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Car insurance can take a sizeable bite out of your monthly budget, but many drivers are overlooking discounts that could slash their rates considerably. Depending on your auto insurance company and your driver profile, a single call to your provider could be all it takes to leap from cash-strapped motorist to a preferred driver, snagging yourself access to far more lucrative rates.
Our Geeks spent weeks making calls and scouring the net for the best car insurance discounts. Read on to find out how your occupation, age, marital status, and more could save you thousands of dollars on premiums:
1. Low Mileage Discount
If your vehicle spends more time collecting dust in the garage than revving on the open road, you may qualify for a lower premium. Insurers are rewarding the road-shy among us with lower rates and added benefits. The reason is simple: The more you drive, the higher your chances are of being involved in an accident.
Many companies will offer you a reduced rate if your annual mileage is less than a set amount predetermined by risk assessors. Before choosing a provider, make sure you have calculated a reliable estimate of your yearly travel distance (you can use last year’s mileage to help determine this figure). Our Geeks recommend adding an extra 100 miles to your final number to leave room for unforeseen travel emergencies.
2. Usage-Based Discounts
Need incentive to develop safer driving habits? Usage-based insurance is a new type of coverage that rewards road users for sticking to speed limits and observing street signs. Insurers will monitor your driving through a device installed in your car or via a smartphone app, tracking metrics such as your braking, acceleration, and commute times. Nail this test and you could net yourself as much as 10% off your monthly premium.
But be warned: This discount will fluctuate between terms. A month of poor driving could quickly turn that big 10 into a fat zero.
3. Marriage Discount
Getting married is a landmark moment in anyone’s life. Not only can you look forward to sharing years of happiness with your significant other, but you will also gain access to excellent car insurance discounts.
Single people are typically strapped with higher premiums because they tend to get injured in collisions more often. This might sound crazy, but according to a study from the National Institutes of Health, motorists who have never been hitched are twice as likely to be injured while on the road than those who are married.
Just married? You may qualify for a lucrative discount on your policy.
4. Mature Discount
With age comes experience, wisdom, and discounts. Providers prefer drivers who are in their 50s because people in this age group tend to drive less, drive slower, and exercise caution when they’re on the road.
However, when you are in your 60s or 70s, you may be required to pay more. This is because the reaction time of people in this age group tends to be slower than their younger counterparts. Fortunately, you may be able to net yourself a discount if you complete a driving safety course to prove to your provider that you’re just as spry as you were in your youth.
5. Advanced Renewal Discount
Many insurers have begun incentivizing drivers to renew their policies before they expire. For insurance companies, it’s far cheaper to retain existing customers than it is to track down and secure new business.
In the month before your plan is set to expire, your provider should send you a letter detailing the steps you need to take to qualify for an advanced renewal discount. Based on your policy, this discount could result in a significant reduction of your premium.
6. Full Payment Car Insurance Discounts
When you purchase an auto insurance policy, your new provider will probably give you the option to make one initial payment to cover the premium or to divide the cost into smaller monthly installments. While the latter option is tempting, you could save big by paying off your policy upfront.
7. Automatic Payment Discount
Setting up automatic payments not only can save you time but may also net you lower premiums. Subscribing to an autopay system signifies to your provider that you are reliable and will be able to make your payments on time.
Your payments will automatically be withdrawn from your linked savings, debit, or credit account on a monthly basis. You won’t have to worry about missing a payment and running the risk of your coverage lapsing just because you didn’t set a reminder. Although some insurers do not offer a discount for automatic payments, participating in these programs is still worth it due to the reduced stress and time savings.
8. Paperless Discount
Environmentally conscious companies are giving drivers a reason to go green. In an attempt to cut down on waste, many providers are offering discounts to policyholders who elect to scrap paper statements in favor of online billing.
Instead of having to wait for the bill to arrive by snail mail, your statements will be delivered straight to your inbox. You will then be able to settle your account conveniently over the Internet.
Our Geeks suggest asking your insurer whether they offer paperless or online billing discounts.
9. Anti-Theft Technology Discount
Crime rates may be going down, but thieves are still on the hunt for soft targets. In 2016, U.S. citizens lost a collective $5.9 billion in personal property to motor-vehicle theft, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Fortunately, thanks to recent tech advances, you can safeguard your new ride against car thieves and snag yourself an auto insurance discount in the process.
Anti-theft systems such as car alarms, engine immobilizers, steering wheel locks, and pedal jacks are an effective way to deter would-be criminals. While most insurers do not offer discounts to drivers who have invested in this technology, the added layer of security could save you thousands of dollars by reducing the chances of your vehicle being stolen.
10. Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems Discount
Is your car equipped with a recovery system? You could qualify for a discount. This advanced device allows police officers to track the location of your vehicle using GPS technology in the event that it is stolen. Because this system increases the probability that your car will be recovered, there is less risk to your provider.
Most of the big insurers offer discounts to drivers who own vehicles equipped with recovery stems such as LoJack.
11. Safety Equipment Discount
Safety features are your best allies on the road, helping you reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. As a result, many insurers offer discounts to car owners who drive vehicles equipped with the latest safety features such as:
- Anti-lock brakes to help maintain traction on the road;
- Blind spot detection technology for safer merging and lane changing;
- Emergency response systems to unlock the doors and turn off the engine in a crash;
- Tire pressure monitoring equipment to warn you when your tires drop below or exceed the recommended pressure;
- Rear-facing cameras to assist with vision while reversing; and
- Passive restraint systems to deploy automatically in an accident.
12. College Graduate Discount
Your hard work has finally paid off and you’re ready to enter the workforce. But your graduation came with more than just a diploma, a robe, and a silly hat. Many insurers are offering discounts to drivers with Doctoral, Master’s, or Bachelor’s degrees. Statistics have shown that higher learning means low risk.
13. Accident-Free Discount
Your spotless driving record is a one-way ticket to lower premiums. Insurance companies love safe drivers, and being able to show a provider proof that you have never been involved in an auto accident or cited for a traffic violation could net you access to lucrative discounts.
14. Loyalty Discount
Staying loyal to a single insurance provider may lead to lower premiums and unexpected benefits. These perks can range from small discounts to superior coverage at the same cost as your existing policy. However, these incentives are often contingent on you maintaining an excellent driving record and making your payments on time.
15. Defensive Driving Discount
Defensive driving is defined as using the roads in a way that saves time, money, and lives. Completing an accredited defensive driving course will arm you with the skills needed to anticipate and avoid collisions.
Typically, insurance discounts for completing this course will be applied to the next five years of your policy. At the end of this time period, you will have to undergo the same training again to secure a reduced premium.
16. Hybrid Electric Vehicle Auto Insurance Discount
Your hybrid vehicle has helped you reduce your carbon footprint, cut your fuel costs, and now, it may even lower your car insurance premium. If you own a hybrid electric vehicle or a dedicated alternative fuel vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas, ethanol, electricity, or propane, you could qualify for a up to 10% off your current coverage with several of the country’s major insurers.
The reason? Hybrid drivers tend to be more responsible on the road and drive far less than the average motorist. They also tend to be more educated and have higher-paying and more stable jobs. This makes hybrid drivers a safe bet for insurers looking to sign low-risk clients.
17. Low-Risk Occupation Discount
Lawyers and doctors pay some of the highest premiums in the country. Why? Working in a high-stress profession makes you more distracted, tired, and stressed while on the road. The result: You’re far more likely to be involved in an accident.
If you work in a low-risk occupation, such as teaching or accounting, you may qualify for a low-risk occupation discount with your insurer.
18. Retiree Car Insurance Discount
You’ve put in decades of work at your nine-to-five and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You have more free time, fewer commitments, and no longer need to commute into the city to earn your keep. The result: More hours spent enjoying life, and less time risking an accident out on the road.
As a retiree, you may be able to score a discount on your premium just by informing your provider that you no longer have to clock in. Retirees are less likely to be involved or injured in accidents, thus reducing the risk to insurers and netting you a few more bills for your fun fund.
19. Multivehicle Discount
Own more than one car? Consolidating your policies under one provider can secure you lower premiums on your entire fleet. Many insurers offer multivehicle package deals that are significantly cheaper than insuring your cars individually.
20. Transfer Discount
Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. If you have an existing policy but want to switch providers, a rival insurer may give you a discounted rate to abandon ship. Providers will sometimes also cover the costs of completing the transfer and cutting ties with your old auto insurance company.
21. Military Auto Insurance Discount
If you are on active duty, serve in the National Guard, or have retired from the military, you may qualify for a discount with a provider. In many cases, companies will even offer a reduced rate to spouses or children of soldiers or veterans.
Now that you know about some of the most common—and lucrative—auto insurance discounts, it’s time to call your provider and learn about your options. If you’re searching for a new policy, try using our Quote Comparison Tool, which allows you to search for the best rates from dozens of the country’s most trusted insurers.