Car insurance is such a pain in the butt. I’m glad it’s required if you have a car. Otherwise we’d probably have Oedipal temper tantrums a lot more often–and we all know how that ended.
If you don’t know how that ended, no worries. It’s a reference to Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. The main character, Oedipus, did lots of really bad things unwittingly. The first was killing his father in a fit of road rage. Maybe if he had been able to call his agent they would have been able to assess and fix the damages without anyone dying, and the fulfillment of the grim prophecy could have been avoided.
The point is, there’s only so much you can do to lower your rates without forfeiting coverage. So I’ve compiled a list of discounts your insurance company may or may not be letting you in on.
Next time you talk to them, ask.
Keep in mind that discounts vary from state-to-state as well as from company-to-company.
Good Student Discount
Your agent may not know to offer you this one. Especially if you’re not of traditional college age. But it’s really simple: Meet certain GPA requirements, get your premiums lowered.
Bundle to Get Discounts
Carrying policies with four different agencies? Bundling them with one may save you a bunch of money. Renters, valuable personal property, homeowners, etc.
On top of carrying multiple insurance policies with one insurer, your insurance company may be linked with a bank. Holding a financial account with them may lower your premiums or up your interest rates on your growth accounts.
Many companies are now offering a discount on your premium if you elect to receive all of your bills, statements, and other paperwork electronically. Not only are you saving the planet, but it’s a lot less of a hassle than shredding and recycling.
Usually this discount is applied every renewal period where it is applicable. Some states and companies give you discounts for getting older and more experienced every time your policy renews–especially if you’re a young man or have a young man on your policy. Talk to your agent to make sure you understand how this is calculated on your specific policy.
Some states and companies lower premiums if you get married. Take special care to mention this fact to your agent if you and your spouse aren’t on the same policy.
Though you really should be. Being on the same policy is almost guaranteed to save you some cash.
Vanishing Deductible plans sound A-MAZING, right?
The idea is that for every premium period you go without getting into an accident or anything like that, your deductible goes down by some amount–say $100. Over a 5 year period for a pretend policy that renews every 12 months, your $500 deductible can decrease to $0.
This would be really great, if the insurance company didn’t charge you more on your premium to carry the benefit. If you have vanishing deductible, check and see how much you are being charged for it. You may find that it’s better to pay the lower premium and keep the higher deductible.
Tell your insurance carrier what you do for work. Your job can say a lot about you, and for people in meticulous fields, that means lower rates.
The carrier figures if you’re meticulous at work, you’re probably meticulous behind the wheel, too. Some of these occupations include pilots, artists, scientists, actors, engineers, and teachers.
Some companies even offer lower premiums if you work at home and therefore don’t use your car as often.
If you’re not in the list above, still talk to your agent. It’s by no means all-inclusive.
Oh, but you might not want to tell them what you do if you fall into this list: doctor, lawyer, judge, real estate broker, business owner, architect, or social worker.
These have all been pinned as professions that have their professionals work unreasonable hours in high stress positions. Not so great for safety behind the wheel.
Complete a course in defensive driving, and you could save a good bit of money on your premium. It’s applicable in Pennsylvania, and courses around here are generally around $30. Some can even be taken in your home.
Make sure to talk to your agent first. For oh, so many reasons. First of all, the discount may not apply to you even if you complete the course. Each state and company is different, but in some states there are age restrictions to the discount.
The second reason is that you could get a double discount. Your insurance company will lower your premium if you take and pass the course, and some insurance companies can even help you lower the price of the course. So you get to take the class you’re taking to get a discount at a discount.
Do you belong to any groups?
So many groups have discounts with so many insurance providers. If you have ever been in a fraternity, sorority, professional organization, the military, a member of a credit union, or a federal employee, odds are there’s a discount for you.
Oh, and you work for someone, too? You may even be able to get a discount just for working with your employer.
Exercise your brain on this one. Any organization you belong to could be saving you money every month.
Your Car is Awesome Discount
Give your agent a call and review with them all the nifty safety features that your car has. They should have done this with you when you signed up for the policy, but checking up never hurts.
Have airbags? There’s a discount for that.
How about anti-lock brakes? There’s a discount for that, too.
And those are just the first two common features that came to mind.
What other discounts can my awesome readers tell me about?