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Insider’s guide to discounts: The biggest savings, the best states to get them

One way auto insurance companies compete for your business is by offering an array of discounts.

With the wide range of discounts available, chances are you’re eligible for at least a discount or two. But how much can you really save? We decided to find out. In an extensive study, we gathered price breaks for 49 discounts in every state among large car insurance companies. In all, we looked at 24,988 potential discounts nationwide. We were able to determine the most common discounts, the biggest savers, and the states where you’re most likely to find discounts.

Use our car insurance discounts tool to identify your potential discounts based on your personal factors and where you live.

Missouri and Connecticut have the most available discounts

State rankings: Availability of 49 common discounts

Rank

State

Discounts

1

Missouri

33.1%

2

Connecticut

32.6%

3

Indiana

32.3%

4

Wisconsin

32.1%

5

Iowa

31.7%

6

Kansas

31.3%

7

Oklahoma

31.1%

8

Nebraska

30.2%

9

Pennsylvania

30.1%

10

Kentucky

30.1%

11

Ohio

30.0%

12

Arizona

29.9%

13

Alabama

29.8%

14

Colorado

29.7%

15

Maryland

29.2%

15

South Carolina

29.2%

17

New Mexico

29.2%

18

Oregon

28.6%

19

Florida

28.4%

20

Tennessee

28.4%

21

Illinois

28.2%

22

Maine

28.2%

23

Arkansas

28.2%

24

California

28.1%

25

Minnesota

28.0%

26

New Hampshire

27.8%

27

North Dakota

27.4%

28

Nevada

27.3%

29

Mississippi

27.2%

30

West Virginia

27.0%

31

Georgia

26.8%

31

Utah

26.8%

31

Virginia

26.8%

34

Idaho

26.7%

35

Washington

26.4%

36

Delaware

25.8%

37

Alaska

25.2%

38

South Dakota

23.7%

39

Montana

23.5%

40

New Jersey

23.5%

41

Washington, D.C.

23.3%

42

Wyoming

23.0%

43

Rhode Island

22.9%

44

Texas

22.1%

45

Louisiana

21.4%

46

Vermont

21.2%

47

Michigan

20.9%

48

Massachusetts

20.5%

49

New York

20.3%

50

Hawaii

14.5%

51

North Carolina

13.2%

While you might expect car insurers to offer the same discounts in every state, they don’t.

Missouri and Connecticut came out on top, with savings available 33 percent of the time across the range of 49 discounts surveyed. But many states were very close – see the list at right.

Hawaii and North Carolina have the lowest availability among the discounts we surveyed, at 14 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Go big or go home

A few discounts stand out as often being big money-savers. Discounts based on being a good student, marital status and low annual mileage ranked highest for average percent off, when offered. But discounts vary considerably; we observed discounts much higher (some topping 25 percent) and some much lower than the averages shown below.

Average discount savings (nationwide)

  • Good Student - 16%
  • Marital Status - 14%
  • Annual Mileage - 11%
  • Use of Car - 10%
  • Concurrent Home Policy - 9%
  • Payment Type - 9%
  • Days Advanced Purchase - 8%
  • Driver Training - 7%
  • Residence Type/Occupancy - 6%
  • Persistency/Renewal Months - 6%
  • Concurrent Life Policy - 4%
  • Electronic Funds Transfer - 4%
  • Attained Degree - 4%
  • Vehicle Ownership - 4%
  • One-Way Commute - 4%
  • Days Per Week Driven - 4%

We also looked at which discounts are the most commonly available. Good student discounts and buying a homeowners, renters or condo insurance policy from the same company are the most likely to yield savings.

The most common discounts & percent of time offered:

  • Good Student - 77%
  • Concurrent Home Policy - 68%
  • Payment Type - 46%
  • Marital Status - 41%
  • Driver Training - 41%
  • Use of Car - 40%
  • Concurrent Life Policy - 37%
  • Persistency/Renewal Months - 36%
  • Electronic Funds Transfer - 34%
  • Days Advanced Purchase - 26%
  • One-Way Commute - 22%
  • Residence Type/Occupancy  - 21%
  • Annual Mileage - 13%
  • Days Per Week Driven - 8%
  • Vehicle Ownership-  7%
  • Attained Degree - 6%

Ready to save money? Keep in mind these common wrinkles:

  • Some insurers cap your discount, so while you may be “eligible” for more savings, you won’t get it all.
  • Discounts may apply only to a portion of your car insurance bill, not to your total premium.
  • Insurers have different eligibility rules for discounts. For example, check with your insurer on its definition of a “good student” before you count on savings. And a good student discount is often available only to drivers under age 25.

Start finding your car insurance discounts.

Methodology

Insure.com ran “base rates” for several carriers in each state for a 25-year-old single male driver with a high school degree, among other attributes. We then changed one parameter in the driver’s profile and ran the new rate – for example, we made him married, or a homeowner or a loyal customer. (Good student rates were run for age 18.) We then calculated the percentage difference between the two rates to determine the real-life discounts.

car insurance discount tool 
Use Insure.com's discount tool to find your own potential savings.

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