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As a firefighter, you know all about minimizing risk and preventing disasters. But after saving lives and putting out blazes, shopping for auto insurance can be a pretty dull — and potentially expensive — affair. That’s where we come in. Let’s explore the best car insurance options for firefighters, and how to save money on this very important, required expense.
Compared to the national average of $1,548, firefighters saved 3% on their premiums — they paid $1,510 per year or $125 a month. We used our rate methodology to gather average six-month premiums by occupation from some of the top insurance providers. Below, you can see how much firefighters can expect to pay for car insurance. Keep in mind that our driver profile likely does not fit yours exactly; use this data as a starting point in your search for a new insurance policy. The more educated you are on this matter, the more likely it is you'll find a fair premium for your situation.
|Insurance Company||Average 6-Month Premium|
Firefighters who have had experience as active duty military members can qualify for the cheapest six-month insurance premiums through USAA. The second-cheapest premium can be found at GEICO if you do not qualify for USAA coverage.
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 puts insurance companies at ease, and leads to lower premiums. However, this doesn’t mean you'll be charged more just because you don’t fall into a certain profession — only that it can provide a special discount. Here are some firefighter-friendly insurance companies:
The amount of the discount varies considerably from company to 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.
We get it. You can't rely only on your profession to provide a discount to make auto insurance more affordable. Let’s explore alternative ways to save.
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 in monthly installments. 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 with Paid in Full||Savings with EFT|
Another way to save is what is called paid in full discount. Basically, if you pay all of your premium upfront, your insurance company will reduce the price of said premium. They offer this discount for a few reasons: first, they get all of their money in one payment and most companies really enjoy that large initial cash flow. Second is the lack of processing fees because you already paid your full premium upfront.
If you have additional policies, such as home 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! This is a very common discount that is offered by most insurers.
|Savings with Renters||Savings 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.
Telematics, or usage-based insurance, is somewhat new to the world of auto insurance. Essentially, 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 credit score as rating factors, telematics allows your insurance company to more accurately price your rate. 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.
|Progressive's SnapShot||Average of $130|
|Allstate's Drivewise||Average of 10-25%|
|State Farm's Drive Safe & Save||Up to 15%|
|Nationwide's SmartRide||Up to 40%|
|Liberty Mutual's RightTrack||Average of 5-30%|
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 be charged over three years! This means that if you are in an at-fault accident, you can be charged an extra $767 per year in excess premium, which amounts to over $2,300 over the three-year surchargeable period.
|Accident/Violation||6-Month Premium Increase|
|Speeding 11 - 15 MPH Over Limit||$169|
|Speeding 16 - 20 MPH Over Limit||$192|
|Speeding 21 - 25 MPH Over Limit||$230|
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 coverage you once had. The only coverages you are required by law to have — unless your vehicle is leased or financed — are your state liability limits. Comprehensive and collision are designed to physically protect your own 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 the coverage you need:
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 comparison shop with as many different car insurance companies as you can to see if you could be getting a better rate elsewhere. Only with The Zebra can you see insurance quotes from companies across the nation at once. Get started today by entering your ZIP code below.