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Green Car Insurance

By: Kelly Fenn - Updated: 17 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Car Driving Insurance Policy Policies

We're all aware of the damage that driving a motor vehicle can have on the environment. A potent cocktail of greenhouse gases - most notably carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide - are emitted into the atmosphere when a car's engine burns petrol. This accounts for around 13 per cent of the UK's overall greenhouse gas emissions.

While we should all be aiming to reduce our reliance and use of cars, walking or using public transport instead, sometimes the use of a car is an unavoidable part of our lives. Perhaps you live in a rural area not served by public transport, or you're visiting an out of town shopping centre?

If you need to use a car, then there are still ways to do your bit for the environment. One measure you can take is opting for a green car insurance policy when you come to choose your insurer.

A green car insurance policy? Ok, the concept does seem rather at odds - but in this article, we lay out all you need to know about green car insurance.

Green Car Insurance - The Basics

Green car insurance policies work by using part of your monthly premium to pay for an offsetting scheme, which neutralises your individual car's CO2 emissions. The actual amount that goes towards offsetting is calculated using information on your car's model and age, as well as more sophisticated measures such as your driving technique.

So, a gas guzzling 4 by 4 vehicle would have a higher premium than a hybrid vehicle, for example, as a larger proportion of the premium would be needed to offset a higher level of CO2 emissions. In this way, you're rewarded for having an fuel efficient car with lower insurance premiums, and are obliged to pay more for less efficient cars.

Green Car Insurance: A Growth Area

More and more insurers are offering green options as part of their insurance packages, including travel, home and car insurance. This, according to Mark Cliff, Axa Insurance's distribution director, is down to a shift in public attitude towards the threat of climate change, and the industry answering the need.

"The insurance industry has really started to see the effects of climate change. The core concept of insurance is protection against risk, so it makes sense that as an industry we should be helping to protect the planet and reduce the risk of climate change."

Shop Around For a Green Insurance Policy

More and more insurers are considering the environment when planning their policies, and many green options are available - though perhaps not publicised as widely as standard options. Always ask your insurer if they offer a carbon offsetting policy. It's also worth shopping around online. You can use one of the many independent comparison services on the internet that will help to find you the best, and greenest, option free of charge.

More Green Tips For Your Car

Of course there are other ways we can reduce our carbon footprint when in the car or planning to travel. We've included a few tips here:

  • If you can, choose a more environmentally friendly option than driving
  • Choose a more fuel efficient car model
  • Avoid using gas guzzling features such as air conditioning
  • Check your tyre pressures regularly
  • Try not to brake or accelerate too harshly

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