General Motors to Offer Select New Customers Free Auto Insurance

Auto manufacturer General Motors announced this week that it will be starting a pilot program that offers car buyers one year of free auto insurance. Currently, the new incentive program, offered through MetLife Auto and Home, will only be provided to customers in the Pacific Northwest.

Customers Must Purchase New Model-Year Vehicles

In its announcement, General Motors stated customers who purchase a new 2010, 2011 or 2012 model-year vehicle from one of its dealers in Oregon and Washington will also receive a yearlong insurance policy from the manufacturer.

According to MetLife, the policy will cover the vehicle and anyone who drives it with the owner’s permission, starting on the date of purchase. The insurance will last for an entire year as long as the buyer still owns the car during that time.

G.M. noted the insurance can be bundled with other deals as well, including incentives to lower the cost of the vehicle. The insurance incentive program is set to expire on Sept. 6.

Sales Have Been Slow in the Pacific Northwest

General Motors stated that its reason for offering this unique incentive program is that auto sales have not rebound in the Pacific Northwest as they have in the Midwest and other areas. In Portland and Seattle in particular, buyers are said to be more loyal to foreign brands.

G.M. says it hopes the incentive will appeal to family households, especially those with teenagers who are beginning to drive and may have to pay higher insurance costs with a separate company. Also, the fact that a car totaled in the first year or first 15,000 miles (whichever comes first) would be repaired or replaced by MetLife without deducting for depreciation could be particularly appealing.

So far, the automaker doesn’t plan to offer the deal anywhere outside of the Pacific Northwest. However, it plans to see how it resonates with customers who take advantage of it. If it is successful, the program may be introduced nationwide.