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: Jan 14, 2021

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What is a Passive Restraint System?

Here's what you need to know...

  • A passive restraint system is a safety feature that works to minimize injury to passengers in the event of an accident
  • Many car insurance providers offer a passive restraint discount, but they also may offer a car insurance discount for a wide range of other safety features in the car
  • Passive restraint discounts may reduce full coverage car insurance rates by $35.70/mo
  • To qualify for truly low rates on car insurance, it is best to practice safe driving habits at all times

As a driver, you may select a vehicle to purchase partially because of the safety features in it.

Your primary goal when you are looking for a vehicle loaded with thoughtful safety features and systems may be to protect yourself and your loved ones, but you may not realize that some safety features could also potentially qualify you for financial savings through a car insurance discount. .

So you may be asking, “What is the car insurance discount for Passive Restraint?” A passive restraint discount is one of the more common types of auto insurance discounts related to safety features in a car beyond regular seat belts, and the good news is that passive restraints are found in many modern makes and models today.

When you are looking for an excellent way to save money on your car insurance premium, taking advantage of the passive restraint discount may be one idea that is feasible for most drivers to consider.

Compare car insurance quotes today by entering your ZIP code into our free rate comparison tool above to find the best price for your rates and see what passive restraint discounts you qualify for.

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What is a passive restraint discount?

A passive restraint discount is a car insurance discount for vehicles that have automatic seat belts or airbags (installed by the factory). Any seat belts that you have to physically lock into position do not count.

How Can Passive Restraints Reduce My Car Insurance Policy Rates?

A passive restraint discount is only one of several ways for you to save money on car insurance, and the reality is that the best deal on car insurance rates may not be with a company that offers this specific car insurance discount.

Regardless of whether you take advantage of the passive restraints discount for your current car insurance premium, you should be aware that this safety feature could potentially help you to save money on car insurance in another way going forward.

When you apply for car insurance rates, each car insurance provider will analyze your loss history report or claims history for the last few years.

If your vehicle had passive restraints, like automatic seat belts, the claims payout may have been reduced in comparison to what the payout may have been if your vehicle did not have passive restraints installed in it.

Can you get a passive restraint discount with Nationwide, AAA, or State Farm?

Here’s a list of companies who offer a passive restraint discount, with the percentage they offer. This is by no means a complete list, as it’s a really common discount.

Percent Discount for Passive Restraints by Company
Company% Discount for Passive Restraints
American Family30%
Safe Auto5%
State Farm40%
The General8%
The Hanover5%
The Hartford3%
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What is the difference between active and passive restraint systems?

Safety features in a car are usually classified as either active restraints and passive restraints. What is a passive restraint device? A passive restraint is a safety feature that works without any action required on the part of the driver or passengers in the car.

If you have these passive restraints, clutch your seat and hang on. It’ll work for you to keep you safe.

What is an example of an active restraint in a car? Seat belts are an example of an active restraint feature, but what about a passive restraint example? One example of a passive restraint feature is an airbag.

Some car insurance providers offer drivers a passive restraint discount if you have airbags, automatic seat belts, or other similar types of passive restraint features in your car.

Why Do Some Car Insurance Companies Offer a Passive Restraint Discount?

A passive restraint discount does not necessarily prevent you from getting into an accident. After all, an airbag only deploys after the vehicle’s sensors have indicated that you are actively involved in a collision.

Therefore, you may wonder why some auto insurance companies offer a passive restraint discount to car drivers and how having airbags decreases car insurance rates.

The answer to this question lies in the fact that car insurance companies analyze their overall potential financial risk associated with insuring you when they are determining your car insurance rate.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that airbags reduce fatalities in frontal crashes by 29 percent. For front-seat passengers who are 13 years old or older, they actually reduce it 32 percent. They also report that Anti-Lock Brakes reducing damage by six percent in passenger cars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports on side airbags, which they report protects the head of the driver. According to the IIHS, side airbags reduce the risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37 percent and 52 percent for an SUV driver.

Meanwhile, the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports a study that side airbags help with both head and torso protection, and they can reduce the risk of injury or death in driver-side crashes by 41 percent.

So, you can see that the risk of death and injury is reduced by passive restraints, meaning the insurer probably won’t have to pay out as much money in claims. They analyze the likelihood that you may file a claim as well as the amount of money that they may need to pay out on the claim.

A passive restraint may reduce the injuries that you sustain in an accident, and this could dramatically reduce the overall payout required on the claim.

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Which Safety Features May Qualify For Car Insurance Discounts?

Passive restraint features are only some of the safety features that may be found in your vehicle that could potentially qualify you for a lower car insurance premium. Some of the other common car insurance discounts available are for the following safety features:

  • Daytime running lights
  • Adaptive steering
  • Forward collision warning system
  • Blindspot detection

You’ll likely be able to get a discount for these, as safety features are one of the most commonly available discounts for car insurers.

How Can I Get the Car Insurance Coverage I Need?

A passive restraint discount and other related auto insurance discounts can help you to make your coverage more affordable. This discount can make it easier for you to pay for the full amount of coverage that you need.

While all drivers need to purchase at least the minimum amount of coverage as required by their state and auto lender, some drivers also will benefit from purchasing additional coverage.

For example, you may want to buy GAP insurance or rental car reimbursement coverage because of the additional benefits that these coverages provide to you.

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How Can I Reduce My Risk of Being in a Car Accident?

While it makes sense to look for a vehicle that is loaded with safety features that may reduce the significance of your injuries in the event of an accident, it also makes sense to follow basic safe driving tips.

These tips may help you to reduce your chance of being involved in an accident altogether:

  • Avoid distracted driving behaviors.
  • Obey the posted speed limit signs.
  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained at all times.
  • Do not drink and drive. Plan ahead so that you can get home safely if you have been drinking.
  • Only drive when you are alert and well-rested.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Keep a safe driving distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Be aware of the distance between you and the car behind you. Reduce your speed if necessary to encourage a driver behind you to stop tailing you, or change in another lane.
  • Avoid driving when weather conditions are bad.

If you can avoid being found at fault for an accident, you won’t have to worry about your rates going up.

How Can I Shop for Low Car Insurance Rates When I Buy a Car?

If you have recently purchased a new vehicle that has passive restraints in it, it makes sense to shop around and look for the best deal possible on car insurance.

You may be able to take advantage of the passive restraint discount and other safety features discounts available through some car insurance companies to save money on your car insurance premium.

While you’re shopping think about passive restraints, techniques for getting the best price at a car dealership, and how much you’ll be able to save on your car insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s go over a couple more questions below related to discounts for car insurance.

What other discounts are available for car insurance?

There are many discounts available out there, and it really depends on your insurer. For instance, what discounts does Nationwide offer? Does Nationwide offer a low mileage discount or premier driver level discount? What about a persistency discount for loyal drivers?

Check below to see if you’re eligible for these discounts.

Some Discounts from Major Insurers
21st CenturyYesYesNoNoYesYesYes
American FamilyYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Country FinancialYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Liberty MutualYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
Safe AutoYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
State FarmYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
The GeneralYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
The HanoverYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
The HartfordYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
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Remember to shop around again for low car insurance rates again every six months so that you never pay more than necessary for car insurance. Enter your ZIP code below to compare rates today and see what passive restraint discounts are available to you.