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Discounts on Car Insurance: How You Can Save Money

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Saving money on auto insurance is a top priority for most drivers. The good news is, there are plenty of discounts for car insurance out there. This guide will explain some common auto insurance discounts and how to qualify for them.

Safe driver discounts

Safe driver discounts reward motorists for responsible driving. There are several ways qualified drivers can become eligible for these discounts for car insurance. One option is to show a record of responsible behavior. Another is to use an app that monitors driving.

Accident-free driving

Most insurers reduce car insurance rates for drivers who avoid accidents for a period of time.

Geico insurance discounts are one example. Geico allows qualified drivers to save up to 22% if they are accident free for five or more years And it's sometimes possible to qualify for accident-free discounts after just three years.

Discounts for monitored driving habits

A growing number of insurers offer discounts to motorists who agree to have their driving behavior monitored. For example, Progressive Insurance discounts include the Snapshot program. Participating Snapshot motorists must download a mobile app or use a plug-in device. Drivers can qualify for lower rates if they:

  • Don't drive late at night
  • Don't accelerate or brake hard

Driver training discounts

Drivers who undergo additional training can reduce the cost of premiums. So can motorists who don't drive often.

Defensive driving discount

Drivers of all ages may be eligible for a defensive driving discount. Motorists must complete a defensive driving course to qualify. Many companies offer these courses, which may need to be approved by the state.

Driver's education discount

When a younger driver is added to an insurance policy, rates often rise. However, teen drivers can qualify for discounts for car insurance if they complete an approved driver education course.

Driver behavior discounts

The lowest-risk drivers tend to exhibit certain behaviors. Showing a track record of these behaviors can earn drivers certain discounts.

Low-mileage discount

Motorists who don't drive often can qualify for car insurance discounts. Different insurers set different mileage requirements. Some motorists can self-report their miles. Other insurers require motorists to use an app to monitor how many miles they've driven.

Clean record

Drivers with no accidents or seat belt violations may get discount car insurance rates. They will often pay less than the average cost of car insurance because of their history of responsible driving behavior.

Student discounts

Student drivers present a higher risk. However, insurers consider grade point average when assessing the likelihood of an accident. A car insurance student discount is also available to students who don't live at home full time.

Good student discount

Most insurance companies offer discount insurance to students who maintain a certain grade point average. Qualifying for a good student discount usually requires a B average or better.

Distant student discount

Parents of full-time students who don't live locally may qualify for discount car insurance. For example, Progressive Insurance discounts coverage for student drivers under the age of 22. They become eligible if they are on their parents' insurance policies but live more than 100 miles from home. Only students who don't have a car at school are eligible.

Loyalty discounts

Motorists can qualify for discounts for car insurance by purchasing multiple policies from the same insurer.

Bundled coverage

Bundling coverage means buying multiple types of insurance policies. This could include home and auto insurance. Or it could include renters and auto insurance. All of the purchased policies are typically discounted.

Multi-car

Insuring multiple cars with the same insurer will also result in discounts for car insurance. This can include different types of vehicles, such as boats and cars.

Continuous coverage

A number of insurers offer lower prices to policyholders who keep their coverage year after year. Some insurers even provide savings simply for maintaining steady coverage with any insurer.

Vehicle equipment discounts

The type of vehicle that's insured can affect the price of car insurance coverage. So can any safety features it includes.

New car discount

Vehicles that are relatively new are often the cheapest cars to insure. For example, Geico offers insurance discounts for cars that are less than three years old.

Vehicle safety features discounts

Cars are also cheaper to insure if they have features that reduce the risk of theft or injury. This can include a vehicle with airbags, an anti-lock brake system, daytime running lights, or an anti-theft system.

Driver affiliation discounts

Special affiliations with certain programs, companies, or organizations can earn some drivers discounts.

Military discounts

People on active military duty and members of the National Guard can often get discounts for car insurance. Some insurers also reduce premium costs when military members are deployed.

Membership and employee discounts

Insurance companies often give discounts for car insurance to people who work for the federal government or other participating employers. For example, Geico gives car insurance discounts to members of over 500 groups. These include professional organizations and alumni associations.

Homeowner discounts

Homeowners are often entitled to discounts for car insurance as well.

Discounts for how you buy insurance

The chosen premium payment method can also sometimes earn drivers a cost reduction.

Pay-in-full discount

Most insurers allow policyholders to pay monthly or quarterly. However, drivers who pay their premiums in full once a year can qualify for car insurance discounts.

Online-only discount

Many companies offer discounts for car insurance to motorists who get quotes online. People can also save money by purchasing policies entirely online without involving a customer support representative or insurance agent.

Paperless statement discount

Motorists who sign up to receive insurance statements electronically instead of via mail can typically qualify for car insurance discounts.

Car insurance discounts by insurance company

The majority of insurance companies offer most common discounts. These include savings for bundled coverage, paying policies in full, maintaining good grades, or being accident free for a certain period of time.

The table below shows some of the most common discounts offered by major insurance companies.

RELATED: See The Ascent's guides to the best cheap car insurance and best car insurance companies.

Company Bundled coverage Student discount Defensive driving Accident  free New car Vehicle safety Pay in full
AAA Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Allstate Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Geico Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Liberty Mutual Y Y N Y N Y Y
Nationwide Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Progressive Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
State Farm Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Travelers Y Y Y Y Y N Y
USAA Y Y Y N Y Y N
Data source: Author research.

Find discounts for car insurance

The best way to find discounts for car insurance is to shop around and compare car insurance rates from individual insurers. Motorists should provide information on their driving record, company affiliations, vehicle safety features, and other common traits that can earn discounts for car insurance.

And remember, finding the best cheap car insurance means looking at the big picture. Some companies may offer more discounts for car insurance, but if premiums are higher to begin with, another insurer may still offer a better deal.

FAQs

  • Some insurers are known for low-priced coverage, but there's no single insurer that always gives the lowest prices to every driver. That's because individual rates depend on many factors, including:

    • Driving history
    • Vehicle model
    • Individual driver discounts

    One insurer may give discounts for car insurance to a driver with one specific profile. And a different company might offer a better rate to a motorist with a different record. It's important to shop around and get quotes from several insurers.

  • Many online companies offer cheap online car insurance, but the "cheapest" policy for each motorist will depend on their specific credentials. For example, one online insurer may be cheaper for younger drivers but more expensive for someone with an accident on their record. And a different company might do the reverse. That's true for all motorists with different profiles and driving histories.

    The only way to find the cheapest online car insurance is to shop around and compare quotes from several different online insurance providers.

  • Insurance companies set premiums based on a risk assessment. Motorists can't individually negotiate a better rate just by asking for one. But they can take steps to reduce their costs by looking for discounts for car insurance. These include bundling insurance policies, taking defensive driving courses, or paying annual rather than monthly premiums.

  • Some car insurance companies charge older drivers less. The specific age when motorists will see a policy's cost decrease depends on factors such as their driving record and the age when they obtained their driver's license.

    Drivers may want to shop around for car insurance when they hit milestones such as turning 25. An insurer who offered the best rates for younger drivers may no longer offer the lowest priced coverage.

  • There are many factors that affect the cost of car insurance. Premiums vary depending on age, vehicle type, driving history, marital status, location, miles driven, and other circumstances.

    Motorists who want to make sure they get the most affordable insurance possible for their specific situation should shop around and compare prices from multiple insurers. Doing so will help determine if they are paying a fair rate or if switching policies could provide savings.

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