Looking for a discount on auto insurance? See who qualifies for discounts and whether you can take advantage of the many that help drives save today.
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Safe Driver Discounts: Do You Qualify?
Staying safe and alert behind the wheel can net you significant insurance discounts. Whether you haven’t had an accident in years or simply don’t drive very much, we dive into the details below to help you discover the discounts that work with your driving history.
If you maintain a good driving record and haven’t been in an accident for three to five years, you may qualify for an accident-free auto insurance discount. Some companies refer to this as their good-driver discount, so make sure you look for both terms. The amount of time you need to avoid an accident varies by insurer.
Most companies automatically add the accident-free discount, but always check your quote to ensure it’s included. The discount you receive depends on the insurance company and state, but most are 10%-20%. You may also qualify for a violation-free discount, which adds extra savings if you haven’t had a major traffic violation in the last few years. Insurance companies offering an accident-free discount include Farmers, State Farm, and Geico.
Defensive Driving Discount
Taking a defensive driving class from an approved vendor can save 10%-15% on specific types of car insurance. Each state sets requirements for how many hours you must complete to qualify, but they’re typically two to eight hours. The National Safety Council provides online defensive driving courses that meet the requirements of most insurance companies and states.
Defensive driving courses focus on making you a better driver by teaching skills like road and traffic assessment, accident avoidance, and an understanding of how weather affects driving conditions. Some insurers ask if you’ve taken a defensive driving course; if they don’t, be sure to tell them if you have. You can also take one at any point during your policy and ask that the discount be added once you pass the course. Insurance companies offering a defensive driving discount include State Farm, Progressive, and Allstate.
Safe Driver Discount
Designed to reward individuals who prioritize safe driving, this discount leads to a 10% reduction in insurance premiums. Many insurance companies provide tracking devices or apps to measure your average speed and braking patterns to determine if you qualify for this discount. Other factors going into whether you’re approved include always wearing a seatbelt and following traffic best practices.
When looking for this type of discount, you may also see it called the good driver discount. When pursuing this discount, be aware that insurance companies gain access to data about your driving habits. You typically will not qualify for the discount unless you agree to these terms. Insurance companies offering a safe driver discount include Geico, Progressive, and Farmers.
Low Mileage Discount
Whether your job has shifted to full-time remote due to the pandemic or you simply don’t drive much anyway, several auto insurance companies provide discounts to drivers who don’t rack up too many miles in a given year. Most companies assume that if you drive less, your chances of getting into an accident decrease.
Individual insurance providers set mileage limits, but you’ll likely need to drive less than 12,000 miles per year or 1,000 miles per month to qualify. Other companies set maximums at 5,000 to 10,000 miles per year or offer a pay-as-you-go program that bases your premiums on actual mileage driven. As with the safe driving discount, you’ll need to install a tracker in your car or download an app on your smartphone for the company to track your driving habits. Insurance companies offering a low mileage discount include Progressive, State Farm, and Nationwide.
Can Your Car Help You Save?
Many car insurers also award drivers who invest in modern cars with the latest devices to help keep them and their possessions safe. If your car has any of the features discussed in this section, you may qualify for some additional discounts.
Whether anti-theft devices come standard or you pay to install one, they can save you 5%-15% on comprehensive car insurance coverage. In addition to providing the potential for a discount, anti-theft devices also dissuade would-be thieves from breaking into your car and stealing any items left inside. Some even help recover your vehicle if it’s stolen.
Because anti-theft devices qualify only for comprehensive insurance discounts, individuals should consider whether this discount will save money or not. If you plan to only take out liability insurance, for example, anti-theft devices can help keep your vehicle safe but won’t net you a discount. Additionally, the discount can be quite small. If you’re thinking about paying extra to install a device, calculate whether doing so will result in overall savings. Insurance companies offering anti-theft device discounts include Allstate, Travelers, and State Farm.
Newer cars now come with anti-lock brake systems (ABS), so many insurers include discounts for them in quotes. If you don’t see it listed, make sure you ask whether your car qualifies and what type of discount it provides. Most insurers offer 5%-10% off the cost of collision coverage for cars with ABS.
If your car does not have anti-lock brakes, you may want to invest in them for safety’s sake. While this discount is unlikely to save you more than $50-$100 a year in coverage, it can make your time behind the wheel much safer. Insurance companies offering anti-lock brake discounts include Geico, Nationwide, and Farmers.
Passive Restraint Equipment
Passive restraint equipment includes seat belts and front airbags. While all cars made since 1983 include passive restraint systems, it’s always important to make sure your insurance company includes this discount in your quote. Passive restraint equipment discounts result in 25%-30% savings on your personal injury protection and medical payments coverage costs.
Qualifying for a passive restraint equipment discount means providing information on the year, make, and model of your car. Some insurers also want documentation stating all equipment is in working order at the time the quote is given. These devices have been shown repeatedly to save lives, so it’s in your best interest to make sure they function properly. Insurance companies offering passive restraint equipment discounts include Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm.
Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
Recent studies show that daytime running lights, like nighttime running lights, create safer driving environments and minimize wrecks. Because of this, some insurers now offer discounts for cars equipped with DRLs. Because DRLs are not mandatory, your auto insurer may not offer this discount or, if they do, may not include it on a quote by default. Your car must have this feature rather than you simply leaving your lights on at all times.
If your car does not come equipped with DRLs, it’s likely not worth having them installed. Most insurers provide 3%-5% off the cost of car insurance premiums except for comprehensive coverage. Insurance companies offering a daytime running lights discount include State Farm, Allstate, and Geico.
Status-based Discounts: Can You Save?
Many insurance companies offer discounts based on factors like profession, age, or accomplishment. Qualifying for these types of discounts reduces your insurance premium costs and keeps more money in your bank account. See if you qualify for any available discounts listed in this section.
If you work for a large employer, chances are they maintain some type of partnership or affiliation with companies offering affinity services and discounts, such as for car insurance. Also, suppose you’re a member of a professional association, alumni organization, or trade group. If you are, you may also qualify for insurance discounts as part of your annual membership fee.
The discount you receive depends on the deal negotiated between the organization/employer and the insurance companies. Most are 2%-8% of the total price of your car insurance premium. Before taking out a policy on your own, see if any group you’re affiliated with offers such a discount. Insurance companies that partner with organizations to provide employee discounts include Geico, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers.
Good Grade Discounts (for Students)
Whether you’re a young driver yourself or have a high school or college student on your policy, you know that insurance rates for individuals under 25 years old can be steep. To help reduce costs, some auto insurers provide good grade or good student discounts for high schoolers and college students who maintain at least a B average.
The discount you or your child qualifies for depends on your insurance company, but some provide up to 25% off the total cost of the premium. Others provide between 5%-10%, so it’s worth shopping around. To qualify, students must be enrolled full-time and provide up-to-date, official transcripts showing their current GPAs. Insurance companies offering good grade discounts for students include Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, State Farm.
Military & Government Discounts
Recognizing the sacrifice so many have made as members of the armed forces, some insurance companies offer discounts for both active members and veterans of the military. Others also offer discounts to individuals employed by the federal government. Discounts usually cover the entire policy premium and range from 8%-15%. In the case of veterans and defense professionals, some insurance companies extend discounts to children and even grandchildren.
In addition to the biggest names in auto insurance, USAA also provides auto insurance discounts exclusively to members of the armed services and veterans. Other companies offering military and federal employee discounts include Geico, Esurance, and State Farm.
Senior Driver Discounts
Individuals over age 55 with a good driving record may qualify for senior or mature discounts. These programs reward individuals who have safely driven for decades. Most companies provide around 10% off basic liability and physical damage coverage but check with individual insurers for specifics.
While some companies offer this discount automatically, others require applicants to participate in a mature driver improvement course before qualifying. These courses can be completed online and usually take four hours. Topics covered are similar to those in a defensive driving program. Insurance companies offering senior driver discounts include Allstate, Geico, and Liberty Mutual.
Using Your Policy to Save
Aside from factors like age, type of car, and driving frequency, simple changes to your policy and how you pay it can also result in significant discounts. Check out these common policy savers to see if they are a fit for you.
Bundling Multiple Policies
Insurance companies want as much of your business as possible and recognize you could take out multiple policies with them if the price is right. Whether you need insurance as a homeowner, renter, boater, or traveler, bundling multiple types of insurance can lower your premiums on each. The discount you receive depends on the company and the type of insurance but usually falls between 5% and 25%. If you make a new purchase or need a new type of insurance, check with your insurer to see if you qualify for a further discount.
With so many insurance companies competing for your business, insurers sometimes incentivize long-term customers with loyalty discounts. While these may not result in premium discounts, they can still amount to significant savings. If you have an accident, for example, your insurer may provide accident forgiveness for the first one and not raise your rates. Loyalty incentives are often based on how long you have used a company. It’s still a good idea to shop around for new insurance occasionally to make sure you’re getting the best rates.
Paying your insurance premiums online eliminates paperwork, billing, and filing for your insurance company, allowing them to rely on digital systems to process payments. While insurance providers cannot require you to make payments online, they can incentivize you with discounts. Some insurers, like Nationwide, provide a flat rate discount of $30 for using automatic payments. Others, like Allstate, provide a percentage-based discount for setting up automatic payments and a separate discount for going paperless.
If you own your home, you may qualify for a discount on your liability, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, and physical damage auto premiums even if you don’t insure your house with the same company. Insurers like Progressive provide a 3% rate reduction for homeowners who qualify. If you decide to transfer your home insurance to the same company, you may get a second discount.
If you own more than one vehicle – either by yourself or with a spouse or dependent – you could qualify for a multi-vehicle discount by insuring them with the same company. Some insurers also allow you to take advantage of this discount with a roommate. Expect to save up to 25% on each policy, making it well worth your time to consolidate multiple auto policies under one insurer. Check with several different companies to see which one offers the highest discount.
If you can afford to pay your insurance premium in six- or 12-month installments rather than monthly, your company may give you a discount. To qualify, start your policy with a pre-payment rather than starting once you’ve had the insurance for a while. Companies usually provide a 5%-10% discount. It may not initially show up on your quote, so make clear that you’d like to pay for multiple months at once and ask how many you need to pay to qualify.
Other Discounts for Drivers Like You
Many of the discounts highlighted on this page are widely available at most of the top insurance companies. In addition to these discounts, you may also qualify for price cuts based on more unique factors. Check out these less-common discounts to see if any are a fit for you.
Away from Home Student
If your child attends college at least 100 miles away from the family home and does not take a car to school, you may qualify for an away-from-home student discount. Recognizing that learners will likely only drive when home for holidays or breaks, insurers often provide this discount. Because your insurance company may not know your child’s plans, be sure to keep them updated. Rates vary across insurance companies, but you can expect to save 5%-25% on liability coverage.
While not as common as other types of insurance discounts, some companies provide a 3%-10% discount for taking out a new policy before your current one expires. By locking in your policy for another 6-12 months, insurers know they will continue receiving your business. Different companies set different timelines for receiving this type of discount with some asking you to re-up your policy up to a month before it expires. Travelers, conversely, offers this discount if you renew at least three days before your current policy ends.
If you drive a hybrid or fully electric car, you may qualify for a discount based on your eco-friendly choices. Some insurance companies view drivers of green cars as more responsible and aware than individuals driving gas-fueled cars. These companies, therefore, assume drivers of green cars are less risky to insure. Not all insurers offer green car discounts, though, so you’ll need to do your research and decide if this discount of 5%-10% makes your insurance more affordable. Liberty Mutual currently offers this type of discount.
You may have noticed that insurers ask whether your car stays in a garage when you’re at home or work, and there’s a reason for this. If your car is protected from the elements when not in use, it’s less likely to be damaged by weather or side-mirror swipes than if it’s parked on a busy road. It’s also less likely to be vandalized or stolen when inside a secured structure. This discount may only net about 5% off your comprehensive and collision insurance, but it’s still worth asking about.
While this may not net a specific percentage discount, almost all insurance companies base the premium you pay on your credit score. Raising your credit score through healthy spending habits and on-time payments can lower your premium over time. If you’re in the process of trying to get your credit score higher, ask your insurer to check your score periodically and see how it affects your premium.