What Is OnStar Insurance?

General Motors' vehicle insurance program offers premium discounts to some drivers, using telematics to monitor behavior.

GMC Sierra Denali steering wheel with Super Cruise screenGMC


While many drivers are familiar with the onboard safety and travel concierge services of General Motors' quarter-century-old telematics system, OnStar, the automaker in November 2020 also started offering OnStar-branded automobile insurance.

Some drivers of newer GM vehicles equipped with built-in OnStar are eligible for a potential reduction in insurance premiums of up to 20%. The discount is based on OnStar collecting electronic data about their driving habits. It's similar to driving-behavior-based discounts offered by Tesla's car insurance program.

OnStar Insurance also offers more traditional automobile insurance coverage for non-GM vehicles. It's worth noting that OnStar Insurance is separate from other paid OnStar plans, the OnStar Guardian app, and OnStar's Safety and Security coverage, which offers roadside assistance, automatic crash response, and remote vehicle access.

Person in driver's seat of Cadillac vehicle with infotainment screen menu lit upCadillac

How OnStar Insurance Is Different From Other Coverage

OnStar Insurance provides a standard range of traditional automobile insurance options, including liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. It can also offer additional discounts to certain drivers of OnStar-equipped vehicles built in 2015 or later by using the vehicles' built-in telematics system to track driving behavior and reward insurance customers with lower costs for safer driving.

OnStar Insurance can be purchased by homeowners, as well. Policies until recently were underwritten by American Family Insurance but are now underwritten and issued by OnStar National Insurance Company.

Two people in the front seat of a Chevrolet vehicle equipped with OnStarChevrolet

The Advantages of OnStar Insurance

In addition to being integrated with a major U.S. automaker — GM's brands include Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC — OnStar Insurance gives some of its customers the opportunity to lower premiums through more careful driving.

For those drivers who don't qualify for discounts, however, OnStar Insurance can be more expensive than other carriers, such as Geico, Progressive, or State Farm. It might be worth consulting with your insurance agent to determine what kind of insurance is best for your specific set of circumstances.

Person in driver's seat of a Cadillac Escalade with Super Cruise activated and the infotainment and driver's information screens lit upCadillac

How Premiums Are Determined for OnStar Insurance

For those connected to OnStar's in-car services, OnStar Insurance rates can be reduced for some drivers who demonstrate that they operate their vehicles safely — which means no heavy braking, swerving, or unnecessary acceleration. Consistent seat-belt use could also help lower your rates.

In the future, General Motors said, it might also factor in use of technology — such as its semi-autonomous Super Cruise system — to help offer driver discounts. Discounts could also be available for bundling auto and home insurance policies or other traditional insurance policy cost-saving measures, such as academic achievement, completion of defensive-driving courses, or enrollment in paperless billing.

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Andy Stonehouse
Andy Stonehouse literally fell into the world of auto writing while working as a ski-town journalist, and has not looked back since. A childhood spent dealing with the eccentricities of a 1976 MG Midget has made any subsequent auto experience a more safe and reliable drive. He has been blessed with nearby mountain trails and snowy roads in Colorado to do TV-adventure-styled test drives on a weekly basis.