For at least several years, online advertisements have made the claim that there’s an unusual or unique tip or trick for cars with automatic headlights. One ad read: “Unique Trick If Your Car Has Automatic Headlights.”
Another said: “An Unusual Tip If Your Car Has Automatic Headlights.”
We also found a tweet where a user poked fun at the strange ads. This one said: “Unique Tip If Your Car Has Automatic Headlights. Seniors Are Ditching Their Auto Insurance and Doing This Instead.”
*exchanging insurance information after I rear-end a car while reading tumblr* “It’s okay! I have automatic headlights!” pic.twitter.com/SuB9QKE7xS
— Richard (Jeep era) (@halkyardo) August 2, 2021
However, all of this was fairly misleading.
The ads that promised a unique or unusual tip or trick for automatic headlights led to an article on Comparisons.org that listed the state name associated with the reader’s IP address. For example, one said: “California Drivers With Automatic Headlights Hit The Jackpot.” It began: “California Drivers: If you are currently insured, drive less than 50 miles/day, and live in a qualified zip code you may get an extremely high discount. Additionally, if you have some safety features like automatic headlights you can get even more discounts.”
The bottom of the page appeared to reveal that Comparisons.org was not based in the U.S. It said: “©2022 Comparisons.org. All rights reserved. Azrieli Center, 26 Harokmim St., Holon, Israel.”
We clicked the ads. On the next page, it appeared to claim that six insurers would give a discount based on having automatic headlights: Ensurance, Nationwide, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, 21st Century Insurance, and Progressive.
However, Allstate and Esurance, which is now an Allstate company, do not offer any such discounts. Allstate’s enterprise media and public relations spokesperson William Miller told us: “While we do not offer discounts for automatic headlights or daytime running lights, you can find many of the auto discounts we do offer on our website.” Meanwhile, the websites for Nationwide, 21st Century Insurance, and Progressive also mentioned no such discounts.
A spokesperson for Farmers Insurance responded to us by email: “As to your question about whether there’s a car insurance discount if drivers have a car with automatic headlights or daytime running lights (DRLs) … no such discount exists at Farmers.” After we received this email, we looked on the Farmers Insurance website and noticed that at least a few states did offer something for daytime running lights (DRLs), but not for automatic headlights.
In sum, again, the ads were misleading. Readers who followed through all of the steps on the resulting website did not find an unusual or unique tip or trick for cars with automatic headlights, nor did the car insurance companies listed on the website offer any discounts for the feature.
We previously reported on the idea that cars with automatic headlights or daytime running lights might provide car insurance discounts. We found that while a select few insurance companies did appear to offer something, some benefits were limited to specific states. The majority of car insurance companies did not appear to offer any such discount for automatic headlights.
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