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GM to test offering insurance for 1 year to buyers in Northwest

Fri, 08 Jul 2011

General Motors--testing a new sales promotion--is offering Oregonians and Washingtonians a new incentive to buy or lease a GM vehicle.

Any driver from the two states who buys or leases a new vehicle through Sept. 6 and titles the vehicle in either state will receive a free one-year automobile insurance policy from MetLife Auto & Home.

The offer is part of a GM pilot program to see if offering a year's worth of free insurance boosts sales.

GM chose Oregon and Washington to launch the program because the automaker has had traditionally weak sales there, GM spokesman Tom Henderson said.

The offer includes 2010, 2011 and 2012 models, GM said.

GM's U.S. sales are up 17 percent this year in a market that has advanced 13 percent.

If the pilot is successful, GM would consider expanding the program to other markets, Henderson said.

The policy covers the vehicle and any driver as long as the initial customer owns or leases the vehicle. Drivers aren't required to accept the MetLife insurance.

Any driver with a valid operator's license is eligible for the offer, Henderson said. Commercial and fleet customers are not eligible.

The insurance incorporates liability and physical damage coverage, exceeding the legally required amount of coverage in both states, GM said.

Liability coverage is capped at $100,000 per person, and up to $300,000 per occurrence. Collision coverage is limited to the value of the vehicle.

MetLife's policy stipulates that if a vehicle is totaled within a year of purchase or before 15,000 miles, the insurer will repair or replace the vehicle without deducting for depreciation, GM said.

“This offer enhances the vehicle's value proposition because our policy is considered one of the most comprehensive in the industry,” Bill Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home, said in a statement. “Our new car replacement feature is a benefit not found in most auto policies.”

By Joseph Lichterman