Owning a vehicle has plenty of additional costs including paying for gas, general maintenance and registration fees. For the most part, it’s difficult to save on those, but there is one thing you can save on and that’s car insurance.
With so many competitors in the auto insurance industry, having characters such as Geico’s Gecko and Flo from Progressive might not be enough to persuade you to choose one company over another. What will likely attract you is how much money you can save when it comes to your premium.
Bankrate recently researched the Top 10 car insurers (State Farm, Geico, Allstate, Progressive, USAA, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, American Family, Travelers) to assess the discounts available to their customers and AutoGuide.com has compiled a list of the Top 10 legit ways you can save money on your car insurance based on that data.
Multiple Policies and Bundling Discounts
Having multiple policies with the same company can save you money on your auto insurance. In fact, all 10 of the top insurance companies now offer bundling discounts, and other researchers have reported that you can save up to 25 percent on your insurance by bundling.
Similar to having multiple policies, having multiple vehicles on your auto insurance can save you money as well. Generally speaking, to qualify for a multivehicle discount, all the vehicles must be under a single policyholder’s name and those vehicles must be driven only by that person or by family members living in that person’s household. In addition, all vehicles must be currently used and not just sitting in storage. The only insurance company that doesn’t currently offer a multivehicle discount is Allstate.
Newer Vehicle / Green Vehicle Discounts
Owning a newer vehicle or even a green vehicle will also help you save money on your auto insurance. While not feasible for everyone, State Farm, Allstate, USAA, Farmers, Nationwide and Travelers all offer a discount for newer vehicles. Meanwhile, Allstate, Farmers, Liberty Mutual and Travelers give discounts to owners of hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicles.
If You’re a Safe or Accident-Free Driver
No big surprise here: being a safe driver and having a clean driving record will net you savings with all insurance companies except for Liberty Mutual. Make sure when getting quotes from auto insurance companies that you mention you’re accident free.
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Not as commonly known, taking a defensive driving course and showing proof to your auto insurance company can also net you savings on your premium. Certain companies may have age restrictions and might only offer the discount to drivers over the age of 50. Defensive driving courses typically cover defensive driving techniques, traffic laws, drug and alcohol awareness as well as driving in adverse weather.
Low-mileage discounts are offered by eight of the 10 insurance companies with Geico and Farmers being the two that do not. Some companies may require electronic monitoring in order to qualify, which is typically referred to as usage-based discounts. The definition of “low mileage” varies with each auto insurance company, but the mileage cap typically falls between 7,500 and 15,000 miles per year.
Get Good Grades in School
All 10 popular car insurers offer a good student discount that applies to younger drivers earning good grades. Insurance companies see students who get good grades as less likely to get into accidents. Some companies may even continue the discount for a finite period after the student finishes school. Typically, in order to qualify for a good student discount, the driver must be younger than 25 years old, be enrolled full-time at a high school or college/university and maintain a B average (3.0 GPA) or be on the honor roll or Dean’s List.
Also, distant student discounts are offered by all of the major insurance companies except for Geico and and USAA. That discount typically applies to students on a policy attending school far from home.
Sign up for Paperless Billing / Automatic Payment
Some companies offer a discount for opting in to paperless billing or automatic payments. The only two major insurance companies that currently do not are State Farm and USAA. In addition to offering a discount on paperless billing and automatic payments, the other eight insurance companies will also cut you a break if you pay your full premium at once.
Passive Restraint Systems
Safety features such as airbags and motorized seat belts can also help net you savings on your auto insurance with every company except for Progressive and Travelers. Owning a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes can also save you some cash if your insurer is State Farm, Geico, Allstate, USAA, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide or American Family.
Get an Anti-Theft Device
Lastly, having an anti-theft device or alarm system on your vehicle can net you significant savings with some auto insurance companies. Bankrate reports that Geico offers up to a 25-percent reduction on comprehensive coverage while Allstate offers anti-theft discounts of up to 10 percent. The only two companies that currently do not offer discounts for having an anti-theft device are American Family and Travelers.