If you’re shopping around for a new auto insurance policy, you may have seen advertisements for a variety of potential discounts through one provider or another. But which ones apply to you? And are there insurance discounts you might not know about? Asking the right questions could save you hundreds of dollars a year on your premiums, so it’s important to do your research. Here are 20 discounts* to ask about when you speak with an insurance agent:
- Defensive Driving – Taking a certified Defensive Driving course could bring a discount of 10% - 15%.
- Good Student – Younger drivers are inherently riskier because they have less experience. But students who maintain a B average can qualify for savings up to 25%.
- Student Away – If your child left their car behind when they went off to college (more than 100 miles away), you can ask for a reduction in your liability coverage, which could save you up to 25%.
- Military – Many insurance companies honor military or federal employee service with discounts up to 15%.
- Professional/Club Affiliation – Many professional organizations offer their members insurance discounts as a perk of membership.
- Senior Citizen – Drivers over age 55 typically enjoy a 10% discount over younger drivers.
- Accident Free/Safe Driver – Several insurance providers reward good driving habits with discounts up to 10%. Some even have special devices to monitor how you drive and report back to the company.
- Low Mileage and/or Usage – If you drive less than 7,500 miles annually, you could enjoy great discounts. But keep in mind that it may require your car to have a monitoring device.
- Proof of Prior Insurance – While it isn’t offered in California, insurance companies in other states will reward people for switching their policies prior to a lapse in coverage.
- Being a Homeowner – Sometimes merely owning a home can earn you a discount from your auto insurance company, even if you don’t insure your home with them. Of course, bundling your auto and home coverage with the same provider will almost always result in a discount as well.
- Multi-Vehicle – Insuring more than one car under the same policy can get you up to a combined 25% discount.
- Advance Renewal – If you renew in advance for your policy expiration, it saves the insurance company time and money, so they may pass some savings on to you.
- Paid in Full – Paying for your policy in full upfront – rather than making monthly payments – may qualify you for a discount. Conversely, if you break up your payments, you may be charged a monthly service fee that increases your overall premium.
- e-Bill/Auto Payment – Going paperless and setting up automatic payments saves the insurance provider on postage and printing costs, and ensures they get their money on time. This could add up to savings for you.
- Loyalty – Many providers reward longtime policyholders with discounts for their loyalty.
- Anti-Theft – If you have an anti-theft device (like Lojack) on your car, it helps prevent your vehicle from being stolen, which lowers your risk of filing a claim on your insurance. Some providers offer a discount for this feature.
- Anti-Lock Brakes – Cars that stop faster are less likely to get into an accident, which makes them cheaper to insure.
- Passive Restraint – Some cars are built with seatbelts that automatically lock in certain scenarios. This helps prevent injury in a collision and can keep medical costs – and thus insurance costs – down.
- New Car – Brand new vehicles are expected to have fewer reasons for insurance claims, so some companies offer a discount.
- Daytime Running Lights – They’re believed to help prevent accidents because they make the car more visible on the road. Several large insurers offer a discount for this feature.
Keep in mind that factors such as your employment status, age, level of education, and marital status all play a role in the rate you ultimately receive. And these aren’t considered discounts – they’re rating factors uniquely determined by each insurance provider. You can only do so much to control these aspects of your life, so the more you know about available discounts, the better chance you have of getting affordable insurance.
When you’re shopping policies, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples coverage. At a glance, one quote may seem cheaper than another, but it might be because that provider offered less liability coverage, or because one policy was for 6 months while the other was for a year. The details matter.
And finally, despite all the potential discounts listed, your goal should be to have enough coverage should the unexpected happen. Don’t skimp on protection to save a buck, because it could cost you dearly in the long run.
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*Not all discounts listed are available from every insurance provider or in every state.
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