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Feel like you’re paying too much for car insurance? You probably are. (Don’t worry, we can fix it.) There are a million discounts out there, and chances are you qualify for some that you don’t even know exist. Here are 10 of our favorites, plus an extra for good measure. Let’s start the savings…
1. Education discount
Even if your PhD in Star Trek studies hasn’t paid off job-wise, it’s not totally worthless. Having an advanced degree is great for your car insurance rates. Most insurers give discounts for attending even some college, with more substantial discounts for people with multiple degrees.
If you have teen drivers on your policy, make sure they do their homework. Teens are notoriously expensive to insure, but good student discounts can help ease the financial pain.
2. Advanced quote discount
Not many people know this, but some carriers will give you a meaningful discount for buying your policy more than a week before your coverage is set to start, and a few will give you a discount just for getting your quote a week ahead of time. It’s a signal that you’re responsible and less likely to cancel the policy.
3. Low mileage discount
The less you drive, the less likely you are to have an accident. That means good news if you have an especially short commute or use your car infrequently, as the savings can be significant. The number of miles required to qualify varies from company to company, but generally falls somewhere between 7,500 to 15,000 per year.
4. Electronic funds transfer
Believe it or not, the way you pay is a factor in how much you pay. Customers who choose to have their payments automatically deducted from their accounts each month can receive a substantial discount. For most companies, knowing they’ll be paid on time is worth the reduced premium. If you choose this option, be sure to leave enough money in your account to cover the payment, since overdraft fees and surcharges can quickly erase any savings.
5. Credit rating
There’s a strong correlation between credit scores and the likelihood of filing an insurance claim, so it’s one of the main components companies use when setting your rates. It’s not a discount exactly, but having good credit means paying less for your premium, while a bad score is sure to result in higher rates.
6. Homeowner’s discount
This won’t make the cost of replacing your hot water heater any less painful, but owning a home qualifies you for lower car insurance premiums. Most homeowners have sown their wild oats, and having assets to protect tends to make a person more responsible. Being a grownup does have some benefits.
Combining insurance policies can save you even more. While Company A might be less expensive for home and Company B is less for auto, Company C’s discounts for insuring both might make them the most affordable overall. (Sound like a headache? A Goji agent would be happy to do the insurance comparison shopping for you.)
7. Defensive driving discount
Most people enroll in defensive driving courses to prevent points on their licenses following a moving violation, but they’re good for much more. Aside from teaching you safe driving skills, defensive driving courses can pay for themselves many times over in discounted insurance. Some states even make a reduction in premium mandatory. New York and Delaware, for example, both require that insurance companies provide a 10 percent discount in premiums for three years to drivers who’ve completed a qualifying course.
The best part about this discount is that, unlike low mileage and homeowner’s discounts, almost anyone can qualify. Just ask your state and/or insurer for a list of eligible courses before enrolling.
8. Prior insurance history
As anyone who tries to buy insurance with a lapsed policy can testify, your prior insurance history is a huge part of your rates. That’s bad for drivers with a string of cancellations or non-payment, but welcome news for everyone else. Companies want customers to stick around for a long time, so if you’ve been with one insurer for years and have a clean driving record, expect companies to fight for your business.
Usage-based insurance is all the rage these days. Devices like Progressive’s Snapshot® that report information on driving behavior, like speed, braking patterns, and miles traveled can net you a substantial savings. At some point, it’s possible that unsafe drivers who install the devices will see a spike in premiums, but for now, telematics can only save you money. If you’re on the fence, check out our article on usage-based insurance for all the pros and cons.
10. Occupational discount
For whatever reason, certain jobs are more prone to car accidents than others. If you’re a manager or own a business, expect car insurance companies to like you. Nurses and teachers are also eligible for reduced premiums, along with a host of other occupations. When speaking to an insurance company or agent, be honest about your job, but don’t be too humble. False modesty could cost you discounts you deserve.
11. Association discounts
Large groups like AAA or AARP have the clout to negotiate discounts for their members on pretty much everything imaginable, including car insurance, so if you belong to any clubs or professional organizations, let your agent know. The savings from association discounts aren’t typically massive, but even the smallest savings add up over time.
Ironically, the best way to save isn’t even a discount. When it comes to getting a great deal, shopping around is far and away your best bet. If your starting price is three times higher than it should be, even 50 percent off would still mean you’re paying way too much, so comparing premiums should always be the first step. Once you’ve narrowed down the options, it’s much easier to see which combination of discounts will give you the best option.
When you’re ready to save, Goji’s rate estimator is a great place to start. You’ll see side-by-side results from up to 15 top insurance companies in 2 minutes just by answer a few basic questions. Click here to try it for yourself, or if you prefer talking to typing, call our licensed agents at 877-357-5692. They’ll be happy to help find the best deal for you.
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