Car insurance can be expensive, but there are ways you can cut down on your monthly premium by finding a discount. The best car insurance companies offer discounts for a variety of reasons, including owning a home, getting good grades if you’re in high school or college and driving safely. Click below and start your search for Affordable Auto Insurance.
Common auto insurance discounts
Before you research individual insurers, it’s a good idea to know the general kinds of discounts available.
Types of car insurance discounts
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Here’s a more detailed look at how to get car insurance discounts:
Active or retired members of the military often qualify for discounts. Those who work for companies affiliated with the insurer may also qualify, as do many federal employees. In addition to military and employer discounts, many carriers also offer other affinity discounts. For example, alumni from some universities and members of fraternities or sororities might be eligible for discounts. Teachers, police officers, firefighters and those working in the medical field may also qualify.
In most cases, you will find small discounts for vehicles with anti-lock brakes, dual airbags or other safety features. Discounts may apply to personal injury or collision portions of insurance coverage only. Auto insurers may also provide a discount if you buy a new car or own an electric or hybrid vehicle.
Auto insurers may give you a discount if you own a home, even if you don’t buy homeowners insurance. Insurers also offer discounts for older adults (generally 55 years or older), although some require you take a defensive driving course to qualify.
Many insurers offer a discount for students who earn at least a B average, and some companies include an extra discount if you have a student away from home (with limited car access) on your policy.
Have you had a policy for over three years without an accident? Did you take a defensive driving course? If you have teenagers on your policy, did they pass driver’s education classes? All of these factors can help you qualify for discounts.
If you don’t mind sharing your data, you could save hundreds of dollars at some companies through programs like Allstate’s Drivewise. These programs use telematic technology — which tracks your driving behavior with a mobile app or device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port — to offer discounts and rewards or to create a customized insurance rate. Telematics programs may give you a discount depending on your driving behavior but your base insurance rate won’t be affected.
However, a usage-based policy like Progressive’s Snapshot determines your insurance rate partially based on your driving behavior. Other factors such as your age, gender, and car make and model are still factored in with these types of policies. Usage-based policies may increase your rates if you’re not a safe driver.
Insurers reward loyalty with discounts for longtime customers and those who have more than one product. For example, you might qualify for a discount when you move your homeowners insurance to your auto insurance company. You can also benefit from having multiple vehicles insured with the same company.
A word of caution about loyalty discounts: Some auto insurers use a practice called price optimization to charge loyal customers higher rates because they’re less likely to switch companies. That’s why it’s so important to compare car insurance rates, even if you’re receiving a loyalty (or other) discount. Your final rate may still be higher with a loyalty discount at your current insurer than with another company.
Discounts around how you buy and pay for your policy are some of the easiest to qualify for. Many insurers will reward customers for paying in full, switching to automatic payments or receiving electronic statements. Some companies offer a continuous coverage discount for customers who sign onto a new policy before the old one expires, often seven days before the current term ends.
Car insurance discount tips
Discounts aren’t always straightforward. Just because one company gives an accident-free discount after three years doesn’t mean the next company will have the same guidelines. Here are some tips when looking at auto insurance discounts.
Understand how discounts work
Before a discount is applied, your insurance rate is calculated. Your base rate is determined by factors like your age, gender, make and model of your car, driving history and location. After your agent has your base rate, any surcharges are added for traffic violations like accidents, speeding tickets or DUIs. Then, your discount is applied.
Ask about discounts
You don’t need to wait until you renew your policy to see if you’re eligible for a discount. Review your company’s website or use our car insurance discount calculator. Once you have an idea of the discounts available, ask your agent if you qualify. Some discounts are automatically applied, but not all.
Always call to confirm
When shopping for a car insurance policy, always talk to a representative to confirm available discounts, since terms can change over time.
Consider overall premium cost, not just discounts
Although discounts can save you money on your car insurance, remember to look at the overall cost and not just the number of discounts you receive. For example, a company that offers no discounts could end up providing a lower premium than another insurer that charges a higher premium and offers 20 discounts. Still, consider discounts when you’re shopping around and talk to your insurance agent to maximize your savings.
To find the best price and company for you, shop around for car insurance quotes at least once a year. Comparing rates from three or more companies will help you find the lowest premium.