If your car comes with anti-theft devices or if you have services like LoJack, your insurance company usually provides a discount. The discounts tend to be smaller than a multi-policy or defensive driver discount, but can still help with making premium payments. On average, using a disabling anti-theft device can save you an average of $11 per year.
Naturally, this discount is offered to you if you have a clean driving record, meaning no accidents or citations. This is typically a substantial discount and a lot of times it is automatically added to your policy when your Motor Vehicle Report or CLUE report is pulled at the inception of your auto policy. Still, if you are sure you have a clean driving record and are not receiving any discount, speak with your insurance company and ask if they offer a discount for good drivers. The added bonus of this discount is how costly any type of violations can be. So, by keeping a clean driving record, you get the discount as well as avoid these costly penalties, featured below.
National Average Annual Auto Insurance Premiums by Driving Violations
||Avg Annual Premium
||$ More Paid vs No Violation
|Cell Phone Violation
|Texting while Driving
|Speeding 6 - 10 MPH Over Limit
|Speeding in School Zone
|Speeding 11 - 15 MPH Over Limit
|Speeding 16 - 20 MPH Over Limit
|Speeding 21 - 25 MPH Over Limit
|In 65 MPH Zone
Many companies offer discounts for active or former military members and their families. The amount and qualifications differ per company but you should ask if your current company has this discount.
Like a multi-policy discount, a multi-car discount refers to having more than one car with a single insurance company. Typically, the discount is automatically added either at the policy inception (if two cars were originally added) or when you add the second vehicle to the policy.
Preferred Payment Discount
This discount refers to the manner in which you make your insurance payments and has tiers, typically. For example, if you pay your entire premium up front, you are often given a discount which is usually the highest preferred payment discount. On average, a paid in full discount can save $62 per year on your auto policy. Moreover, if you set up automatic payments from a bank account, you can often receive an “EFT discount.” Here, EFT refers to electronic funds transfer and can save about $28 annually. If you are able to pay upfront or through automatic payments, this is a discount worth considering.
Average Rates by Electronic Funds Transfer
Average Rates by Payment Plans
|Paid In Full
This discount goes by many names but the idea is the same. Some insurance companies will offer a discount based on your occupation. Statistically, some occupations like teachers, physicians, or police officers are less likely to file a claim and thus pose less of a risk. Because of this, some insurance companies return the savings back to you. Usually, they will require you to submit some type of proof of your profession—a photocopy of your degree is common.
Good Student Discount
If you have a young driver, you understand how expensive they can be to your insurance policy. Given the number of claims they cause, teenagers look like considerable risks for insurance companies and they charge accordingly for them. If your son or daughter has the grades, typically above a 3.0 GPA, speak with your insurance company about a good student discount. Normally, they’ll ask for a transcript every policy period (6-12 months) as proof.
Sometimes, cheap isn't the best way to go
You’ve heard the phrase “you get what you pay for.” Well, it’s the same for car insurance. Sometimes an insurance company is cheap simply because they offer very little in terms of customer support or because they cut corners in their claims process—leaving you to pick up the pieces. This is something to consider if an easy and reliable claims process or customer satisfaction is important to you when looking for cheaper options.
At the end of the day, even with all the discounts, car insurance can still be very expensive. You could be living in Toledo, Ohio with all of the above discounts and still be spending too much money on auto insurance. Because of this, we recommend you shop for car insurance every 6 months to ensure you're getting the best possible rate.