Auto insurance is mandatory if you own a registered vehicle in any state. You pay your premium month after month and wonder when you are ever going to get a break. Having an agent is your best bet if you are looking to lower your monthly auto insurance rate. Your agent will be able to discuss the different discounts available and see which ones are applicable to your account. If your agent has not discussed with you about lowering your rate, continue reading. Here are five ways to save money on your auto insurance.
1. Bundle With Your Homeowner's Policy
This is the largest discount available. Companies give up to a 15-30 percent discount when bundling your home and auto together. When you speak with your agent, it might sound as if they are trying to up-sell you, in reality, they are trying to help. With the packaged quote, you are looking to save on both on your home and your auto insurance. What happens if you are not a homeowner? No worries, a smaller discount is still available if you bundle your auto and renter’s insurance together. The discount is a little smaller than a homeowner's bundle, 5-10 percent, yet it is still a discount.
2. Smart Ride Mileage
Many companies are starting to offer a discount base on driving habits. One company, Safeco, is offering a 5-30 percent discount based on your driving habits over a 90 day period. Below is the process for this discount:
- First, call your agent and ask for the SmartRide Mileage Device (Varies with company).
- The insurance company will send the device with instructions on how to insert it into your car.
- Keep the device in your car for 90 Days.
- Send the device with the return packing slip.
After the company receives the diagnostics, they will determine the discount base on your score.
3. Mature Driving Course
This next discount is only applicable to those 55 years and older. The Mature Driving Course is, "for drivers further down the road in their lives behind the wheel."(DMV.org). Companies like AARP offer the course in a classroom or online. The cost of the course with AARP is $19.95 (AARP Members) and $24.95 (Non-AARP Members). Once you finish the class, you will receive a certificate that is proof of completion. Give a copy to your agent and they will apply the discount. For this one time price you will receive your discount for three years; after three years you will need to take the course again. For more information please visit https://www.aarpdriversafety.org
4. Good Student Discount
This is another discount that is applicable if you are a good student. Most insurance companies consider a “good student” as someone who is between the age of 16-25, going to school full time (12 credits or more), and has a GPA of a 3.0 or higher. You can keep this discount until you turn 25 if you maintain the criteria mentioned. Insurance companies will ask for report cards about every semester, so make sure not to slack off on your studies.
5. Ask Your Broker to Shop For You
I encourage you to work with an independent agent/broker. Instinctively, working with a certain type of agent doesn't cross the minds of consumers when it comes to saving money. Yet, being with an independent agent versus a captive agent can accumulate hundreds of dollars a year in savings. If you work with an independent agent, ask them to shop around for you upon renewal. Each insurance company is different and each company is competitive in their own way. Having a broker can take advantage of their companies competitive rates.
Stay on top of your motor vehicle report(MVR), driving record. If you have past tickets and accidents, ask your current agent for the date they fall off your record. Most tickets and accidents fall off your record after three years, but major violations like DUIs can take up to ten years to fall off your MVR. Once these infractions fall off, call your agent and ask them to re-quote your policy for you, even if it is in the middle of your term. Having a relationship with your agent will help save you money year-after-year.