Discount car insurance

This auto insurance resource guide covers auto insurance discounts — from ordinary to obscure.

You don’t have to wait until your auto insurance policy is up for renewal to ask about discounts. Your carrier or agent may not take the time to alert you to all discounts for which you are eligible. Be your own advocate by reviewing this page to understand what discounts are available now and use resources on this site to compare auto insurance quotes online.

Determine the most affordable car insurance available to you. If you discover you can get better rates and discounts, move your policy to another auto insurance carrier right away.

How discounts affect your car insurance rates
Types of car insurance discounts
List of car insurance discounts and savings
How much can I save with discounts?
Tips to get the best car insurance discounts
Getting the right discounted auto insurance
How discounts affect your car insurance rates
how auto discounts workWhere do discounts come in? Insurers observe that drivers with certain characteristics tend to have fewer accidents and file fewer claims. Insurers reward customers possessing those characteristics. Suppose you work from home and drive very little, and your insurer has determined that those who work from home have accidents at half the rate of other drivers. In that case, your expected cost to the insurer drops, so it can charge you less for coverage. That’s the reasoning behind auto insurance discounts.

In addition, states may require insurers to offer certain discounts to encourage good driver behavior — such as taking defensive driving courses.

Understand how car insurance rates are calculated. Risk factors are carefully reviewed when determining auto insurance premiums.

Base rate: Your insurer determines your base rate based on your risk factors.
Surcharges: Factors that could result in surcharges are considered, such as a ticket on your driving record.
Discounts: Your insurer looks for information that may reduce your potential risk and matches you with an appropriate discount.
Your final premium is calculated this way:

Base rate + surcharges — discounts = premium

Types of car insurance discounts
Being a great driver, operating a vehicle with the best safety features and having a child with impressive grades can all help you save money.
Tips to get the best auto insurance discounts
If you start adding up all the auto discounts in which you qualify, you may think your insurer’s going to pay you for the privilege of providing coverage for your car or truck. Sadly, it doesn’t quite work that way. But there’s no doubt that the clever application of discounts can hugely reduce your premiums.

Here are six tips that could help you pay the least possible amount for your car insurance.

1. Know the available discounts

A 2015 survey revealed that fewer than one in five Americans ask for auto insurance discounts, according to The Business Journals. That’s a big mistake you really don’t want to make.

Insurers are enterprises, and they aren’t going to hand over any of their profits to you unprompted. Dan Wade, an attorney with non-profit consumer advocacy group United Policyholders, talks about «insurers’ increased use of ‘price optimization,’ which refers to how much a consumer is willing to pay for the product/how much of a price increase they will tolerate or notice before switching.» In other words, your premiums may be based on what your company thinks you’re willing to pay, rather than the risk you present.

So next time you get car insurance quotes or renew, first access the list of discounts and savings on this page, and run through the ones that might apply to you with the insurer’s call center agent. Focus in particular on the ones providing the biggest savings, such «bundling» (insuring your home, car and maybe other policies with the same insurer) and putting multiple vehicles on the same policy. Others might shave only a few bucks a year off your payments, but together they could represent serious savings.

2. Shop around every year – especially for discounts

You may think loyalty to your insurer is buying you a great deal. But a survey by Consumer Reports reveals that nearly half of the insurers in Washington state gave a zero discount to those who’d been loyal for 15 years. Loyalty discounts varied widely by company and state, so the only way you can be sure you’re getting the best deal is to compare quotes whenever you renew or change insurer.Auto discounts 1

That’s a point taken up by vice president of communications at the Insurance Information Institute Loretta L. Worters: «One important thing to keep in mind is that the key to savings is not necessarily getting discounts, but the final price. A company that offers few discounts may still have a lower overall price.»

And Wade concurs: «Shop and compare; don’t assume you are getting the best deal simply because you bundled all your insurance or have been with the same insurance company for a long time,» he says. «In some cases, you may actually pay more.»

Before comparison shopping, check whether you’re eligible for special discounts because you’re a member of a particular group. Some insurers may offer special rates for those serving in the military or veterans. Or you may save because your employer or union has a deal with an insurer or you’re a member of a particular club. Some of these «affinity» discounts are the biggest available, and can save up to 25 percent on your premium. But that still doesn’t automatically make them the best overall deal.

3. Don’t fixate on discounts

Be cautious about spending money to obtain richer discounts. For example, you might earn a discount of between 5 percent and 20 percent for fitting anti-theft devices (though some companies insist they’re factory-fitted to qualify), such as tracking devices, alarms and kill switches. But Consumer Reports suggests that some expensive add-ons earn you very little.

Take tracking devices. TopTenReviews reckons that in 2016 a high-end one of these could cost you $1,157.80 over two years when you add the monitoring subscription to the cost of the device. But Consumer Reports says the average discount for fitting one is $8 a year. Meanwhile, an audible alarm might save you $4 a year and etching your VIN on your window $2. Of course, if you want these things anyway, go ahead. But don’t think your resulting car insurance discount is necessarily going to contribute more than a tiny fraction of the cost.

Some discounts are more worthwhile than others. The average one for a defensive driving course is 10 percent, if you’re a young or inexperienced driver or a senior. That course might cost you around $100, though you may be able to find them for $30, depending where you live. So it’s possible you could get all the benefits of what you learn while your insurer foots the entire bill.

4. Save when you pay upfront

Managing customers’ accounts represents a significant expense for insurance companies. So they’re happy to incentivize you to make the processes involved easier and less costly. You could save on average 3 percent just for agreeing to pay online and forego paper statements. Some may offer more in exchange for automated payments, and you could get 5-10 percent off if you pay your whole annual premium upfront.

Providing you’re tech-savvy, these are ideal discounts because they cost you nothing. Well, nearly nothing: Paying the premium upfront will deny you some interest on your savings, but with yields the way they are you may find that discount among your best investments.

5. Make sure you get what you need

When you’re comparing quotes for automobile insurance, it’s easy to focus on the bottom line, and go for the lowest premium. But that’s a dangerous strategy.Auto discounts 2

With more than 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry, Patti Clement knows more than most about getting good auto discounts. And as senior vice president and managing director of Private Client Advisors at HUB International, she regularly sees how chasing those discounts without regard to other factors can lead to trouble.

«Make sure that you understand what insurance coverage you have and what your potential out of pocket expenses will be in the event of a loss,” she says.

And Clement warns, «Also, make sure that you carry good liability coverage, not the minimum state requirement. Many people are under-insured – not understanding that if you cause bodily injury or property damage to others that you are responsible for the damages, even if they exceed your insurance policy limits.»

Worters raises other non-cost issues: «It doesn’t matter how good a ‘deal’ you get if service is sub-par,» she says. «The best way to check out a company’s financial stability is through rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s. The best way to check out a company’s service is by checking with friends and family members to see what kind of service they’ve had with their insurers.»

6. Compare quotes quickly but carefully

Comparison shopping for insurance and financial products can be daunting, but there are ways to simplify the process:

Read «How to switch car insurance companies» to avoid tripping yourself up.
Get your car insurance quotes.
Organize them in order of cost, with the least expensive on the top of your actual or metaphorical pile.
Read through them first, comparing what it offers with your existing policy. Focus especially on coverage, exclusions and deductibles.
Work your way down the pile, pulling out the ones that give you all you need at low prices.
Check quotes from good insurers. Clement suggests, «Make sure that the insurance company has an A rating or better. Don’t just shop for price but look for a company that will be around to pay the claim.»
Call the insurers’ call centers and run through the list of discounts on this page to see if you can get an even lower premium.
Even with multiple quotes, this process can often be achieved in an hour or two. But, potentially, the saving you might achieve could see those your highest-earning hours of the year.
Discounts. Discounts. Discounts. Insurance companies are always touting how great their discounts are trying to get your attention. If you are looking for the absolute lowest rate, you need to make sure you have the very best discounts. All car insurance companies offer discounts, but what discounts are the very best? The actual percentage of each discount may vary between insurance carriers; however, these remain the 6 best car insurance discounts among most carriers.

Multi Policy Discount is probably the single biggest discount available on a car insurance policy. Car and home insurance packaged together is exactly the type of business many insurance carriers are looking for and they will work hard to get it. Some offer a discount as high as 20 percent. It is rare for someone to obtain cheaper insurance by separating their car and home insurance through different carriers. If you own a home, always try to find an insurance carrier that packages your car and home policies together.
Multi Car Discount is also a major player in car insurance discounts. Your overall rate is typically higher when you own two vehicles verse one, but per vehicle you are paying a cheaper rate compared to insuring the vehicles individually. For example, if you own two vehicles and are paying $400 for one and $400 for the other, your rate could go up to $490 on one if you sell the other.
Financial Stability Discount is finding its way onto more and more car insurance policies. The difference between the top score and the bottom score can mean a difference of hundreds of dollars each year. Insurance companies have done extensive studies which prove a direct correlation between low insurance credit scores and high claim activity. Therefore, insurance companies reward good insurance credit scores with a financial stability discount in hopes of low claim activity. You can get an experience letter from former insurance policies to help.
Good Driver Discount usually applies to drivers that have not had an accident or ticket in the past three to five years. A couple of reasons exist for why this discount is so sizeable. It is almost a combination discount because someone with a speeding ticket not only doesn’t qualify for the good driver discount, but they are also surcharged for the ticket. Also, the good driver discount is usually applied per driver. So every driver in the household could potentially receive this discount greatly helping to reduce the overall expense of car insurance.
Good Student Discount as its name portrays, only applies to students getting good grades. Usually a 3.0 grade point average or better is accepted. Also, the normal requirement for college students is 12 credit hours or more to qualify. Young drivers often pay higher rates and insurance companies reward good students with a discount. The theory stands that if a student spends a lot of time home studying then less time is spent getting into trouble behind the steering wheel.
Homeowner Discount on a car insurance policy may be surprising to some. Insurance carriers often offer this discount to clients who own a home regardless if the home is insured with the same company. Insurance companies reward homeowners because they often have more stability than a renter. A homeowner can double dip with this discount by combining it with the multi policy discount; thereby, receiving two top discounts in one swoop.
Use these discounts to your advantage whenever it is possible. Review your car insurance policy to verify qualifying discounts are listed. Remember to bundle your car and home insurance together to receive the multi policy discount. Keep in mind that women often get lower rates. Keep your credit score and driving record in check. If you are not happy with your current insurance rates, some things are in your control to help improve your rate.
Car Insurance Discounts
Automatic & instant! We’ll apply discounts as soon as you start a quote.
The average driver who switches to Progressive saves $668.* Boom! That’s well over half a grand and could be just the beginning. If you score extra discounts, you could save even more. Just get an auto insurance quote and see how many you can earn. Discount auto insurance made easy.

Progressive’s famous ways to save
Bundling auto & property
You can save another 5% or more when you combine auto with home, renters or condo (savings applied on your auto policy).** But, you can also bundle many other policies: auto & motorcycle, boat & homeowners. You name it. You may get extra discounts for each. See more on bundling insurance.

Snapshot: BIG discounts for good drivers
Snapshot® is a program that personalizes your rate based on your actual driving. The safer you drive, the more you can save. See more on Snapshot.

Compare auto rates
Compare the exact same coverages at a handful of companies and instantly see the best price. We’ll show our rate first, then let you compare it against competitors’. See more on comparing rates.

Try the Name Your Price® Tool
You get to tell us what you want to pay! Try it and then we’ll show a range of coverages in your budget. See more on the Name Your Price Tool.

Progressive’s top car insurance discounts
1. Start your quote online
Average discount: 7%†

This is the easiest one of all. You’ll still get this discount even if you start online and then buy on the phone.

2. Safe driver
Average discount: 31%††

This is one of our BIGGEST discounts. If you haven’t had any tickets or accidents for the last three years, you can lower your price by nearly a third.

3. Multi car
Average discount: 10%‡

Got a second car, friend or family member who drives? Then you have another discount. You can combine auto policies with literally anyone you live with, even if you’re not related.

4. Homeowner
Average discount: varies**

You’ll get another discount if you own a home, condo or mobile home (even if it’s not insured by Progressive).

5. Continuous insurance
Average discount: varies**

Valid if you’ve consistently maintained active car insurance with no gaps or cancellations, even if you were insured by someone else. Your actual discount value depends on how long you’ve been consistently insured.

6. Sign documents online
Average discount: 7%§

This is another easy discount anyone can earn. After you buy your policy, we’ll prompt you to sign your documents online.

7. Pay in full
Average discount: varies**

Instead of paying monthly, you can pay for your full six-month policy up front.

8. Automatic bill pay
Average discount: varies**

Pay in full not quite right for you? That’s okay! When you purchase your policy, you can set up monthly automatic bill pay for another discount. You cannot combine the automatic bill pay and pay in full discounts. But, you’ll be able to see how much each is worth before you buy.

9. Good student
Average discount: varies**

A smart student makes you a smart shopper. Add a student on your policy who maintains all B’s or better, and we’ll add a discount. Plus, we’ll add another discount if you have a child on your policy away at college or another school (as long as it’s more than 100 miles from home and the student is 22 or younger).

10. Teen driver discount
Average discount: varies**

Add your newly licensed teen driver to your policy, and you’ll add this discount (as long as your child is 18 or younger).

What drivers love about our car insurance discounts
95% of our customers earn at least one discount
There’s no limit to how many discounts you can earn
Discounts don’t change your actual coverages. It’s just straight discount car insurance without sacrificing coverages or increasing deductibles
Of course you want to save as much as you can. But the only question is, do you want the lowest possible rate (even if that means lower coverages)? If so, check out our cheap car insurance tips.