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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 auto insurance discounts among large car insurance companies. 

Our car insurance discounts tool identifies your potential discounts based on your personal factors and where you live.

Average discounts

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)

  • Student away at school — 14%
  • Bundling auto and home — 11%
  • Bundling auto and condo — 10%
  • Good student — 7%
  • Bundling auto and rental — 5%
  • Defensive driving course — 4%
  • Married — 3%
  • Loyalty — 3-4% depending on years
  • Telematics — 3%
  • Homeowner — 2%
  • Low-mileage — 2%
  • Driver training — 1%
  • Anti-lock brakes — 1%
  • Airbags — 1%

Shop around to save on auto insurance

Auto insurance discounts vary by company and state. One company may offer a 10 percent discount on bundled policies in one state, but might provide a 15 percent discount in another state. 

Even within states and companies you can find big differences. So, it’s critical that you compare multiple insurers and policies. Get a quote for the same type of policy with all of the discounts for which you’re eligible. 

Let’s look at the differences for low-annual mileage discounts in California for six companies. Overall, auto insurance policies in California average more than a 9 percent discount for low-annual mileage discounts. That’s an average of $182 per policy. That’s much more generous than the average national low-annual mileage discount (2.2 percent).

Here’s how six companies compare for low-mileage discounts in California: 

 Company    Avg premium before discount  Avg discount by dollars  Avg discount by percent Average premium after discount
 Allstate   $1,794   $133   7.4%  $1,661
 AMCO     $1,995   $247   12.4%  $1,748
 Farmers   $2,358   $264   11.2%  $2,094
 GEICO    $1,354   $76   5.4%  $1,278  
 State Farm   $2,174   $235   10.8%  $1,939
 United Financial   $1,527   $137   9%  $1,390

As you can see from this example, AMCO has the largest average low-annual mileage discounts in Calfornia. However, GEICO and United Financial have lower overall auto insurance premiums. 

Now, let’s look at the differences by company for a bundling discount in Texas. Homeowners can save by bundling their home policy with their auto policy. Here’s how much you would save by company.

Here are how companies compare for bundling discounts in Texas: 

 Company    Avg premium before discount  Avg discount by dollars  Avg discount by percent Average premium after discount
 Allstate   $2,903   $384   13.2%  $2,520
 GEICO    $1,626   $42   2.6%  $1,584
 Nationwide   $1,922   $132   6.7%  $1,790
 Progressive   $2,102   $283   13.5%  $1,819 
 State Farm   $1,352   $179   13.3%  $1,172

Similar to the California example, GEICO has the lower overall rates for Texas, but the smallest discount. 

These examples are why it’s vital that you shop around and just don’t rely on the number of discounts. Instead, take everything into account and the final premium costs. 

Ways to save on auto insurance

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.
author image
Penny Gusner
Contributor

 
  

Penny is an expert on insurance procedures, rates, policies and claims. She has extensive knowledge of all major insurance lines -- auto, homeowners, life and health insurance. She has been answering consumers’ questions as an analyst for more than 15 years and has been featured in numerous major media outlets, including the Washington Post and Kiplinger’s.

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