15 Minutes Can Save You 15% Or More On Car Insurance… (even if you are not a Geico customer)
The Geico ads may be annoying, but they do have a point – if you can convince yourself to take out a little bit of time to shop for car insurance you can save a heck of a lot of money. After our recent car purchase our insurance rates went up and it just didn’t seem right to pay the high premium that was quoted to us for the minimal coverage we had! So we shopped around and made the switch. Our premium is now about 60% of premium quoted by our previous insurance provider, and our coverage is much better. So much so that I think we have too much coverage. But with the new company (Progressive), the difference between the minimal coverage and the one with bells and whistles was very less and so we opted for the coverage with the bells and whistles.
While shopping for auto insurance, I found that most companies give out a base rate and then apply a bunch of “discounts” to reduce your bottom line premium. Technically, the sales person is supposed to check with you if you qualify for the discounts. But just in case the person you get hooked up with isn’t thorough, here is a list of discounts that you can ask your sales person for. (Note that not all of these may be available from all the insurance companies or in all the states)
- Multi-Vehicle Discount
If you have more than one car in your household (or even a car and a boat or a motorcycle), buying insurance for all the vehicles from the same company will qualify you for a discounted rate.
- Multi-Policy Discount
If your home owners (or renters) insurance are from the same company as your auto insurance, you can get a discount on your combined insurance premium. Even if your auto insurance does not provide home-owners insurance, check if they have a preferred company list and if you have the insurance from a company on that list, you might qualify for a small discount
- Home Owner Discount
Even if your homeowners insurance is from a different company, just the fact that you are a home owner might qualify you for a discount. I was quite surprised when the salesperson offered this discount to me!
- Garaged Car Discount
If your car will be parked in a closed garage that is locked (and hence is at a lower risk of being stolen) then you might qualify for the garaged car discount.
- Defensive Driving Class Discount
In TX, if you have taking a Defensive Driving class (ahem, to dismiss a ticket), you can send a copy of your completion certificate to the insurance company and request for a discount.
- Good Student Discount
Under-age drivers who are full-time students with good grades may qualify for a good student discount. Sure will be helpful to offset the steep cost of “under 25” insurance rates!
- Safe Car Discount
Different companies have different definitions for what qualifies as a safe car – some of the things they consider are anti-lock brakes (ABS), anti-theft alarm, lojack, airbags, automatic seatbelts, etc.
- Safe Driver Discount
If you have a clean driving record for several years, then of course you are the kind of customer every insurance company wants, and so they will offer you a pretty hefty discount.
- Loyal Customer Discount
If you are with the same insurance company for several years, make sure you call your existing insurance company first to see if they will offer you a loyal customer discount. Also, make sure you tell the new companies that you are calling up that you were with your previous company for several years – they might offer you a good rate to tempt you to switch.
- Low Mileage Driver Discount
I think the national average for the miles a person puts on his car per year is ~12,000. If the number of miles you drive is less than the national average statistic that the insurance company uses, you might qualify for a low mileage driver discount.
- Green Car Discount
Some insurance companies want to make a point that they are green, and consequently offer a small percentage of discount if you drive a hybrid car.
- Military Discount
If you are in active military duty, retired from military or coast guard, you will qualify for a military personnel discount.
- Online Discount
Even though I spoke to a sales person on the phone to make sure that I was getting all the discounts we qualified for, the sales lady was really nice to suggest that I actually buy the policy online which qualified me for a one-time $50 online discount. She entered all the data I had provided her into the system and gave me a quote number. All I did was plug in that quote number on the website, and voila, all the discounts appeared along with the additional (one-time) $50 discount.
- Pay Ahead Discount
In addition, since I chose to pre-pay for the next six-months and provided them with a credit card number to bill me at six-month interval, the premium was a little lower than what we would pay if we chose to go month-to-month.
Well, that’s about what I have for now. If you have availed any other discounts, I hope you will share with me (and the other readers) so we can check if we qualify as well. TIA.