Bike commute update: GEICO drops my insurance rate

A quick update on my bike commute:

This morning I called GEICO to see if my reduced driving habits would lead to a lower insurance rate. I told the agent that by biking to work and for errands I would drive 3,000 miles less for the year. I also reported that I no longer parked my car in the public BART lot each day, thus greatly reducing the risk of a break-in or theft.

Because of these two changes, effective today my annual car insurance rate dropped by $186. I then estimated other savings from becoming a bike commuter.

  • Gas savings @ $3.25/gallon: $468/year
  • Parking fees (no more $1/day to BART): $250/year
  • Oil change (one less needed during year): $30/year
  • Total savings: $934/year

In sum, if I can keep up the biking through the Bay Area winter (we do get rain here), my bicycle investment will pay off in eight months, five of which have already passed. So by the end of January, I will reach break-even financially. And that’s in addition to the carbon and health benefits. This is a good deal.

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  1. chris brandow - November 8, 2007

    you grew a mustache!

  2. Adam Stein - November 8, 2007

    Heh. This got a good chuckle in the office.
    There are two Adams at TerraPass. Adam Stein (me!) and Adam Stern (man with mustache who wrote this blog post). This is endlessly confusing, so occasionally we refer to me as Adam East (I live in New York) vs. Adam West (Stern lives in Berkeley). Of course, Adam West invites all sorts of Batman jokes, so you really can’t win.
    Given my inability to grow a proper mustache, though, facial hair is possibly the most reliable way to tell us apart.

  3. AW - November 8, 2007

    Got a bike myself, but a “mid-range” cyclecross. Since I already have the low-milage discount, free, guarded parking at work, and a short commute, I’m estimating about 3-4 years for payoff in gas alone. If you count wear and tear at a standard milage rate ($.485 says IRS), then it’s a bit better, only 238 days, so a bit under a year. But that’s not counting the gear to go with the bike, as it gets cold here in MA… (biked to work in high 30′s today)

  4. Sam-Hec - November 11, 2007

    Bay area commuter myself. I have now noticed that while casual bus fare costs more than the fuel needed to move my car for my commute route, bulk bus tickets cost about the same. Subtract the smaller wear and tear on my car, and some reduced insurance costs, it will cost less to take the bus and I still keep my car (a MINI Cooper S).
    Additionally, I am hearing about http://www.commutercheck.com; which, if I can get my employer on board will reduce costs even further.
    The onyl drawback at this point about the buys is it takes an exra two hours of commuting out of my day…which at least is augmented by playing a gameboy DS.

  5. Fritz - November 12, 2007

    My employer participates in the Santa Clara VTA EcoPass, so my bus pass is free. It’s too slow, though, so I buy a Caltrain pass almost every month anyway. I only drive on the weekends.

  6. Sam-Hec - November 13, 2007

    My State Farm insurer will get me $100 off my yearly car insurance bill, by commuting by bus instead of driving.

  7. geciktirici - November 29, 2007

    The onyl drawback at this point about the buys is it takes an exra two hours of commuting out of my day

  8. azdırıcı hap ve damlalar - January 21, 2008

    My employer participates in the Santa Clara VTA EcoPass, so my bus pass is free. It

  9. Geciktirici Krem - January 23, 2008

    My employer participates in the Santa Clara VTA EcoPass, so my bus pass is free. It

  10. California Insurance Agent - January 25, 2008

    Nice work minimizing your car insurance rates. I wish they would re-introduce car insurance that you pay based on the miles driven. I’d buy stock in Cannondale.

  11. Anonymous - February 5, 2008

    question to all the bikers here: what about all that polluted air breathed in when biking? Where I live it seems actually it could be problematic healthwise…. a poster above cited heath benefits which “could” be obvious but… and I just wanted someone’s opinion on the total picture. I hardly like to walk down the road as all the exhaust coming through the cars is just awful… yeah I know I could take side roads but looking to learn here. when in the car, at least I can turn off the vents. thanks.

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