When you're shopping for auto insurance, discounts offered through insurance companies impact the rate you pay, as well as the companies you'll want to consider. To help you take advantage of the many discounts available, and help you save money on your insurance premium, we've put together this guide. First let's explore the many types of discount options available.
3 Types of Auto Insurance Discounts
There are three primary types of auto insurance discounts you'll want to look into and determine if you're eligible. They are:
- Driver discounts: Discounts based on where you are in life. From teens to retirees, there's probably a discount for you.
- Policy discounts: Discounts based on the policy choices you make.
- Vehicle discounts: Discounts based on the type of car you own and the safety features it provides.
Now, let's drive further into each type of car insurance discounts available.
There are various auto insurance discounts for drivers. These include student discounts, safe driver discounts, and various occupational discounts, like those for military or federal employees. Take a look at the discounts listed below to see if you qualify for any, then be sure to ask about them when you're shopping for car insurance.
Life Stage Discounts
Good student discount - Being a 'good' student has its rewards. Many insurance companies offer reduced insurance rates for students with good grades, under the age of 25, and enrolled fulltime.
New graduate discount - As a recent graduate, you may find your good student discount will be honored for six months to a year, so be sure to ask if you still qualify.
Newlywed discount - If you were recently married, congratulations! You're about to save some money on your car insurance, too! A person who is married is less likely to get in an accident. So combining your policies may result in a reduction in your rates, unless you have major accidents or other driving history that makes you more of a risk. Be sure to see if you qualify for multi-car discounts with your spouse, too.
Senior and retiree discount - Auto insurance premiums are generally lower for people between the ages of 50 and 74. If you believe you're paying too much for auto insurance, shop around to make sure you're not overpaying. Some insurance companies will offer age-based discounts.
Federal employee discount - Many federal employees enjoy auto insurance discounts. Be sure to ask if your particular occupation qualifies.
Nurses - Many insurers offer discounts to nurses who spend their time caring for others. If you're a nurse, you may qualify to save on your auto insurance.
Teachers - If you're a teacher, you'll want to check to see if you can get a discount on your car insurance. Most likely, you'll need to be a part of an educational organization. Be sure to ask which ones qualify when you're shopping for insurance.
First responders - Police officers, firefighters, and other first responders can save money on their insurance with companies that offer discounts to these occupations. So make sure you ask!
Military - Many insurance companies offer discounts to men and women who serve their country through military service. If you're a veteran, you may also qualify.
Partner organization discount - Sometimes called affinity discounts, these are for people who belong to particular organizations. If you're a member of an organization, be sure to check your benefits section to see if you're eligible for a discount on your auto insurance.
Group savings - Various employers, groups, credit unions, or alumni associations may qualify for savings. Be sure to ask your employer, or check your group's website to see if you qualify for a discount with a particular provider.
Being a safe driver saves your insurance company money, and they're willing to cut you in on it by providing a discount on your premium for some of the situations listed below.
Driver's education course - Some insurance companies will provide a discount for teen drivers who complete and pass a driver's education course.
AARP Smart Driver Course - Members of the AARP may take this course in order to qualify for insurance discounts.
Defensive driver discount - Some insurance companies will offer a discount for taking a defensive driving course.
Safe driver / accident-free discount - If you haven't had an accident in years, why should you pay as much for insurance as drivers who are prone to accidents? You shouldn't, and most insurance companies recognize this by offering a discount to drivers who have driven accident-free for a certain period of time, usually 3-5 years.
Low mileage discount - Driving shorter distances with a second vehicle could result in a lower insurance premium. Or if you're a retiree and don't drive long distances, you may qualify here as well.
The decisions you make about your policy can affect how much you pay. In general, choosing to insure multiple vehicles, along with going paperless and setting up an automatic payment will save you money. Read about some of the other policy discounts available below.
Multi-policy discount - If you have more than one car, insuring all your vehicles with the same company can save you money. Likewise, if you have homeowners insurance, renters insurance, life insurance, or other insurance policies with the same company, you may also save money.
Paperless documents discount - Receive your insurance documents online, including paperless statements and billing, and receive a discount on your policy.
Loyalty discount - Some insurance companies offer loyalty discounts when you've been a customer for a certain number of years. Others offer loyalty discounts when you insure multiple vehicles or purchase other products or services.
Full payment - Save money when you pay your policy in full, rather than making monthly payments.
Automatic payment - Set up automatic withdrawal from your checking account, or automatic payments with a credit card, and you can get a discount on your insurance.
Most vehicle discounts offered are tied to safety features. In general, newer vehicles will offer the types of features required to receive these discounts. Check and see if your vehicle qualifies for any of these listed.
Anti-lock brake discount - Having a newer car with anti-lock brakes means your car stops quicker, which means fewer accidents and a break on your insurance.
Anti-theft discount - Insurance companies know that having an anti-theft device on your vehicle deters the theft of your car, so they're willing to offer you a discount on your insurance when you have one installed.
Vehicle safety features discount - From seat belts to air bags and collision warning systems to lane assist, having safety features on your car means fewer accidents and fewer bodily injuries. Insurance companies are willing to reward you for this with a discount.
Hybrid vehicle discount - Also known as green car, alternative fuel, or economy car discount, this applies if you have an electric or hybrid vehicle.
Get Ready to Save Money
Determine the discounts you may qualify for, and as you shop for car insurance, ask if the insurance company offers them. Do some comparison shopping and select the company that not only provides you with the best rate, but also provides you with the coverage that fits your needs and the level of service you expect.