A Guide to Getting the Best Car Insurance Discounts

Car insurance

Car insurance is a major expense in anyone’s budget, but insurance discounts can reduce monthly premiums. Insurance providers offer various discounts for numerous reasons, among which you may find driving safely, or getting good grades if you are a student.

Some of the most common reasons that you can benefit from a discount include:

  • customer loyalty
  • driver history
  • group affiliations
  • policy bundling
  • vehicle features

Each insurance provider will have its own set of discounts available and establish the rules for qualifying for these discounts. Depending on the insurer, the same discounts may not be available in all states. When searching for discounts, you’ll need to check with individual providers for specific details.

Here are some of the commonest discounts available that you will want to search for and verify if you qualify.

Customer Loyalty Discount

Long time customers or those that buy more than one policy, known as bundling, from a provider may receive a loyalty discount. However, the so-called “loyalty discount” should be examined closely.

Often loyal customers are actually charged higher rates thanks to “price optimization” because these customers are less likely to shop around and switch providers. It’s a good idea to compare prices before accepting a customer loyalty discount and signing on the dotted line insurance discounts can reduce monthly premiums.

Your premium may turn out to be higher than those of other companies even with a loyalty discount.

Another aspect is the “Continuous Coverage” discount where customers acquire a new policy before the old policy has expired. Discounts may be based on how long the customer has been with the provider.

Bundling insurance policies or multiple car insurance policies may also land you a discount. Some auto insurers may permit you to add on a car you do not own if the car is parked in your garage or at your address.

A bundling discount generally is offered if you purchase more than one type of policy from your provider. These discounts apply to a variety of products under the same provider and might include boat insurance, home insurance, life insurance, and even renters insurance.

The Good Driver Discount

If you are a good driver and have never had an accident or any traffic violations within the last 3 to 5 years, you may get a discount. Take note that most insurance companies consider accident and traffic violation-free to be the same thing as a good driver

A few insurance providers may treat these two concepts as separate, and then you may only be able to receive one of the two discounts available.

The Defensive Driver Discount

Many people now sign up for defensive driving courses. These courses teach you specific tactics while behind the wheel so you can be a safer driver such as vehicle distancing to prevent accidents. Often this discount may only be available to drivers aged 55 and up.

The Data Sharing Discount

That’s right! If you don’t mind sharing data you may save several hundred dollars by installing an electronic telematics device that will track your driving behaviour. It may be a device that plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostic port or may be managed by a mobile app.

This category of discounts also may include low mileage or pay-per-mile car insurance for those who do not drive much. Your premium may be decided by exactly how many miles you drive.

Should the data demonstrate that you speed or have a habit of hard-braking, your rates may be increased if the provider feels that these happen too often and classify them as unsafe driving habits.

Group Affiliation Discounts

You may be surprised at how many of the groups or clubs you are affiliated with benefit from car insurance discounts. Depending on where you work, go to school, or clubs you are a member of, you may be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance. Examples of group affiliation discounts include:

Alumni or student membership discounts

Some university alumni groups, Greek life alumni, university enrolment, or professional associations qualify for discounts.

Military discounts

If you are currently a member of the Armed Forces, a veteran, or related to someone in the military, you may be entitled to a discount.

Federal Employee Discounts

Federal employees often benefit from discounted group rates not only on car insurance but on a number of insurance policies in general.

Vehicle Feature Discounts

New auto technology may come with higher price tags, such as electric cars or the installment of safety options but they may save you some money when stipulating your insurance policy. you may need PIP or Personal Injury Protection or similar to qualify.

The Alternative Energy Discount

Some providers will offer this even if you lease. You’ll not only save on gas, but on your premiums as well.

The Anti-Theft Discount

Depending on where you live or where you drive, your provider may offer a discount for alarms, steering wheel locks, and devices used to dissuade would-be car thieves.

The New Auto Discount

A few companies may provide a discount for new car owners or for cars that are 3 years old or less. Check the fine print, however, because there may be specific criteria you need to meet.

The Safety Feature Discount

Do you have two or more airbags, anti-lock brakes, or other safety extras? You may get a discount.

Personal Trait Discounts

While the preceding discounts are fairly common, there is a category of discounts available that have more to do with personal traits than your driving history or the type of car you own. These personal traits attest to your reliability.

The Good Student Discount

University students with good grades and within certain age limits are eligible for discounts from some providers.

Details will vary from provider to provider, however, if you are in the 16 to 24 years old age group with a B average or above, it’s worth looking into.

The Homeowner’s Discount

Even if you do not purchase homeowner’s insurance from the same company, just the fact that you own a home may qualify you for a less expensive premium.

The Away at School Discount

Students who are off at college without their cars will drive less, so they may merit a discount. Check the age limits on these though.

The How-You-Pay-for-Your-Policy Discount

Depending on how you plan on paying for your policy, you may save a few dollars, too. Automatic Payment systems, Electronic Statements as opposed to paper, or Paid-in-Full at the moment you stipulate your policy may get you some savings.

Discounts are not automatic, so you need to understand what’s available and how they are given. Do not assume that all companies will offer the same discounts monetarily or for the same reasons.

When shopping for an auto insurance provider,

  • ask about available discounts and if you qualify
  • consider how much your premiums will cost you for the duration of coverage and not just the discounts offered
  • shop for auto insurance quotes annually as conditions and available discounts change
  • get at least 3 different premiums before deciding and if you have the time, get more.
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