Nobody likes paying for auto insurance. It is one of the largest long-term expenses associated with car ownership (depending on the cost of the car and the amount of driving you do on a regular basis)… and it’s 100% mandatory for drivers in every state.
Furthermore, auto insurance is one of the few products for which you can legally be charged higher premiums based on age, gender, location, lifestyle, and other factors that have little to do with your actual driving skills. Awesome, right?
Thankfully, some things are within your control. Here are a few auto insurance discounts you may be eligible for, with little to no effort involved:
Age 25 Discount
If you’re under 25, you’re probably paying out the nose for car insurance (especially if you’re male) due to decades of statistics indicating that this demographic is the riskiest. Thus, most insurers will offer you a substantial discount the minute you turn 25. Absolutely no skill or effort required.
We all know that accident-free policy holders get better rates than those who have been in at least one accident. However, every insurer has a different policy in terms of accident forgiveness or the period for which an accident stays on your record. Typically, it takes 3-5 years to clear an accident from your record as far as insurance is concerned. Note that some companies also require you to be a policyholder for a few years before the accident-free discount kicks in.
Taking a Defensive Driving Course
Nobody wants to sit in a classroom for five hours learning about how to be a better driver – especially if they have a clean record. However, completing a defensive driving course is easier than ever now that many states offer the class entirely online. I took this one about 6 months ago. The course does cost about $25, but you are guaranteed a minimum 10% discount on your auto insurance for three years. In my case, I saved over $100. Not bad, considering you literally just have to sit through a slideshow for five hours (no final exam).
Every insurer has a different opinion of what they consider “low mileage.” However, if you drive less than 7,500 miles per year, there is a very good chance you may be eligible for a 10% to 12% discount. After all, the less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to have an accident.
If you are a full-time college student with good grades (average of 3.0 or above), most insurers will award you a 15% “good student” discount in return. You’ll just have to make sure to submit a copy of your transcript every year.
Once you get married, you and your spouse instantly become safer drivers. At least, that’s what the statistics indicate. Be sure to tell your insurer when/if you get married, or even if you’re in a long-term domestic partnership. Our auto insurance company actually gave us the marriage discount several months before we got married, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.
Having Multiple Policies
The most common example of this is having auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance through the same company (since most people need both at some point in their lives). Both are offered at a discounted rate, and honestly, I find it a bit easier to manage the two policies through a single insurer.
These are only a few of the many discounts available. Since every insurer is a little different, it is always a good idea to ask your insurance rep about discounts any time you renew or switch policies.
You can also remove non-mandatory coverage from your policy and/or raise the deductibles on the coverage you do need. Just make sure you have the minimum liability coverage required in your state. Assuming you remain accident-free and your car doesn’t get stolen or otherwise damaged, you could save quite a bit of money this way. However, I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “discount” since you are opting for less coverage.
How have you saved money on auto insurance?