Best Car Insurance for Firefighters

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What's the best car insurance for firefighters?

As a firefighter, you know all about minimizing risk and preventing disaster. But after saving lives and putting out fires, shopping for auto insurance can be a pretty dull — and expensive — affair. That’s where we come in. Let’s explore the best car insurance options for firefighters.

Here are our main topics:
  1. Which companies offer discounts based on your profession?
  2. What are other ways to save?

Companies offering car insurance discounts for firefighters

Before we get into specifics, it’s important to understand why companies offer discounts to men and women in these professions. For the most part, it has to do with the way in which companies view these occupations. Historical data has shown that firefighters are less likely to file a claim or be in an accident, all of which makes an insurance company happy and leads to lower premiums. However, this doesn’t mean you'll be charged more because you don’t fall into this profession - only that it can provide a discount. Here are some firefighter-friendly insurance companies:

The amount of the discount varies considerably by company but ranges on average from 3-10%. Usually, these companies will require proof of employment, such as a membership to IAFF or other specified documentation. Moreover, it is not guaranteed your insurance company will offer profession-specific discounts as car insurance is regulated at a state level.

*California Casualty offers some unique coverage options specific to the women and men who fall in the line of duty. According to their Fallen Officer/Fallen Hero Survivor Benefit, your premium for the remaining year and one-year following will be waived if your spouse/partner falls in the line of duty. Some states (Texas, Georgia, Montana, New Hampshire, and Tennessee) do not participate in this program.

How else can you save on auto insurance?

We get it. You can't rely only on your profession to provide a discount. Let’s explore alternative ways to save.

Pay Smart

By paying smart we are referring to how you pay your insurance bill. Insurance companies tend to charge drivers more for auto insurance if you pay with a credit or debit card. While it depends on the company, this service fee can be between $2-3 per month! You can avoid this unnecessary processing fee by syncing your bank account directly with your insurance company. This discount is known as an EFT discount.

Savings Based on Method of Payment

Savings with Paid in FullSavings with EFT

Another way to save is what is called paid in full discount. Basically, if you pay all of your premium up front, your insurance company will reduce the price of said premium. They offer this discount for a few reasons. One, they get all their money up front and most companies (like people) really enjoy that large cash flow in. The next is the lack of processing fees, because you pay all your premium up front.

Bundle your policies

If you have additional policies, such as homeowners insurance or a renters policy, make sure you have them insured through the same company. This way you can receive a multi-policy discount. Because you’re combining your policies and giving your insurance company new sources of revenue, they will reward you with some savings!

Savings on Bundlings

Savings with RentersSavings with Home

This policy can apply to multiple forms of insurance, not just home/auto. So, if you have a life insurance or umbrella policy, you would receive a discount as well.

Consider telematics

Telematics, or usage-based insurance, is somewhat new to the world of auto insurance. Essientially, using an in-car device, insurance companies track the way you drive in order to more accurately determine your premium. Rather than using things like your age or your credit score as rating factors, telematics allow your insurance insurance company to more accurately price your premium. Here are some companies that have these programs as well as the potential savings. Not every state participates in these programs, so check with your company to see if you qualify.

CompanyEstimated Savings
Progressive's SnapShotAverage of $130
Allstate's DrivewiseAverage of 10-25%
State Farm's Drive Safe & SaveUp to 15%
Esurance's DriveSenseVaries
Nationwide's SmartRideUp to 40%
Liberty Mutual's RightTrackAverage of 5-30%
GEICO DriveEasyVaries

Drive safely

As a first responder, you understand the dangers of not driving safely. Insurance companies see the dangers of driving irresponsibly similarly (as they will be on the hook for damages) and thus charge accordingly for them. Speeding, driving under the influence, and getting in an at-fault accident will cause your premium to rise exponentially. Plus, depending on the violation and the state, you could charged over 3 years! Meaning, if you are in an at-fault accident, you can be charged an average of $1,836 over 3 years — triple the average cost for car insurance.

Average Increase in Annual Premium in 2016

Accident/Violation6 Month Premium Increase
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH Over Limit$141
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH Over Limit$153
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH Over Limit$165
At-Fault Accident$306
Reckless Driving$499

Be smart with your coverage

Unlike a house, your car depreciates in value over time. So, if you bought a brand new vehicle 15 years ago, chances are you don't need the same insurance protections you once had. The only coverages you are required by law to have (unless you have a lien) are your state liability limits. Comprehensive and collsion are designed to protect your car. Consider if the value of your vehicle (which can be easily determined through Kelley Bluebook or NADA guide) is worth what you pay for these additional coverages. Here are our quick tips for determining coverage:

  • Determine the value of your vehicle by using Kelley Blue Book and NADA guide
  • Contrast the premium with full coverage between only have liability coverage. If that difference in premium is enough to replace the value (determined in step 1), you probably don't need full coverage.
  • If the premium difference is not enough, consider raising your deductibles - by raising your deductibles you can lower your premium. If, however, you do raise your deductible, you increase your financial reponsible for any at-fault accidents. As your deductible is what you pay before insurance company steps in.

Shop around

At the end of the day, you might have all the discounts in the world and still be paying too much for auto insurance. If that’s the case (or even if it isn’t), your best bet is to shop as many different companies to see if you could be getting a better rate elsewhere. Only with The Zebra can you see rates from hundreds of companies at once. Get started today.

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Recent Questions:

Best Car Insurance for Firefighters

Why do certain jobs pay less for car insurance?

The discount you are referring to is known as an "Affinity" or "Membership" Discount. Basically, insurance companies use historical data to prove that certain occupations equate to less risky drivers.