Working Remotely Now? Be Sure to Tell Your Auto Insurer

by Christy Bieber | Published on Aug. 31, 2021

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A man, working from home, sips his coffee and looks at his computer screen.

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Don't pass up a chance to save on auto insurance.

When motorists sign up for auto insurance, they report whether they will use their cars for pleasure or to drive to work. Insurers typically ask drivers how many days a week they travel to work and how long their round-trip journey is. The insurance company then uses this data to estimate annual miles driven and set a price for auto insurance premiums.

Drivers who have long or daily commutes are going to be in their vehicles more, which means there is a greater chance of an accident happening due to increased time on the road. For that reason, insurers generally price policies based on how many miles a motorist is likely to put on their vehicle.

For those who are now working from home instead of in an office, driving patterns may have changed drastically. And it's important to let auto insurers know that so they can adjust car insurance rates based on the new lower level of risk the motorist presents.

It pays to let insurers know you've switched to working from home

For a driver who has transitioned to work-from-home, alerting an insurer to a reduction in annual miles driven could result in lower auto insurance premiums. When the insurer assesses the new estimate of annual miles driven, they will adjust their perceived estimate of risk, which could potentially cut premium costs substantially.

Some motorists have the option to update their annual mileage estimate online, either at any time or when their policy renews for the upcoming year. Other drivers will need to call their insurer directly to report that their use of the vehicle has changed. This phone call should take just a few minutes but could result in ongoing auto insurance premium savings.

Drivers can't assume auto insurers automatically know that their job situation has changed. In fact, insurers typically have no way to know this unless the policyholder calls and tells them directly. As a result, it can be a smart move to contact the insurer ASAP as soon as a motorist enters into a work-from-home arrangement.

Drivers whose commuting patterns have changed may actually wish to go beyond just telling their insurer that they are no longer traveling to work each day. It can be smart to shop around and compare auto insurance quotes to see if a different insurer might provide cheaper coverage.

Even if a motorist shopped around when buying insurance originally, a change in circumstances could mean another insurer now offers the best rates. That's especially true since some companies offer various discounts on car insurance, including for low-mileage drivers.

The reality is, paying for auto insurance is essential to protect assets, but it isn't necessarily a fun expense. And there's no reason for any driver to pay more than necessary to get the protection they need. Motorists who are driving less due to working from home owe it to themselves to let their insurers know they don't present as great a collision risk. That way, they can benefit from the premium savings that their safer status provides.

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