In Plain English


There are plenty of car insurance discounts available and the more you know, the more you can ask for. Qualifying for one (or many) of these popular discounts is guaranteed to lower your rate.

Posted on: Jul 23, 2015

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We’ve compiled a list of the most popular discounts offered by the top 16 carriers to help you get the best bang for your buck, starting now.

After a vehicle's purchase price and fuel, insurance is one of the costliest factors of car ownership. According to U.S. News Rankings and Reviews, the median average insurance rate in the U.S. is $1,248 per year. That’s some serious pocket change.

There are numerous variables that determine the rate of your insurance premiums and while there’s not much you can do about your age, driving history or where you live, there are many factors you can control — and therefore, save some of your hard-earned cash. 

Popular Discounts From A - Z


Advance Purchase Discount

When considering a switch to a new carrier, timing is key. You may know that a lapse in coverage by even one day can result in a hefty increase in the amount you’re quoted. But did you know that some insurance companies offer discounts if you switch to them seven days before your next premium is due? Make sure you give yourself at least two weeks before your current policy is up to shop around to make the most of advance purchase discounts.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Esurance, American Family, Travelers, and 21st Century (available in some states).

Affinity Discount

Where you work, go to school or pay membership fees may help you to save on your car insurance. Insurance companies may extend these savings to occupations which require less driving than average, as well as to pre-selected occupations, such as police officers, firefighters, doctors, dentists, registered nurses, engineers, scientists, and teachers.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, Nationwide, and 21st Century (available in some states).   

Annual Mileage Discount

Lower premiums for those who clock less miles is easy to understand: less driving, less accidents. So, if you benefit from a short commute (typically between 5-15 miles), work from home or take public transportation on the regular, this discount is one you should pursue. Some insurance companies may require electronic monitoring of your mileage to confirm a rate reduction.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, Auto Club (AAA) and Travelers.

Anti-theft Discount

A car equipped with anti-theft devices can save you from the headache of asking “dude, where’s my car?” And the benefits keep going: a built-in anti-theft system (think: car alarm, fuel or ignition cut off switches) can save you an estimated 25% depending on the carrier. Discounts of around 10% may be applied for additional anti-theft measures such as stolen-car tracking systems and VIN etchings.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, Nationwide, and 21st Century.

Driving Class Discount

Discounts are often available for the successful completion of an accident prevention or defensive driving course. These courses typically cover traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, and drug and alcohol education. You can locate classes through your state’s Department of Public Safety or Motor Vehicles. Make sure to contact your carrier to see what courses are approved and if you qualify, as some carriers may only offer a defensive driving discount to seniors.

New drivers under 21 years old may benefit from the successful completion of a driver training course, which typically includes both a minimum number of course hours and supervised driving hours.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, and 21st Century.

E-Pay Discount

Reducing unnecessary paper use is good for the earth, good for business, and potentially, good for your wallet. A handful of insurance companies offer discounts to customers that utilize e-sign services (where you sign your policy documents online) or e-pay options (where you receive paperless billing through email statements).

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: Progressive, Allstate, Nationwide, and Travelers.

Good Driver Discount

A Good Driver Discount is an excellent perk for drivers with a clean record. This entails going a certain number of years — the minimum typically varies between three and five years —  with no at-fault accidents and no moving violations. Discounts tend to increase the longer your record has remained claim-free, and run between a savings of around 10% to 26%.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, and 21st Century.

Good Student Discount

If you’re currently in school or if you have a student on your policy, you may be in line for substantial savings of up to 20%. Most car insurance companies provide good student discounts for full-time students who maintain a high GPA and are under a certain age, usually 23 to 25. Now that’s some good incentive to hit the books!

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, Progressive (available in some states), State Farm, Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, and 21st Century.

Green Vehicle Discount

A car that’s good for the earth is good for the wallet, at least when it comes to car insurance (and fuel conservation). Instant discounts, typically up to 10%, may be available for drivers that own or lease hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles depending on carrier. And since hybrid cars are often built with the latest features (research from the Highway Loss Data Institute shows people traveling in hybrids are 25% less likely to be injured in an accident than people traveling in traditional vehicles) you may qualify for additional discounts for newer safety developments like curtain airbags or Electronic Stability Control.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Travelers, and 21st Century (available in some states).

Homeowner Discount

Premiums are calculated based on the amount of risk a car insurance company may take on when they cover a policy. Homeowners (this includes traditional houses, condos or apartments) are considered to be low risk (read: less likely to file claims) and are offered a discount as a result.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: Progressive, Farmers, Esurance, The General, and 21st Century (available in some states).

Multi-Policy Discount

You are likely to be eligible for a car insurance discount simply by holding Homeowners, Renters or Condo insurance with the same company. This practice, commonly referred to as bundling, can translate into additional discounts with each policy. An added benefit of bundling is that you can keep track and making changes to your current policies all in one place.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, and 21st Century (available in some states).

Multi-Vehicle Discount

Similar to a multi-policy discount, many insurance providers offer discounts for including more than one vehicle on the same insurance policy. To qualify, the vehicles must be placed under a single policyholder’s name, be driven only by the policyholder or family members in the same household, and be currently in use, i.e., not in storage. This discount can be especially beneficial if you need to ensure a teenage driver. Restrictions vary, with some providers placing a four vehicle limit on each policy.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, Auto Club (AAA), Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, American Family, Travelers, and 21st Century.

New Vehicle Discount

Savings between 10% to 30% are up for grabs if you’ve purchased a new car or one less than two to three years old.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Travelers, and 21st Century (available in some states).

Passive Restraint Discount

Factory installed safety features such as motorized seat belts and airbags not only keep you safe but also keep money in your pocket. Additional discounts may be available for other safety features like anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights, which is why it is smart to check in with your insurance carrier on what discounts are offered when shopping for a new car.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, State Farm, Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Farmers, Esurance, American Family, and 21st Century.

Pay-in-Full Discount

Paying your annual premium in full means you can clear any thoughts about payment from your mind for 12 months, and perhaps more importantly — you’re likely to earn a discount. Almost 50% of the insurers we looked at offer a discount for paying your premium in full rather than in monthly or semi-annual installments.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, Travelers, The General, and 21st Century (available in some states).

Student Away at School Discount

If you are a college student attending an out-of-state (or even out-of-town) university, or if you have a child on your policy who is attending school far from home, the Distant Student Discount could save you up to 30%. Terms and mileage vary based on carrier, but the conditions are straightforward: an eligible student must attend a school more than 100 - 200 miles from home without access to a vehicle.

Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: State Farm, Auto Club (AAA), Allstate, Farmers, American Family, Travelers, and 21st Century.