedans.
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As you can see, there is a different sort of braking system that is dependent on what type of vehicle it is within.

You can determine the type of anti-lock brake system you have on your car by reading your owner’s guide, looking it up on the manufacturer’s website, or asking the car salesman when purchasing the car.

Regardless of which system the car has, any anti-lock brake system is better than none at all.

Are anti-lock brakes effective?

Anti-lock brakes have many benefits if used properly. Car insurance rates reflect this as they are lower in every state if you have this feature. Over time, as vehicles have developed into safer machines, systems like ABS have become necessary in ensuring the safety of passengers.

If you are conditioned to pump your brakes as you are getting close to oncoming traffic or a telephone pole, then ABS will not work as well. That is because the entire point of ABS is to hold the brakes down constantly and allow the system to pump for you internally.

The main purpose of anti-lock brakes is to lessen the amount of time and distance it takes your vehicle to come to a complete stop.

On wet or slippery roads, when used correctly, anti-lock brakes will drastically lessen the distance covered when braking compared to cars without an ABS. On dry or dirt roads, the difference in stopping distance isn’t as substantial but still shows in favor of the anti-lock brake system cars or trucks.

Also, the control the driver has when applying his brakes with ABS is much greater than a car without them. The lack of control when your wheels lock is unnerving and can be catastrophic.

ABS, when used correctly, gives the driver far more control of his vehicle and thus may result in far less multi-vehicle pile ups on freeways and highways.

The following video shows the importance of modern features, specifically anti-lock brakes, courtesy of Popular Science.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study in 2013 regarding fatal crash statistics. It was found that for motorcycle crashes alone, there was a 31 percent decrease in fatal crashes for vehicles with optional ABS installed. The same study found that insurance claims were filed 20 percent less frequently for motorcycles with optional ABS installed.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, to ensure that your ABS is working, you may have to unlearn certain behaviors. What matters most is your safety, so, if you are in the habit of braking gently on slippery roads, switch over to putting continuous pressure down to activate your anti-lock brakes.

Get all of the safety discounts you deserve by comparing car insurance rates using our free quotes tool below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Anti-lock Brake Discounts

#1 – What is a passive restraint discount?

A passive restraint discount is another safety discount offered by insurance companies. It usually refers to seatbelts and airbags. This is a separate discount from the anti-lock brakes with most insurance companies.

#2 – How can I get a discount on my Geico insurance for anti-lock brakes?

As noted in the table above, Geico offers a five percent discount for anti-lock brakes. Just call Geico directly to find out if you’re getting the discount.

#3 – Does my car have anti-lock brakes if the VIN record says it does?

Yes. Barring an error in the record or modifications to the car, the VIN should tell the insurance company whether or not your car has anti-lock brakes. It’s very rare for that information to be wrong.