Discounts on Insurance

8 Least Known Car Insurance Discounts

Everyone always wants as many discounts as possible on their car insurance. Discounts vary greatly between insurance carriers and in the amount of savings. Knowing what car insurance discounts are available to you, is the first step in actually getting the discount. Some discounts are not very well known, and are only available through specific insurance carriers.

Current Liability Limits

Looking for Cheaper Car Insurance
Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

Nearly all insurance carriers want to know what your current liability limits are before you purchase their car insurance quote. A discount is given to those drivers who currently have limits of liability 100/300 or higher on their current car insurance policy. If you carry 50/100, a smaller discount is available. Those with the state minimum liability limits will pay a bit more. If you have no prior car insurance, it is a whole other issue.

Insurance carriers prefer 100/300 limits of liability. Carrying higher limits of liability show responsibility and insurance companies want to insure responsible drivers. This discount can be substantial and is rarely talked about. If you are thinking of switching car insurance anytime soon, be sure to raise your current liability limits to 100/300 to get the most favorable insurance quote.

Example: John has 100/300 limits of liability on his car insurance policy. When he begins getting car insurance quotes, he is asked to provide his current coverage. The agent quoting John's policy will be able to give him a better rate because he has the preferred limits of liability listed on his current policy.

The discount assigned to prior liability limits can be very significant. Depending on how many vehicles you insure and what insurance carrier you are getting quoted by, it could mean the difference of hundreds of dollars a year. It is just one more reason not to carry minimum liability limits required by your state.

Advanced Quote

Preferred insurance carriers are looking for responsible drivers to insure. One quirky discount offered by lots of insurance companies is the advanced quote discount. Insurance carriers reward drivers with a discount for responsibly shopping for insurance ahead of time. You would need to get your quote at least eight days before you actually switch your car insurance to the new carrier.

Example 1: John's car insurance renewal is coming up in two weeks. He begins calling around for insurance quotes. By shopping ahead of time, John will receive the advance quote discount.

Example 2: Becky is mad at her insurance agent. She wants out now. She calls around for insurance quotes looking to switch immediately. She will pay a slightly higher price because of her urgency to switch.

It is counter-intuitive to think you will get a discount for delaying switching insurance carriers. Often people think they will be rewarded for switching immediately. The advanced quote discount is definitely not common knowledge for many drivers.

The advanced quote discount is not necessarily significant, but it does help. Expect to see a few dollars drop off your monthly premium. The discount does usually disappear in a couple of years, however, it is usually replaced by the long-term customer discount.

College Degree

Yes, a college degree does pay. Some insurance carriers offer a discount determined by your level of education. Studies show the more college attended, the less likely a person is for a claim. This discount is controversial because many think it penalizes the poor. Not every carrier offers a discount based on education level, but even when they do it really isn't significant. Expect to save a couple of dollars a month.

Membership

Lots of insurance carriers offer a discount called a membership discount. Each carrier has its own list of eligible memberships. Some include banks, credit unions, and alumni associations. Check with your insurance carrier to see if you are a member one of their affiliates.

Anti Theft Device

Cars that come pre-installed with an anti-theft device typically have the information provided in the VIN. If you have added on a device, it is up to you to notify your insurance agent. Documentation may be required to qualify for the discount. Anti-theft devices technically only help prevent theft losses. So the discount only applies to comprehensive coverage making it a small discount.

Low Miles

A low mile discount is still available but it is dwindling. More companies are getting away from it because it is hard to monitor. The more sophisticated discount is the new telematics system mentioned below. If you are retired or have an extra vehicle driven minimally, mention it to your insurance agent to see if a low mile discount is available.

Telematics

Are you a great driver? Do you drive at non-peak times and rarely slam the breaks? Insurance companies want proof. New technology allows them to see what your driving habits are over a period of time. Currently, devices are being handed out by insurance companies and easily installed in vehicles. The device is then returned to the insurance company and reviewed to determine what level of discount you qualify for. The discount depends on the insurance carrier, but some are offering up to a 30% discount.

Deals have already been made to have a program installed into new vehicles to monitor driving habits. At this point, your vehicle could be linked directly to the insurance company and they could adjust your insurance rate on a more frequent basis after reviewing the findings. Monitored driving will be an opt-in discount so you will not be monitored without permission.

Facebook

Social media has taken over everything it seems like. Car insurance is no exception. Esurance is offering a discount to its clients living in certain areas when they "like" their Facebook Page. It is certainly possible for more companies to follow suit. Esurance's trial discount is being offered as a 10% reduction in premium.