You can make considerable savings on your auto insurance simply by taking advantage of the diverse range of discounts that is offered by auto insurance providers in general.
Keep in mind though, that sometimes, it’s not about finding the cheapest coverage, but the best coverage you need for your own individual circumstance.
Be sure to ask your insurance agent about all of the available discounts that you qualify for. Don’t assume they are going to tell you about all the discounts for which you qualify. With insurance, the answer is usually ‘no’ until you ask.
Below are 27 of the biggest money savers available.
1. Multi-policy discount
Getting a multi-policy discount is one of the best ways to get the best insurance rates. You get this discount when you package all of your policies such as your home and car insurance policies to the same insurance carrier. You’ll need to shop around for an insurance company that offers coverage for all of your policies.
In some cases, the multi-policy discount can mean that you get a discount on other coverage like life insurance or umbrella policies due to the multiple policies being purchased from the same carrier.
You can only get a multi-policy discount when you combine auto with a home policy. A traditional home policy will generally have the biggest impact on your car insurance rate. If you have a motorcycle, boat or RV, contact your insurance provider to see if the policy discount will be applicable to you. This discount can range from 15 to 25 percent depending on your insurance carrier.
2. Multi-vehicle discount
This discount applies if you have more than one vehicle registered to the same address. You could get up to a third off by going for a multi-car insurance policy, while there is also the potential benefit of everyone in the group having just one renewal date and one premium to worry about. So, if you live in a household of flat-sharing young professionals with two or more cars registered to the same address, you could make some big savings here.
3. Good driver discount
This discount is offered by most insurance companies and is one of the most common policies. If you’ve had no tickets or accidents within a 5-year period, most insurance companies will give you a discount. However, if you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, be sure to double check with your insurance agent if this will affect your discount.
4. Education level
Your level of education makes a difference on your insurance rate. Insurance companies feel that people who are well-educated tend to be more responsible, and therefore represent less risk because they are less likely to get involved in an accident.
5. Good student discount
If you are a young, full-time student with a good academic record could be eligible for up to a 15% discount on certain coverages. If you maintain a certain grade point average, take your transcripts with you. Insurance companies see you as being more responsible and thus, less likely to get into an accident. This will qualify you for this discount.
6. Are you in steady, stable employment?
If you are in a stable, steady job that doesn’t require you to be on the road much, this can attract lower insurance rates. The less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to get into an accident, which makes you less risky to insure.
7. Driver’s education
If you’re a young driver, the best way to overcome high insurance premiums is through the so-called driver’s education discount. This will however depend on your carrier, and can significantly reduce your insurance premiums. In fact, some providers may offer credits of up to 20% for qualifying drivers’ education programs. The exact value of your driver’s education discount will depend upon the policies of your insurance carrier.
8. Safety features
To get the best deals, you need to install security features on your car. Many insurance companies give substantial discounts if your car has safety devices such as airbags and automatic seat belts. Generally, the safer a car will keep its driver and passengers, the more affordable it will be to insure. This is because you are reducing the risk of injury to you or your passengers in case of an accident.
9. Anti-theft devices.
Installing anti-theft devices such as a burglar alarm or immobilizer can attract a discount. Car theft is a major cost factor. With an anti-theft device, you are reducing the risk that your vehicle will get stolen and that you will be making a claim.
10. Profession discounts
Many insurance companies give discounts to people in certain professions that are generally considered to be less risky than others. Others give discounts to active and retired members of the military.
11, Safe parking
Parking your car in a secured area such as a garage rather than on a street will qualify you for a discount because you are reducing the risk of making a claim.
12. Make and model of car
Hybrid drivers get insurance discounts from some insurance companies. Research shows that hybrid drivers pose a lower insurance risk than others because they drive fewer miles overall [source: Helton]. Furthermore, if you drive a car that doesn’t cost much money or time to repair or its parts are relatively cheap and easy to find, this could qualify you for big savings on your auto insurance.
13. Safe vehicle discount
If your car is considered a “safe car”, you may qualify for additional discounts. Safe cars are those that are statistically safer due to their design and safety features.
14. No claims discount
Every year you have car insurance and don’t make a claim, you’ll get a discount on the following year’s premium. On the flip side, your premium could rise by 30 per cent if you make a claim.
15. Defensive driving
If you take a recognized defensive driving course, you can also be given a discount by the insurer since you will have the skills to avoid an accident. Older drivers can particularly benefit by taking classes offered by the AARP, which can earn them discounts of as much as 5% a year for three years after they have completed the course.
16. Low mileage
If you keep your overall mileage within the boundaries set by your insurance carrier or carpool regularly, you may be eligible for a discount. If you only use your car for work or weekly trips to the grocery store, you’ll qualify for special discounts.
Note however, that you may need to validate your mileage through an electronic monitoring device that the insurance company will install in your car.
17. Senior citizen discounts
Are you over the age of 55? Many insurance companies give discounts to elderly drivers over the age of 55 because they are seen as being safe drivers, compared to their younger counterparts.
If you’re a much younger driver, you should compare coverage across different companies because some smaller companies place less emphasis on the driver’s age.
18. Seat belt use
If you and the passengers in your car tend to wear seat belts whenever you’re at the wheel, this could earn you a 15% discount off the medical payments or personal injury protection section of your premiums.
19. Daytime running lights
If your car is equipped with daytime running lights, you could get 3% discount. However this only applies on certain coverages.
20. Car age
The age of the car you drive can qualify you for a discount. New cars qualify for a discount because they are new and are much less likely to break down.
21. Anti-lock brake system
If your car has a factory installed anti-lock braking system, you could receive a 5% discount on the collision portion of your premium.
22. Your deductible
Paying a high deductible will is one of the most effective ways to save money on your car insurance. Securing your auto insurance policy with a high deductible means lower auto insurance premiums
23. Your credit score
An increasing number of insurance providers use credit scores as one of the factors to set insurance rates. The higher your credit score, the lower your insurance premiums will be because the insurance companies will see you as a safer risk. Improving your credit score will pay off with much lower insurance premiums.
Whilst some of these discounts can potentially save you money if you qualify for them, it is important to check that the insurer’s rates are naturally competitive. The possibility exists that even though a particular insurance company offers all of these discounts, the higher premiums may cancel out any potential savings you may enjoy.
24. Have your VIN number etched into your window.
According to top-rated auto experts, having your car’s unique serial number (known as the Vehicle Identification number) etched into your windshield and windows will cost less than $20, but can save you money by reducing your insurance by up to 15%. This is because the practice makes the car less attractive to thieves.
25. Shop around.
Shopping around for car insurance is one of the best ways to get a better rate and save a lot of money. Auto-renewing your car insurance is one of the most expensive mistakes made by consumers, simply because it is convenient to do so. Insurers often take advantage of the convenience their customers see in remaining with the same provider to increase the renewal premium to levels far higher than you can get on the market.
This is why it’s a good idea to shop around once a year to see if any new discounts have become available that weren’t available the previous year. If you do find a better rate, let your insurance provider know because in most cases, they’ll match the rate.
26. Try to pay annually if you can.
You may find it more convenient to pay on a monthly basis, however over the long term, you’ll almost always be paying more than paying for your insurance on an annual basis. There are incredible savings to be made by paying for your insurance in one lump sum.
27. Do you really need collision coverage?
If your car is only worth a few thousand dollars or less and your yearly premium is equal to 10 percent of your car’s blue book value, it might make sense to drop collision coverge, and pay for any accident damage out of pocket instead of paying your insurer. You could possibly be paying a lot of money for insurance than will not pay much if you file a claim.