California approves pay-as-you-drive 'green' insurance program
State regulators have approved an auto insurance policy that rewards car owners for driving less and potentially emitting fewer pollutants into the atmosphere.
The new program, called SAVE, will go on sale in January by CSE Safeguard Insurance Co. Motorists will be charged only for the number of miles they drive.
"This is a true pay-by-the-mile program, where our customers pay for the miles they drive," said CSE President Pierre Bize. "Not only are drivers reporting their actual mileage, they are reimbursed for the difference between their estimated and actual annual mileage."
CSE is the fourth California auto insurer to offer some version of a pay-as-you-drive policy since the state Department of Insurance approved the concept in 2008.
Other companies offering such policies include the Automobile Club of Southern California, State Farm and Sequoia Insurance Co. of Marin. Their policies base rates on bands of miles driven, not the exact number of miles a car travels.
"This environmentally conscious program unites economic savings with emissions reduction in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gases," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I encourage more insurance companies to start offering pay-drive options to policyholders."
-- Marc Lifsher
Photo: California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times