Car Insurance Discounts
Car insurance can get expensive, so it's only natural to want to try to get as many car insurance discounts as possible. Unfortunately, there are a lot of auto insurance discounts and it can sometimes be hard to even know what automobile insurance discounts to ask for. There are auto insurance discounts for students, insurance discounts for teachers, car insurance discounts for seniors, and even auto insurance discounts for healthcare workers, first responders, and nurses. You can even save on your auto insurance for having good credit.
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UPDATED: Feb 11, 2021
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Car insurance discounts are one of the most effective ways that insurance companies attract new customers. After all, cheap car insurance rates are one of the main factors when drivers select their insurer. Different insurers are always experimenting with ways and means to offer this discount or that to entice customers to either switch to their service or just sign up new drivers for the first time.
Some of the discounts are obvious, some are applied immediately when you sign up for a policy, and others are less obvious. On this page, we'll go over some of the basics of car insurance discounts that you should know about. Who knows, by the time you're done reading this, you could be saving yourself a ton of money!
Aside from discounts, comparison shopping is another great way to save on auto insurance. Use our FREE comparison tool to get multiple rates near you right now.
When you sit down to craft a policy with insurance agent, there are some basic facts about you and your life that are so easily verifiable they will immediately qualify you for several lucrative discounts. Some of those discounts include:
- Your job (military, clergy, etc.)
- Your education level
- Home ownership (regardless of whether you bundle your homeowners and auto insurance policies)
- Your credit score
- Your age
- Safety features on your vehicle
- And many more
If you're financially responsible enough to get a good credit score, then your auto insurance company assumes that you will be equally responsible behind the wheel; at least, that's how the conventional wisdom goes. They also believe the opposite to be true. There are obviously situations where this isn't necessarily the case - there are millions of drivers out there who are safe and ticket-free, but unexpected financial troubles have left them with bad credit. Likewise, there are millions of motorists who are fortunate enough to have excellent credit, but have a laundry list of violations on their driving record. If you have bad credit, but aren't living up to your insurance company's expectations of also being a bad driver, be sure to sign up with a credit monitoring agency that can help you track and improve your credit score over time for free. Eventually, this can lead to some very dramatic savings.
If you have gone several years without a speeding ticket, a fender bender, a traffic violation, or any other notable incidence of dangerous driving, then your insurance company will automatically classify use a safe driver. Depending on the number of years you have gone ticket- and accident-free, you could be eligible to save a lot of money. Generally, a driver must have a clean driving record for the most recent five consecutive years in order to qualify for a safe driver discount. However, there are some companies that offer such a discount for as little as three years of safe driving, or as many as seven years of safe driving. You'll have to ask your insurance company for details.
Practice makes perfect; and that sentiment is especially true for safe driving. Young people are obviously at the highest risk for causing accidents, because they have little experience with driving and may be unsure of themselves behind the wheel. Middle-aged adults and senior citizens in the early part of their golden years are generally more mature, more experienced, and more likely to drive safely than other age groups. However, past a certain age, senior citizens lose their ability to see clearly, their reaction time slows down, and they may not be as physically coordinated as they were in the past. Based on all of these factors, auto insurance companies calculate premiums based on age-related risk, as you can see in the graph below.
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Discounts You Should Be Asking For
It feels good to save money just for being you. And there are other ways you can accomplish the same task, but it might take a little bit more work on your part. It can pay - literally - to ask your insurance company if there are any additional discounts you might be able to qualify for if you can submit to them legitimate proof. We'll talk about some of them in this section.
Within the last 5 years or so, usage-based insurance discounts have taken the industry by storm. Progressive calls this discount their snapshot program; Allstate lets their customers save money with Drivewise; the Hartford refers to theirs as True Lane; and you can qualify for the Smart Ride discount if you happen to be underwritten by Nationwide. You can qualify for this discount by contacting your insurance company and asking them to send you a plug-in device, or simply downloading an app to your phone that tracks your miles, your hard brakes, your speed, and whether or not your vehicle's on the road during safe driving hours. By keeping your mileage low, avoiding rush hour traffic, Refraining from driving after midnight, and limiting how often you slam on your brakes, you can save up to 30% off your insurance premiums. That can cut your monthly payment down by 1/3! The savings are enormous.
Driver Education Classes
This one can either be used to preemptively get you a better deal on a future policy (i.e. teenagers taking driver's ed before they get their official license), or by adults who have recently been convicted of a traffic violation and need to assuage any upcoming premium increases that their insurer may apply to their policy. This discount can also benefit senior citizens. As we said earlier, past a certain age, your many years of experience behind the wheel start to get eclipsed by the fact that your body can't drive as well as it used to. So if you are senior citizen who's worried worried about being financially penalized for continuing to drive past the age of 75, it could be in your best interest to take a driving course and refresh your knowledge.
Good Student Discounts
It's not enough to tell your insurance agent that you (or your young student) earn good grades; you're going to have to prove it with some paperwork. Usually, your school can send you documentation of your GPA at your request or submit it to the insurance company directly if you ask them to. Be sure to follow up with your agent and ask them to explain to you how and when the discount will be applied, as well as how much you saved.
Speaking of student discounts, here's a new and interesting way for your college student to save: it's called the Away From Home student discount. If your child attends a major university located 100 miles or more away from your home, and if they leave their car parked in your driveway while away at school, they could get a discount. But you'll have to ask your insurance agent for details.
These days, you can ensure just about anything. The most common types of the property, of course, are your car, you're home, your valuables, Any other types of vehicles you may happen to own (such as a motorcycle, an RV, a jet ski, a snowmobile, etc.), and even your life. Of course, if you take out an insurance policy on every single expensive piece of property you own, that can turn into an annoying, confusing mess very quickly. But not if you bundled most - if not all - of your insurance policies with the same company. When you do that, your insurer will give you some pretty substantial discounts. And the more policies you bundled, the more you can save.
Here are some other discounts to ask for:
- Annual Mileage: The fewer miles you drive each year, the less likely you are to get into an accident (and end up filing an expensive claim with your insurance provider). So if you know you don't drive much, you should definitely ask about an annual mileage discount.
- Car Features: Various features of your vehicle may yield discounts, such as anti-lock brakes, extra air bags, enhanced technology, or other advanced features which are designed to reduce either the likelihood of filing a claim, or the total body damage which might be sustained in an accident.
- Safety Features: Anything which can keep your passengers from sustaining serious injuries during an accident or reduce the expense of repairs to your vehicle will likely lower your monthly premiums. Ask your insurance agent for more details.
- Theft Deterrent Features: If you opt for Comprehensive coverage on your policy, anti-theft devices might lower your rates since they discourage theft and vandalism (which Comprehensive covers).
- Carpooling: Like the Annual Mileage discount mentioned above, a Carpooling discount also rewards you for driving your vehicle less and avoiding potential accidents. Check with your provider to see if this discount is offered in your area.
- Customer Loyalty: The longer you keep a policy with a particular insurance company, the more likely you are to stay with them and continue giving them your business. And they recognize that offering their customers financial incentives to stay will yield them higher profits in the long run - which is why they offer tiered discounts based on how long you have been a loyal customer.
- Driver’s Ed: Contrary to popular belief, Driver's Education isn't just for lowering the insurance costs of teenage drivers (although it does help). Knowing how to drive safely and defensively helps lower accident rates for everyone, whether you're 17 or 70.
- Good Student: Drivers under the age of 25 pay some of the highest insurance rates around. They are also more likely to be in high school or college. And if you are the type of responsible student who has a 3.0 GPA or higher, then your insurance company will assume that you are just as responsible behind the wheel - and lower your insurance rates accordingly.
- Marriage Discount: Bundling your automotive insurance policy with that of your spouse gives the insurance provider you both choose that much more business - and most insurance companies are willing to reward that extra business with a discount.
- Mature & Experienced Drivers: Drivers between the ages of 50-65 are still young enough to be alert and focused behind the wheel, but have enough driving experience to know how to avoid accidents in the first place. And many companies reward this experience with a monthly discount.
- Multiple Policies: Several major insurance providers issue more than just vehicle insurance. Some offer homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance, and more. And if you bundle multiple policies with the same company, there may be some lucrative discounts waiting for you.
- Multiple Automobiles: Again, this is an example of your insurance company rewarding you for bringing them more business. Believe it or not, it's actually less costly for your insurer to reward an existing, low-risk customer for insuring an additional vehicle than it is to insure a brand new customer with an unknown level of risk.
- Safe Motorist: If your accident risk is very low, then you are your insurance company's ideal customer. Most companies want an accident-free driving history of at least 3 years or more, but it varies by company. Your insurance agent can give you more details.
The more discounts you qualify for, the more you can save.
Life Changing Events That Help You Save
Changes in your life could allow you to qualify for more discounts – discounts that may not have been previously available to you. Here are some common events that may qualify you for extra discounts:
- Change jobs, move households: low mileage discount
- Student’s grades improve: good student discount
- Purchase a different vehicle: safety discount for air bags or anti-lock brakes
- Get married: multiple policy discount
- Retire or celebrate a birthday: mature driver discount (age 40 to 64)
- Graduate from college: college graduate discount
Read on to see why you need to talk to your insuance agent about all of these discount opportunities.
The Importance of Talking to Your Insurance Company About Your Potential Discounts
At the end of the day, informative sites like ours can only give you a snapshot of all the potential discounts you may be eligible for. The truth is that discounts will vary from state-to-state, as well as from company to company. There are thousands upon thousands of discounts out there just waiting for drivers like you to take advantage of. But the only way you'll know for sure that you're getting the most discounts apply to your policy is to talk to your agent. They'll be able to help you figure out which discounts are applicable based on your personal circumstances so that you can save the most money.
Of course, you can also help yourself save more money by shopping around for different quotes from multiple companies at once. Our fast, easy, and FREE quote generator can help you find a better deal and 5 minutes or less. Give it a try!