Can Keeping Your New Years Resolutions Help You Save on Insurance?

As January draws to a close, chances are you’re still going strong on the new years resolutions you made. You know the ones — lose weight, quit smoking, do good, etc.

In this crazy-busy world, however, finding the time and energy to stick with your goals past February can be challenging. But did you know that sticking with them could not only improve your quality of life, it could also help you save on insurance? Here’s how.

Losing weight slims health insurance rates

In addition to fitting into those old jeans again, weight loss could help you lower your health insurance rates. Because excess weight contributes to a variety of health risks (which in turn make you riskier to insure), shrinking your body mass index (BMI) could also shrink your health insurance premiums.

In fact, a study by our health insurance partner, eHealthInsurance, shows that those who are overweight paid nearly 13 percent more on average than those with normal BMIs, while those with BMIs of 30 or greater averaged payments that were 22.6 percent higher (note: the “normal” range for BMI is 18.5–24.9).

So if your new years resolution was to lose weight this year, hang in there! It’ll be more than worth it in the end.

Quitting smoking lowers life insurance premiums

As the saying goes, old habits die hard. But breaking some old habits, like smoking, can lead to a healthier, longer life as well as lower life insurance rates. In general, smokers pay more than nonsmokers for life insurance, so if you quit this year, you could lower your life insurance premiums in the years to come (and wind up with more years to come in the process).

No ifs, ands, or butts (pun intended), quitting smoking is one of the best things you could do for yourself in 2012.

Greening your commute puts more green in your pocket

Whether you go on foot, by bike, or via public transit, taking your car off the road even just one day a week could reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 800 pounds this year. And because the less you drive, the less likely you are to get into an accident, you could earn a better rate on your car insurance too.

If your goal is to do some good this year, why not try a different way of getting to work once a week? Who knows, you might even discover a more relaxing commute.

Whatever your resolutions for 2012, good luck and stay strong. (And just think of what you could do with all that extra money in your pocket.)

Related links

The truth about life insurance myths
Get the facts behind common life insurance misconceptions.

Save money and avoid the gym
Find out how you can save $387.03 and skip the gym this year.

4 tips for a greener commute
If you want a greener commute but aren’t sure where to begin, these tips can help.

What’s the BMI?
Get the facts about the body mass index: what it is, how it’s calculated, and what it could mean for you.

How BMI and smoking status affect health insurance premiums (PDF)
Read eHealthInsurance’s study on the relationship between higher health insurance rates and weight.

SOPA in the News: Our Top 5 Stories

Whether you’re a tech tycoon or an old-school operator, chances are (unless you’ve been hiding under your bed) you’ve heard at least something about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). And if you’ve cruised the web at all, you’ve probably heard the chatter surrounding the SOPA blackout taking place on numerous websites today.

As a company that was born online and a daily commuter on the information superhighway, we at Esurance have been keeping close tabs on the story as it evolves. In case you’ve missed any of the action, here’s a little background to get you up to speed.

Check out some of the most recent SOPA news below.

What is SOPA?

The Wall Street Journal takes a crack (albeit a well-educated and thoughtful crack) at explaining the online piracy bill. Read the story about the online piracy bill.

SOPA and PIPA explained

ABC’s Ned Potter looks at both sides of the argument and explains the bill and its objections. Read the explanation about SOPA and PIPA.

Beyond SOPA

This Forbes report takes an in-depth look at SOPA and argues that it will do very little to solve the problem it’s attempting to fix. Read the argument against SOPA.

The SOPA debate

Check out this debate between Richard Cotton, NBC Universal’s chief counsel, and Chris Hayes from MSNBC’s “Up” (who is adamantly opposed). See the debate.

New York Times argues against SOPA

Find out what the NYT has to say about the online piracy act and why they oppose the bill. Read why the NYT opposes SOPA.

The SOPA Bill

Take a look at the actual bill itself! (PDF)

We hope this was helpful for you in gaining a better understanding of SOPA and the arguments surrounding it. Where do you stand on the matter? Weigh in on our Facebook page.

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial where he advocated for social change. And though it’s been nearly 5 decades since that momentous occasion, his words, his vision, and his spirit live on.

At Esurance, we strive to live up to the tenets of Dr. King’s vision through our own philosophy of social equality. From our support of Pride events across the nation to our diversity and inclusion initiatives that reward and embrace all associates regardless of sexual orientation, gender, creed, or color, we stay committed to equality for all each and every day.

So today, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., join us in taking a moment to thank and remember an iconic leader of the civil rights movement who helped make America a better, more inclusive place for all.

Martin Luther King Jr. facts

Born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the only non-president to have a national holiday in his honor. For his tireless efforts to enact social change through non-violence, Dr. King became the youngest person (at 35) to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

Martin Luther King Jr. quotes

Years after his death, Dr. King’s words continue to inspire, engage, and lead. In honor of his birthday, here are just a few of our favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes:

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality. Right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
– MLK accepts the Nobel Peace Prize

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
– Letter from Birmingham Jail

“Without hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
– Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution

Auto Advertising: The Next Big Thing?

Since the car radio first came onto the scene in the 1920s, auto advertising has been big business. The first paid radio ad hit airways August 28, 1922, paving the way for a veritable deluge of commercials promising us whiter teeth, more starch in our shirts, and, in general, a happier life.

But these days, between satellite radio and consumer electronics like MP3 players and iPods, many of us are able to avoid the roughly 18 minutes of ad time that come with every hour of radio. Ah, but not for long. Old news in Japan, but just starting to make headlines in the U.S., is a futuristic little something called “contextual branding.”

According to an article by Fast Company, contextual branding is “the art of sending the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.” Think Minority Report (but without the incessant retinal scans). Instead, based on info you provide at the dealership, your car will know your schedule and preferences and can then essentially “advertise” local products and services directly to you. Read the whole article.

What do you think? Is this technology cool or creepy?

Related links

Consumer Electronics Show
Vehicle safety meets cool technology
History of the car radio

Esurance Facebook Feedback: The Good, the Bad, and the Eeeesh

Maybe you know this already, but a few weeks ago, we premiered 2 new Esurance commercials (yeah!). These commercials focus on our great rates and the fact that our customers really (really) like us. They also introduce our new tagline, insurance for the modern world®.

As with any new campaign, the commercials sparked quite a bit of conversation — especially on our Facebook Wall — and we love the feedback. A lot of you asked about the voice of the Esurance commercials, and the Esurance talking dog (Ultimate Dog Tease).

And many of you actually stopped by our Wall and left us a line or two. (Thanks!) Some of the feedback we received was good, some was bad, and some was … well, a little ugly. But we don’t mind. Being a modern company means being open to the kind of dynamic dialogue that comes only through social media channels. And while we will remove anything profane or offensive from our Wall (in the interest of professionalism), the rest we leave.

Through it all, we listen and try to learn. For more than a decade, we’ve been working to make car insurance better from quote to claim (and beyond), and many of our customers express their appreciation via Facebook. Our customers also know that if they have a problem or question, they can just let us know on our Wall or via @esurancecares and someone will get in touch to help them out. It’s exactly the kind of modern business exchange we take pride in.

So although the new Esurance commercials have generated a flurry of Facebook feedback — some great, some not so great — we’re always happy to field critiques, criticisms, and (of course) compliments as they come! So keep ’em coming … “eesh” or not, we’re always listening.

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