Five Car Insurance Discounts to ask your Agent about
Numerous factors are involved in determining the cost of auto insurance, and there are some discounts you may not expect. While most people know that they can save money by having a safe driving record, they may be unaware of other discounts that they already qualify for that will reduce their premiums even further. A good agent will try to match you with as many discounts as possible, but it’s always a good idea to ask them about a discount that you may qualify for. The agent may have overlooked it, or they may simply not realize that you qualify until you bring it up.
Here are five discounts you may qualify for:
1.) Paperless Billing
This is one of the easiest discounts to qualify for and many people don’t even realize it’s available. If you go green and choose to stop receiving monthly policy bills and statements in the mail, you can save money on your premiums. The discount won’t be dramatic, but it’s certainly worth doing, especially as it cuts down on the amount of mail you’ll receive and helps reduce the amount of trash in the environment.
You may also be able to obtain a discount if you choose to pay your bill by automatic bank draft rather than issuing a check or paying by credit card. If your insurance company doesn’t have a website where you can check the status of your policy, you can ask your agent if there are any other ways to reduce the amount of paperwork that comes to your mailbox.
2.) Low-Risk Careers
Insurance companies calculate risk based on a myriad of statistics, and one thing that factors into the premium calculation is the insured’s job. Certain professions are linked to a higher risk of auto accidents while others have a low risk. Depending on your career, you may qualify for a discount simply by being in a low-risk job. Some common examples are engineer, teacher and scientist.
Another way your job can save you money on car insurance is if you telecommute or work from home. People who do not commute to work pay lower premiums than those that do. If you’re using your vehicle solely for pleasure rather than work, be sure to mention that to the insurance company.
3.) Group Memberships
Some organizations and clubs have discounts available to their members. If you were a member of a sorority or fraternity, you may qualify for a discount on auto insurance. Discounts are also available through credit unions, trade organizations and employers. Additionally, most companies offer low rates to military personnel and state employees, and some companies specialize in providing affordable rates to those people.
If you’re a member of any sort of club or society, ask if insurance discounts are available as a membership perk. Some groups only offer discounts through certain companies, so if you already have car insurance you will need to weigh the pros and cons of changing companies in order to take advantage of a discount.
4.) Policy Options
In addition to enrolling in auto-pay, you can choose to pay your policy costs up front rather than monthly. This doesn’t actually give a discount, but it does safe you from a monthly processing fee. By paying for your premiums once or twice a year in a lump sum, you can save a decent amount throughout the year.
You can also save money on premiums simply by staying with a single company. Although many insurers will offer discounts to drivers as an incentive to switch, most companies also reward loyalty through annual rebates and other offers. If you’ve had the same insurer for a long time, it might be worth calling and asking if they can reduce your premiums.
5.) Vehicle Modifications
Safety features such as antilock brakes and airbags help reduce the cost of insurance; anti-theft devices do as well. Your insurance company will run a VIN check on your vehicle to verify the exact model and trim, but if you have installed any additional features, you will need to speak with the insurance company about possible discounts.
It may be worth asking about these discounts prior to making any modifications to your vehicle. The insurance policy may not cover damages to after-market parts, and it may offer better discounts for certain features than others. By clearing your choices in advance, you can ensure that you’ll bet the discount you want without risking any non-covered modifications.
Taking a proactive role in your auto insurance ensures that you get the best possible price on your policy. If you don’t qualify for these discounts, others may apply in your situation. If not, it may be time to switch to another insurance company that will offer more competitive rates.