2/27/2014 4:15 PM ET|
11 little-known car insurance discounts
This list could save some drivers hundreds of dollars a year.
Drivers with short commutes, who own their home or who don’t drive every day of the week are among the many consumers eligible to save hundreds of dollars each year on car insurance. Not that they necessarily know it.
The average American spends $762 per year on car insurance, according to a Bankrate.com survey . Depending on where you live, you’re more—or less—likely to score big discounts. Missouri residents get the most discounts (discounts are available about 33.1 percent of the time), followed by Connecticut (32.6 percent), Indiana (32.3 percent), Wisconsin (32.1 percent) and Iowa (31.7 percent), according to a survey released recently by Insure.com .
Meanwhile, residents of North Carolina tend to get the fewest discounts (discounts are available about 13.2 percent of the time), followed by Hawaii (14.5 percent), New York (20.3 percent), Massachusetts (20.5 percent) and Michigan (20.9 percent).
While it’s hard to pick up and move, the good news is that you can score car insurance discounts no matter where you live. The most common discounts—and the ones that most of us have heard about—include those for being a good student (77 percent of the insurance carriers surveyed by Insure.com offered this with an average 16 percent discount), having a home policy with the same company (68 percent offered this with a 9 percent discount), paying all of most of the bill upfront (46 percent offered this with a 9 percent discount), being married (41 percent offered this with a 14 percent discount) and taking a driver training course (41 percent offered this with a 7 percent average discount), the Insure.com survey revealed.
But there are many more discounts that, though less common, still can produce significant savings if you can get them.
“The right discount can knock hundreds of dollars off your car insurance bill,” says Insure.com editorial director Amy Danise. But many discounts aren’t advertised or automatically offered: “Often you just have to ask to start saving some money,” advises certified financial planner Joel Ohman, founder of CarInsuranceComparison.com. Danise says you should call and ask about specific discounts when you are looking for a new policy, and if you already have one, you should ask annually. People should also ask about discounts after a major life event like a divorce or a shortened work commute.
Here are 11 little-known discounts—and what they can save the average consumer.
Annual mileage: $84
Consumers who drive less—typically 7,000, 10,000 and 12,500 miles per year -- may be eligible for discounts (13 percent of companies surveyed offer this discount and the average savings was 11 percent, according to the Insure.com data). That means that the average customer (who spends $762 per year on car insurance, according to Bankrate.com) who scored this discount would save an average of nearly $84 per year.
Use of Car: $76
People who use their car primarily for farming (someone who mainly drives his truck around the farm, for example)—as opposed to business or pleasure—will get the steepest discounts, says Danise. Roughly 40 percent of surveyed companies offered this discount with an average savings of 10 percent.
Advance renewal: $61
More than one in four insurance companies offers a discount to those who renew in advance, typically seven to 10 days ahead of schedule. The savings is significant—8 percent on average—which would save the average consumer nearly $61 per year.
Customer loyalty: $46
“The industry rewards loyalty,” says Danise. In particular, companies tend to give discounts for consumers who have been customers for a year, 36 months and/or 60 months. More than one in three insurance companies surveyed offered this discount and the average savings was 6 percent.
People who own their own homes, condos or apartments can save an average of 6 percent off car insurance. Fully 21 percent of insurance companies offer this deal.
Concurrent life insurance policy: $30
While most people know that they can get an auto insurance discount by holding a homeowner’s insurance policy with the same company, the bundling also works with life insurance. The discount in this case is usually 4 percent—and roughly 37 percent of surveyed companies offered it—which would save the average person more than $30 per year.
Using electronic funds transfer: $30
Because companies want to get paid in full and on time, many offer a discount to drivers who allow companies to automatically deduct payments from their bank accounts. More than one in three insurance companies surveyed offered this discount and the average consumer would save 4 percent by opting for this option.
Short commutes: $30
People who commute to work for shorter distances—typically five, 10 or 15 or fewer miles—can often save money, says Danise. Fully 22 percent of surveyed insurance companies offered this discount and the average savings was 4 percent.
Days per week driven: $30
Eight percent of companies offer a discount for people who don’t drive every day. Typically, the discount is for those who drive one, two, three or four days per week, says Danise. The average savings is 4 percent.
Car ownership: $30
People who own rather than lease their car may be able to save: Roughly 7 percent of companies offer this and the average discount is 4 percent.
College degree or higher: $30
Only 6 percent of companies offer this discount—some for getting a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. and occasionally for completion of vocational or technical school. The average savings is 4 percent.
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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
“”The average American spends $762 per year on car insurance...””
WHAT! $762.00 ***PER YEAR***? -- WHERE?????
Listen, I’m a “young” 60+ male; a retiree; Honorably Discharged veteran; former LEO; drive less than 2900 miles per year; have excellent credit history; have never submitted an insurance claim; have NO accidents or summonses for violation(s) of Traffic Laws, and at night my vehicle is parked inside a gated community with 24-hour security.
Well guess what... Even while benefiting with some of the discounts mentioned in the article, I still pay almost that amount every 6-months! This to insure (full coverage) a plain ole 2009 4DSD mid-size auto. with USAA, supposedly one of the very best rated auto. insurers in the nation.
I will say this if you don't ask them for the discounts THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU THEY ARE THERE FOR YOU. Many of you have probably never asked and assumed you automatically got them. The answer to that is NO.
If you have been with a auto insurance company for 3 years accident and ticket free you should get a discount but again if you don't ask you wont get it. If they don't give it to you, shop around (cheapest quotes can be found at Insurance Panda ).
If you are not working and don't drive you vehicle like normal make sure they know this and when you get your vehicle inspected for you can be exempt for low mileage.
Bundling does help but not as much as you thin so the answer to this is shop around and make sure you get a letter for homeowners, auto etc... that you are LOCKIN on that deductible. Reason I say this and I wont say which company has raised their homeowners deductible since we have been having so many storms causing extreme damage. If you haven't been with them and some less than 5 years your deductible was automatically raised and change, and you most likely weren't notified so they don't lose you as a client. SO EVERY ONE CHECK ON THAT.
I HAVE INSURANCE WITH A COMPANY THAT IS IN TEXAS ONLY AND ADVERTISES VERY LITTLE. MY RATES ARE CHEAPER THAN MOST COMPANIES THAT TRADE PUBLICLY. YOU PAY FOR WATCHING FLO.
DON'T do EFT autopay.
They'll take money whether there or not and it's not worth the savings for autopay,at least for me.
I didn't have anything happen,but I tried it a couple months and thought,the hell with it.
I decide when my money goes and where and how much,thank you.
Also,putting all your bank info out there isn't a good thing.
How many hacks will happen and to whom? Yes,exactly.
It' bound to happen. We never hear about it until days or weeks afterwards as well.
I received my 6-month auto. insurance renewal from USAA a few weeks ago. Yep, they increased my premium- again. Even with $197.00 in discounts (which includes their Premier Driver Discount) my rate now will be $681.03.
Note: Nothing has changed after I posted the following comment from a short time ago:
""I’m a “young” 60+ male; a retiree; Honorably Discharged veteran; former LEO; drive less than 2900 miles per year; have excellent credit history; have never submitted an insurance claim; have NO accidents or summonses for violation(s) of Traffic Laws, and at night my vehicle is parked inside a gated community with 24-hour security.
Well guess what... Even while benefiting with some of the discounts mentioned in the article, I still pay almost that amount every 6-months! This to insure (full coverage) a plain ole 2009 4DSD mid-size auto. with USAA, supposedly one of the very best rated auto. insurers in the nation.""
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