Unlocking the Secrets to Car Insurance Discounts

If you’re a driver, you know the importance of car insurance. However, you also know how expensive it can be. One of the lesser-known secrets in the world of insurance is how many discounts are available. These discounts work to trim the cost of your premiums, leaving more money in your bank account.

From going paperless to being a member of a civic organization, there are numerous hidden discounts that can potentially save you hundreds of dollars each year. The first step is to uncover the more elusive discounts. Here are some tips to get you started.


1. Get to know your options

The first step is simplest: Ask your insurance agent to provide you with a full list of discount options, even those the agent may not think you qualify for. If your policy is with a primarily online insurer like Geico or Progressive, you may not have a specific agent to call, but any agent you speak with should easily be able to provide you with the information you need.


Once you have a full menu of discount options in front of you, comb through them, looking for any that apply.

2. Make sure your insurance company has the information it needs

Your insurer has thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of customers and cannot possibly know the details of each customer’s life. It’s up to you to ensure that your insurance company has the information it needs to reward you with discounts. Here’s a sample of what you’ll want it to know:

  • If you have a clean driving record.
  • If your vehicle includes any safety features, such as lane assist, anti-theft devices, a passive restraint system, forward collision warning, electronic stability control, blind spot warning, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, pedestrian detection, traction control, or active head restraints.
  • What you do for a living. Insurers frequently offer discounts to members of the military and those who work in specific occupations.
  • If you’ve taken a driver’s education or defensive driving course.

3. Make safe driving a way of life

If you’re already a safe driver, keep it up. The habit will end up saving you money throughout your entire driving life. If you pick up a speeding ticket or other traffic violation on occasion, consider turning over a new leaf. After all, when you consider the benefits, it’s tough to argue against safe driving:

  • Fewer speeding tickets or traffic violations
  • Lower auto insurance rates
  • Less chance of injury to yourself or others

4. Focus on your credit score

One of the better-hidden secrets of auto insurance is how much your credit score impacts your policy premiums. According to Nationwide, 92% of all insurers now consider your credit score when calculating the cost of your auto insurance premiums. Increased premiums are a result of studies showing that drivers with low credit scores make more claims, ultimately costing insurers more money. While it’s a highly debated practice, hitting customers with low credit scores with higher insurance rates is currently legal in all but four states: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

The good news is that anyone can raise their credit score. It may take a little time and effort, but with patience, anyone can turn their score around.

5. Bundle policies

“Bundling” simply means having two or more policies with the same insurance company. It’s easy to do, and insurance companies regularly offer discounts to customers who bundle. For example, you may bundle home and auto, renters insurance and auto, or some other combination of coverages. While insurers regularly discount bundled policies by 5% or more, Allstate offers a whopping 25% price break to customers who bundle home and auto.

6. Don’t settle

The number of auto insurance discounts offered vary by insurance company. If your insurer does not offer many discounts, don’t be afraid to shop around for another insurance company. You may not only find a greater number of discounts but may also find better coverage. In case you’re concerned, you can comfort yourself with the fact that shopping around will not impact your credit score.

Yes, auto insurance is important — very important. However, there’s no reason to pay more than necessary. After all, there are plenty of other things you can do with your money.

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