This article has been reviewed by licensed insurance industry expert Moshe Fishman.
If you own and drive a vehicle on public roads, you will need to purchase a minimum of auto insurance in the majority of states. And if you value your own car, you will need full coverage to protect you from events like at-fault accidents and theft. Unfortunately, theft and vandalism events still occur, despite the evolution of anti-theft devices and car alarm systems.
Although worth the investment, car insurance coverage can take a bite out of your budget. The good news is that there are many ways to save on your car insurance premiums. You can start by comparing quotes with at least three insurance companies, and considering whether you need all of the various types of car insurance they offer.
In addition, you may be surprised at how much you can save by simply asking for discounts. Most car insurance companies offer various ways to help you reduce premiums. These can be anything from loyalty discounts to good driver discounts and even good grades for students. But most drivers are not taking advantage of them. Here are some auto insurance discounts you should ask your insurer or other auto insurance companies about:
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The multi-car vehicle discount is one of the most common discounts that many car insurance companies offer their customers. If you insure more than one vehicle with your car insurance company, you may be eligible for a multi-car discount. This discount usually applies to the second and subsequent insured cars, so be sure to mention all of the vehicles you own when you call your agent. And the more cars you need covered, the more discounts you may get from some insurers.
If you have a good driving record, and are accident free, you may be eligible for a safe driver discount. Depending on the insurance company, this discount is typically offered to drivers who have not been involved in any accidents and have not received any moving violations in the last three or five years.
Along with these safe-driver savings, there are discounts offered by some insurers for using their self-driving monitoring programs. These programs are designed to help you improve your driving habits and lower your rates. They usually work by first signing up for the program, and then the insurance company will monitor your driving habits with an installed device in your car. You may be eligible for a safe driver discount if you drive safely using this device.
If you're a student yourself or have driving-age kids that are students, you may be eligible for a good student discount. This discount is usually offered to students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. In addition, some insurance companies will also offer discounts to students taking a defensive driving course. So, even young drivers have an opportunity to save.
To prove to the insurance company that you qualify for this discount, you'll need to provide them with a copy of your transcript or report card.
If you're retired, and over the age of 55, you may be eligible for a senior citizen discount from your car insurance company. This discount usually ranges from 5% to 10%, and sometimes more. The best way to find out about this discount is to call your insurance company and ask. You might have to provide proof of your age, such as a driver's license or birth certificate. Often, seniors are low mileage drivers, as they don't drive as much as younger drivers. There may also be an opportunity for low mileage discounts.
If you have more than one policy with your insurance company, for example auto and homeowners, you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount. This discount usually applies to bundling car and home insurance policies, but some insurance companies may offer it for other types of policies as well. The discount amount varies from company to company but is usually around 5%. To qualify for this discount, you'll need to have all of your policies with the same company.
If you work for a company that offers its employees group car insurance rates or you are a member of an organization, you may be able to get a discount on your policy. For employees, this discount is usually offered to employees who are the primary drivers of their cars. In addition, some organizations work with insurance companies to offer a group insurance discount to members as well and may include the following:
Employees might need to provide the insurance company with a letter from your employer confirming your participation in the group car insurance plan.
If you're a member of an auto club, such as AAA or the Canadian Automobile Association, you may be eligible for a discount on your car insurance. This discount usually ranges from 5% to 15%, and sometimes more. The best way to find out if you're eligible for this discount is to call your car insurance company and ask. You'll usually need to provide proof of your membership in the auto club.
If you have a good driving record and have stayed with the same car insurance company for several years, you may be eligible for an auto-renewal discount. This rate reduction is usually around 10% but varies from company to company. To qualify for the savings, you'll need to let your insurance company know that you want to renew your policy automatically every year.
If you sign up for your car insurance policy before your old one runs out, you may be eligible for an early bird discount. Savings range from 5% to 10% but varies from company to company. You'll need to contact your insurance company before your old policy expires to qualify for this discount.
If you or a member of your family is in the military, you may be eligible for a military discount on your car insurance policy. To qualify for this discount, you'll need to provide your insurance company with a copy of your military ID card. This discount usually only works if you're a member of the armed forces and doesn't count if you're a civilian employee with the federal government.
If you don't own a car but need insurance to drive cars that you borrow or rent, you may be eligible for a non-owner car insurance discount. This rate cut is offered to people who don't have a vehicle registered in their name.
To qualify for this discount, you'll need to tell your insurance company that you don't own a car. This insurance discount is best for people that only use cars occasionally and don't need full-time insurance on their vehicles.
Just purchasing state-required minimum auto insurance coverage is not enough for most of us. And although full coverage may cost more, there are several car insurance discounts that you may be eligible for. To find out if you're eligible, you'll need to contact your agent or insurer. It's almost always worth it to make that phone call because you could end up saving more money than expected on your coverage, especially if you're able to combine several of the discounts. And definitely compare multiple car insurance quotes to find the best deals.