BCAA Insurance rewards customers for choosing vehicles equipped with Electronic Stability Control



    BURNABY, BC, May 8 /CNW/ - Electronic Stability Control - or ESC - can
help prevent a collision, and maybe even save your life. Now, for the first
time in Canada, ESC can help save money on your auto insurance, too. BCAA
Insurance is introducing a five per cent discount on collision premiums for
vehicles equipped with ESC - an innovative way of rewarding customers for
choosing the added safety and peace of mind provided by ESC.
    ESC is a computer-controlled safety device that monitors the vehicle's
direction compared to the direction of the steering wheel. When the vehicle is
in a skid, or if the tires spin, the ESC system will automatically apply
braking to certain wheels and may cut engine power to help the driver regain
control. The ESC system can actively prevent and reduce skidding conditions
and wheel spin before the driver becomes aware of the problem.
    Passive devices like seatbelts, airbags, and child seats help drivers and
passengers survive a car crash, but the safest vehicle is the one that does
not crash at all, explains BCAA Auto Insurance Product Manager, Heather
Prizeman.
    "By offering a discount we hope to encourage more drivers to select a
vehicle equipped with this technology," says Prizeman. "In addition to being a
proven safety device, ESC makes good economic sense, as 'losing control' is
one of the leading causes of road crashes in Canada."
    "We feel customers with safe driving practices - technical or otherwise -
deserve to be rewarded with lower premiums," adds Prizeman.
    According to Canadian crash data from 2000-to-2005, vehicles equipped
with ESC were involved in approximately 30 per cent fewer severe crashes due
to loss of control. Based on this data, if all passenger vehicles were
equipped with ESC, there could be 255 fewer deaths and 1,440 fewer people
seriously injured on our roads each year.
    The U.S. Department of Transportation was so impressed with ESC that it
is requiring all new cars sold in the U.S. to be equipped with ESC by model
year 2012. And Transport Canada is currently working on regulations that will
require ESC on all new passenger vehicles in a similar timeframe.
    Currently, only five per cent of Canadians have vehicles equipped with
ESC, but it is available as a relatively inexpensive option on many models.
When buying a new vehicle make sure to ask if it has an electronic stability
control system, or if it's available as an option. It appears under various
trade names, such as StabiliTrak, Advance Trac, VSC (vehicle-stability
control) and ESP (electronic-stability program).

    BCAA will be the first insurance provider in Canada to offer a discount
on collision premiums for vehicles equipped with ESC. For more information on
ESC, please refer to http://www.caa.ca/esc.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 793,000 members and
$130 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. For the past
three years, BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by
international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report
on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member
advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.





For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview with Auto Insurance
Product Manager, Heather Prizeman, please contact: Jennifer Timm, BCAA Media
Relations Advisor, Tel: (604) 268-5342; Cell: (778) 228-8859, Email:
jennifer.timm@bcaa.com


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