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Car Auto Insurance

It's My Car Car Auto Insurance

Everything you need to know to save


Apr 12, 2023 #save

Car insurance premiums are personalized to each driver. Factors like your location, age, credit score, gender, and vehicle type are just a few of the criteria that insurance companies use to calculate your unique premium.

Depending on your situation, however, car insurance premiums can be very expensive. This is often the case for young drivers, drivers with poor credit, and individuals with a history of speeding tickets or at-fault accidents.

To help lower your car insurance costs, many insurance companies provide discounts. Every insurance company offers different discount types and average savings. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the most common car insurance discounts and how to maximize your savings.

Types of car insurance discounts

To get cheap car insurance, it’s a good idea to look for insurance companies that offer multiple discounts you can qualify for. Many of these discounts can be grouped into categories, like policy discounts or safe driver discounts. Here are some of the most common car insurance discounts and how they work. 

Policy discounts

  • Policy bundling: When you purchase two insurance policies from the same insurer, like auto insurance and homeowners insurance, you can usually get significant savings on your premium.

  • Multi-vehicle: Most insurance companies offer a discount to drivers who insure two or more vehicles on the same car insurance policy.

  • Online purchase: Some insurers will lower your car insurance premium if you purchase a policy online, instead of buying a policy through an agent.

  • Early shopper: Purchasing a car insurance policy at least one week before the policy’s start date can sometimes earn you a discount on your premium.

  • Customer loyalty: You can find some insurance companies that provide discounted car insurance to drivers who have had an active policy for several years.

Vehicle discounts

  • Anti-theft device: If your car is equipped with an anti-theft device, many car insurance companies will give you a discount on your premium.

  • New vehicle: Some car insurance providers offer a small discount to drivers who insure a brand-new car that was recently purchased. 

  • Safety features: You can often find premium discounts if your car has advanced safety features, like collision warning systems, blind spot monitoring, or anti-lock brakes.

Driver discounts

  • Claim-free: Drivers with no recent claims (often within the last three to five years) can often qualify for special car insurance discounts.

  • Accident-free: If you have no recent accidents on your driving record, you can usually get a car insurance discount.

  • Defensive driving course: Drivers who complete an approved defensive driving course or driver safety course can often get discounted car insurance. Some insurers only offer this discount to drivers over a certain age. Also, you may only be able to get a discount on certain types of car insurance, like collision coverage.

  • Good student: Full-time high school and college students who get good grades in school or maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) often qualify for discounted car insurance.

  • Distant student: Students who attend school far away from home (usually 100 miles or more) and don’t have a vehicle with them can sometimes get a discount on their policy. 

  • Low mileage: If you drive infrequently, you could save money on auto insurance. Mileage is often tracked through a telematics program.

  • Telematics: Telematics programs use a device or mobile app to track your driving habits, like acceleration, phone usage, and brake speed. If you practice safe driving behaviors, you can sometimes earn discounts on your insurance premium. However, your premiums might also increase if you don’t drive safely.

  • Homeowner: Some car insurance providers offer savings for drivers who own their home, instead of rent.

  • Affinity group: You can find car insurance discounts for members of participating affinity groups or membership-based organizations.

  • Occupation: You might be able to get a discount on car insurance based on your occupation. For example, some insurers provide savings for first responders, healthcare workers, and teachers.

  • Military: Some of the biggest car insurance companies offer a discount to military servicemembers and veterans.

Payment discounts

  • Pay in full: If you can afford to pay your annual car insurance premium upfront, you could qualify for a lower premium. Most car insurance companies offer this discount. 

  • Automatic payments: Enrolling in automatic payments to pay your premiums can often help you earn a small discount.

  • Paperless billing statements: Many insurance providers will give you a discount if you sign up for paperless billing and policy statements.

Tips for making the most of car insurance discounts

Car insurance discounts can help you get the most affordable auto insurance policy for your personal situation and coverage needs. Here are some tips for making the most of discounts.

  • Talk to an agent: Not all car insurance companies advertise every discount available online, especially if there are state-specific discounts. Talk to an agent to find out exactly what discounts are available in your state, and which ones you can qualify for. 

  • Compare insurers based on discounts: When comparing car insurance companies, there are lots of important considerations, including coverage options and cost. However, you should also compare insurers based on discounts. Choosing a company with lots of discounts you can take advantage of could help you get the best deal.

  • Look at the overall cost: While it’s a good idea to compare insurers based on the discounts offered, make sure you’re also comparing overall rates. Just because a company offers a lot of discounts doesn’t mean you’ll end up with the cheapest rate. Get quotes from a few different insurance companies to see which one can offer you the lowest premium. 

  • Know how discounts affect your rates: It can be helpful to understand how car insurance discounts impact your premium. For example, if you bundle a home and auto insurance policy, you might only get a discount on the home insurance premium, not the combined premium.

Bottom line

To get the cheapest car insurance online, you should pay attention to discounts when researching insurance companies. Most car insurance companies, even local and regional providers, usually offer some savings opportunities.

When comparing car insurance providers, see which discounts are available and how much you could save with each one. You might also call an agent to see if there are any discounts offered in your area that aren’t advertised online. And make sure that you’re still getting adequate coverage for your needs — ultimately, the car insurance with the best value is the one that protects you the way you need it to when you need it.

Editorial Disclosure: All articles are prepared by editorial staff and contributors. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the editorial team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in this article is accurate as of the date of the publish. Check the lender’s website for the most current information.

This article was originally published on SFGate.com and reviewed by Lauren Williamson, who serves as Financial and Home Services Editor for the Hearst E-Commerce team. Email her at [email protected].


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