How to Save Money on Your Auto Insurance

Bruce and Porsche

How to Save Money on Your Auto Insurance

You’re a frugal shopper, always on the lookout for sales, coupons, discounts, deals, and other ways to save money. But have you ever thought about saving money on your auto insurance? Most auto insurance companies offer numerous discounts that fall into three broad categories:

  1. Vehicle discounts
  2. Policy discounts
  3. Driver discounts

When you’re comparison shopping for car insurance, check on which discounts each company offers. Even when the company’s website lists its discounts, it’s always a good idea to call their customer service number or a local agency and ask about other possible discounts. Here are some of the typical discounts that most auto insurance companies offer.

1. Vehicle Discounts

Any type of safety equipment that’s in your vehicle can be a discount candidate. Virtually all newer model vehicles have automatic seat belts and airbags on both the driver side and the passenger side. Many have an anti-lock braking system (ABS) that helps your car maintain traction and prevent skidding on wet or slippery pavement. If your car has daytime running lights and/or adaptive headlights such as night vision lights that bend with the vehicle’s movement around curves and when turning, that’s another discount possibility.

Additional safety equipment your car might have includes a lane departure warning system, blind spot detection, a rearview camera, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Car insurance companies love anti-theft and stolen vehicle recovery systems since they make it less likely that the company will have to pay a stolen vehicle claim.

2. Policy Discounts

What you insure, how you pay your premiums, and how long you’ve been with your insurance company all can influence the cost of your premiums. Insurance companies appreciate loyal customers and often offer policy renewal discounts. They also appreciate the amount of business you give them. If you own more than one vehicle, insure all of them with one company by means of a multi-vehicle policy. If possible, pay your premiums annually or semiannually rather than monthly. And always pay your premiums on time.

Bundling various types of policies with the same company also makes good financial sense. Discounts typically are available for maintaining your auto insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, life insurance, motorcycle or RV insurance, and/or boat insurance all with the same company.

3. Driver Discounts

Virtually everyone in your family from teenagers to seniors can qualify for an auto insurance discount. If your young drivers take an approved driver education course and/or maintain a good grade point average at school, they’ll more than likely be eligible for a discount. Likewise, both they and the adults in your family may well qualify for a good driver discount by keeping their driving records free of accidents and traffic violation convictions. Moving violations like speeding, reckless driving, and especially DWI/DUI are major red flags for insurance companies and are sure to increase your insurance rates.

Senior driver discounts usually become available when a driver reaches 50 years of age. Seniors also often qualify for a discount if they take a defensive driving course tailored to older drivers. Many of these are available online, but be sure to check with your insurance company before enrolling in one. Most states have specific approved courses; taking an unapproved course will not benefit seniors in terms of an auto policy discount. If you live in our nation’s capital, call your Washington DC insurance agency to find out which courses are approved.

4. Other Discounts

In addition to the above discounts, many auto insurance companies offer discounts for such things as:

  • AARP membership
  • Retired military status
  • Low mileage
  • Certain occupations
  • Certain professional degrees
  • New customer
  • Online shopping

It’s easy to save money on your auto insurance when you shop for discounts. Always be proactive about asking for discounts and always contact your insurance company whenever there’s a status change in your family. Remember, making the honor roll at school or celebrating that 50th birthday can bring financial rewards as well as bragging rights!

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