What Auto Insurance Discounts Apply to Me?
Remember when you were a child and you got so excited when you were able to buy things with your own money? Sometimes shopping carries the same thrill in adulthood. Other expenses, on the other hand, feel far less rewarding.
Car insurance is one of them.
The peace of mind you get from having insurance and following the law is priceless, but the insurance itself has a serious price tag. Fortunately, there are countless ways to save money on your auto insurance. You can’t get unique car insurance discounts if you don’t know to ask for them, though.
Find out if you qualify for any of these common but lesser-known automobile insurance discounts.
Low Mileage Discounts
Every time you drive your car, it’s an opportunity for an accident to happen and for your insurance carrier to pay the price. It stands to reason that if you’re driving less often and taking fewer risks, you should pay less for insurance.
That is the thought behind low mileage discounts. The average vehicle gets over 13,000 miles per year in usage. Many insurance carriers offer discounts if you drive less than 7,000 annual miles or so.
The details of this discount vary from carrier to carrier. Each carrier has a different mileage limit that qualifies you for the discount. Some carriers have low-mileage plans that are fully separate from their traditional plans.
Each carrier also has its own way of keeping you honest. In some cases, you need to agree to install tracking software or devices in your car. This lets the carrier verify that you’re staying within its mileage limit.
The world is going green, and that includes auto insurers. Paperless billing discounts are more about the cost savings than the environmental impact, though.
When you opt for paperless billing through email or other digital means, it saves money for your insurance carrier. They don’t need to print, prepare, and mail your bills or other documents. That saves them money, and they pass along part of the savings to you.
Along similar lines, many carriers also offer discounts when you sign up for automatic payments. The insurance carrier withdraws the payment from your bank account each month. This gives them more predictable cash flow, and you benefit with a small discount.
You know what they say: it’s all about who you know. As it turns out, the right connections can even save you money on your car insurance.
Many insurers have agreements with certain groups to provide discounts to their members. This can include roadside assistance clubs and activity groups.
Some insurers also provide discounts to people who are students at specific schools. They can have agreements with large employers as well to offer discounts to those companies’ employees.
This all varies from insurer to insurer. Ask your insurer for a list of group discounts, or ask your employer or school if they have an active discount agreement.
Defensive Driving Discounts
Insurance carriers want their drivers to be able to prevent accidents, even accidents that wouldn’t be their fault. That’s why they’re willing to pay you to brush up on defensive driving.
Taking certain certified defensive driving courses could earn you discounts on your auto insurance. Start by asking your insurance carrier if there are any courses that qualify for their discount program. Make sure you find out what documentation you’ll need in order to get your discount.
These courses can be easier to tackle than you expect. For example, the National Safety Council offers a variety of online defensive driving courses you can take at your leisure.
Discounts for Anti-Theft Devices
The insurance game is a gamble, and it’s all about the insurer’s ability to lower their risk of large expenses. It’s no surprise that when you lower your risk of car theft, you can get a discount. It’s no different than getting lower life insurance rates if you’re healthier and have a longer expected lifespan.
Many insurers offer discounts if you have certain anti-theft devices for your car. They may even offer additional discounts if you have multiple anti-theft devices.
Be careful to do a cost-benefit analysis, though. Some security devices cost much more than you’ll save with your discounts. The discounts are more cost-effective if you already have security devices or if you were planning to get them anyway.
School-Related Status Discounts
Stay in school, kids. Your auto insurance rates will be better for it.
Many insurers offer a “good student” discount. For high school and college students, they provide a discount if your grade point average is high enough. Most insurers draw the line at 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, but it can vary, so ask your insurer for details.
Another price break for students is often called the “student away from home” discount. If you’re going to school a few hours from your family’s home and your car stays at the family home, you don’t have regular access to it. Because you aren’t using the car often, your insurance carrier may offer a discount.
Military and Federal Employee Discounts
Countless businesses offer military discounts for service members and their families. Chances are that your auto insurer is on that list.
Those military discounts usually include active military members and veterans, as well as their immediate families. Most insurers will request documentation of your service, so have your paperwork on hand.
In addition to military members, though, some insurance carriers offer discounts to federal employees. It’s similar to the private agreements insurers make with specific employers, but in this case, the employer is the federal government.
For the most part, this doesn’t include employees of local or state governments. There are some insurers who offer discounts to teachers, though, so it’s worth your time to ask.
Daytime Running Light Discounts
Daytime running lights are small headlights that run any time you’re driving your car, no matter how light or dark it is outside. Several studies suggest that daytime running lights reduce accident rates. In fact, many countries require car manufacturers to install running daytime lights as safety features.
While this isn’t required in the US, it does serve as a handy safety feature that can get you a discount on your auto insurance. Not all insurance carriers have this discount, but many do. Some also include it in a list of other safety features you need to have to get a discount.
Karma has a way of catching up with you, and that can include the positive karma of choosing an eco-friendly car. Some auto insurers reward your environmentally-conscious choice with a discount.
In many cases, electric vehicles and some hybrid vehicles qualify for this discount. There may also be discounts for other alternative-fuel or efficient vehicles.
Keep in mind that discounts like these tend to be less common as those eco-friendly vehicles become more common. If you have a “green” set of wheels, find out your discount options sooner rather than later.
Everyone talks about the difficult parts of getting older, but it has its perks, too. One of those perks may be a discount on your car insurance.
To boost customer loyalty, some insurers offer lower rates for drivers over a certain age. That age varies from one insurer to the next, but it’s usually either 55 or 65.
Keep in mind that some insurers put a different spin on this discount. Certain driving schools and online course providers have classes aimed at helping senior drivers improve their driving. Because accident rates increase after a certain age, your auto insurer may give you a discount if you take one of these classes.
How to Get All the Unique Car Insurance Discounts You Qualify For
Everyone knows your car insurance is less expensive if you have a strong driving record and a certain number of driving years under your belt. As it turns out, though, there are far more auto insurance discount programs you didn’t know about.
Considering that there are so many unique car insurance discounts out there, how do you know you’re getting all the savings you deserve?
It all comes down to using the right tools. No one has time to call around to every major insurer and ask about all their discount options. Instead, a tool like policy pilot will ask the right questions and do the comparison shopping for you.
To find out how much you can save, compare auto insurance policies today using Policy Pilot as your one-stop-shop. Don’t forget to use our other Policy Pilot tools to get a better rate on your home insurance, life insurance, and health insurance too.