Your car, your zip code, your gender, the number of years you’ve been driving—these are all factors that affect your car insurance rate. They’re determinants that every insurance company will ask you about and specifically, these are things that you can’t control.
Thankfully, there are a ton of discounts available on your auto insurance policy based on your life status and good choices you’ve made. Many times, though, you have to ask about them. Check out our list of seven great discounts that will shave some dollars off of your premium.
1. Good Driver Discount
While every car insurance company has a different definition of “safe driving,” it typically includes:
• no at-fault accidents
• a clean driving record clear of violations for speeding, reckless driving and DUI/DWIs
Some insurance carriers offer a discount for every year you meet these specifications, while others apply safe driving discounts only for a certain period, or consecutive number of years, without a claim or violation. In the same vein, a similar deduction you might ask about is sometimes referred to as a “claim-free” discount, meaning it rewards drivers for not filing any accident claims over a specific time period. In California, a ‘Good Driver’ has a specific definition based on Proposition 103, but additional discounts may be offered by certain carriers.
2. Policy Renewal Discount
Auto insurance is a competitive business, especially with the advent of the online quote generator. That’s why a number of providers offer their loyal customers discounts when they renew policies. These vary according to your car insurance company and how long you’ve been a customer, but most offer a percentage off your total premium.
There are a number of benefits to renewing well before your policy’s expiration date—including avoiding a potential lapse in coverage that could bring fines, revocation of your driver’s license or jail time.
3. Multi-Vehicle or Bundling Discount
If you insure multiple vehicles driven by family members living in one household, companies will frequently offer as much as 20 percent off your premium if you place them all under one policy.
Another popular discount involves opting to bundle your car insurance with other lines of coverage. You can save big by combining your auto insurance with your homeowners, renters, life insurance, et al., all under one policy. Did you just buy a home? Call your agent directly to ask about adding it to your auto insurance policy and receive a significant bundling discount.
4. Vehicle Safety Equipment Discount
Any device added to your vehicle that increases your safety or decreases the potential that your car will be stolen could potentially save you money on your premium. Take a look at your vehicle owner’s manual for a list of factory-installed equipment and make a list of what you have before speaking to your agent. These could include:
• anti-lock brakes, which prevent skidding in icy weather and help preserve contact between the road and your tires
• passive restraint safety features—such as driver-side and passenger airbags or automatic seat belts—that function automatically and don’t require a human to activate them
• rearview cameras, daytime running lights (or adaptive headlights), blind-spot detection and lane-departure warnings systems
• anti-theft devices, including alarm systems, which decrease the likelihood that your car will be successfully stolen
• stolen vehicle recovery systems that help law enforcement locate your vehicle should it go missing
5. Occupational/Association Discounts
In a “low-risk” profession? You can probably save money on your car insurance. According to dmv.org, statistics show that people with these jobs exhibit less risky behavior on the road than the average driver:
• police officers/firefighters
• certified public accountants
Not you? You might qualify for a different discount if you’re a member of your school’s alumni association, a local professional organization, an automotive club like AAA, a senior association like the AARP or a credit union. Also, if you served in the military, there’s a good chance a car insurance company will lower your premium.
6. Student Driver Discounts
Insuring new drivers in their teens and early 20s is really expensive, again because statistically they’re the most accident-prone. There are a few ways to bring rates down. Qualifying for a good student discount is one. To be eligible, the driver must be under 25 years old, enrolled full-time in high school or college and maintain at least a B average. If the driver is away at college and not using the insured vehicle regularly, also ask about a resident student discount.
In addition, insurance companies frequently offer policy deductions when insuring teen drivers who have completed a driver’s education course.
7. Mature Driver Discounts
Discounts in this category apply to drivers above a certain age, as determined by an individual insurance company. Essentially, it’s the senior discount. Oftentimes, in addition to considering the number of years someone’s been driving, carriers will look at the reduced number of miles an individual drives—say, after retirement when there’s no commute to work—and offer a premium reduction.
Senior drivers over 50 years old can also enroll in defensive driving courses, which review driving techniques, driving in inclement weather and traffic laws, for additional savings.
Save Money with Discounts that you Qualify for
After reviewing these potential discounts, which ones do you think you could qualify for? Talk to an Auto Insurance Specialist that can give you a better idea of your own policy.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.