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More ways to get cheap car insurance

In an effort to compete for your business, car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts that can seriously reduce your premium. Make certain you compare car insurance quotes from several companies to take advantage of all the discounts for which you qualify.

cheap car insuranceAuto insurance companies typically give a discount if you:

  • Had no accidents or tickets in the last three to five years
  • Buy a home insurance or renters insurance policy with them (bundled discount)
  • Insure more than one car on your auto insurance policy (multi-vehicle discount)
  • Own a car that is equipped with air bags and other safety features. 

But some companies will reward you for your profession, your age, your annual mileage, your loyalty, and using the Internet to buy your policy.

Digging deeper for car insurance discounts

Progressive Insurance is known for advertising its numerous discounts. If you have more than one car, buy insurance on your home, boat, and other property, you qualify for discounts. You can also qualify for discounts based on the amount of miles you drive, if you’re a student, the type of coverage you choose and more.

Insurers also offer programs that give you discounts based on your driving habits. 

Many car insurance companies will also give you a discount if you pay your bill in one lump sum (versus monthly payments) and if you buy your policy online. 

Teachers get good rates

Are you a teacher with a good driving record? Besides offering discounts on car insurance rates for teachers, Horace Mann Insurance also waives the deductible for covered vandalism losses on or near school property or at school-sponsored events (assuming they buy comprehensive coverage). These are just a few perks offered through the insurer’s Educator Advantage program.

How much can you save for being a teacher? The average teacher discount is $34 or 2 percent off the average car insurance policy. It's not a huge discount, but when coupled with others can make a dent in your bill. 

Other professions that often get discounts include lawyers, scientists, engineers, doctors, firefighters, and police officers. Here is the average percentage discount for each:

  • Lawyer -- 2.3%
  • Scientist -- 2.4%
  • Engineer -- 2.4%
  • Doctor -- 2.2%
  • Firefighter -- 1.9%
  • Police officer -- 1.7%

Not all insurers offer these discounts. Others offer even higher discounts. Make sure to ask about these discounts when getting quotes. 

Military car insurance discounts

GEICO offers up to a 15 percent discount to active and retired members of the military, including those in the National Guard or Reserves, depending upon the state in which you reside. GEICO has always taken pride in serving U.S. military personnel and their families.

If you’re serving overseas, you could qualify for the insurer’s Emergency Deployment Discount. It’s offered to military personnel who are deployed into imminent danger. If you store your vehicle under one of GEICO’s approved storage plans, you might qualify for steep discounts during your time serving our country overseas.

Bundle your home and auto policies

One of the bigger discounts you can receive is by bundling your home and auto. All that means is you get your insurance from the same company. 

Here are the average savings for bundling your auto with other types of polices:

  • Bundling with home -- 11.4%
  • Bundling with condo -- 9.6%
  • Bundling with renters -- 5%
  • Bundling with life -- 2%

Those are just averages. You can find insurance companies that often even higher bundling discounts. 

Let your kids help you with discounts

Adding a teen driver to your policy can double or triple your rates. However, their academics can help reduce the impact. 

Insurers offer good student discounts. They also often provide huge discounts when your college-aged student is attending college away from home. Insurance companies don't expect a student living elsewhere to use your car much. Hence, the lower rates. 

Here are the average discounts for each:

  • Good student -- 7%
  • Student away from home -- 14.4%

So, a student living on campus who is also on the dean's list can lead to much lower auto insurance rates. 

Auto insurance savings for safe drivers and safe cars

Many car insurance companies will also reward you for being a good driver and if you own a vehicle that it considers safe.

Allstate Insurance rewards its customers who have an accident-free driving record with discounts.  It offers a “safe driving bonus check,” which entitles its customers to a 5 percent discount on their premium for every six months of accident-free driving.

But even those that have an accident, Allstate will often “forgive” the first accident, without increasing car insurance rates.

In addition, the type of vehicle you drive can save you money as well. Vehicles with safety systems, such as air bags and passive restraints, anti-lock brakes, and anti-theft systems can drive your auto insurance policy cost even lower.

If you choose to take a defensive driving course — one that is not required by the courts — you can save even more. There are also special discounts based on the age of the driver, how the vehicle is used, the grade point average of student drivers, and more.

Drive toward the discounts in your golden years

Remember when a nickel was worth a dime? If so, you're probably eligible for some deep discounts on your auto insurance. The Hartford's AARP Auto Insurance Program offers AARP members the chance to chop their auto insurance bills by hundreds of dollars.   

Through its AARP Automobile Insurance Program, The Hartford offers AARP members up to a 25 percent discount for insuring multiple cars on one policy, and a 10 percent discount for holding both a homeowners and auto insurance policy with The Hartford.      

The Hartford also  assures drivers in most states who buy auto insurance through the AARP Automobile Insurance Program that they will not have their policies canceled except for nonpayment of premium, serious motor vehicle  violations (such as reckless driving or a DUI conviction), or loss of license.      

cheap car insuranceSafety training leads to discounts with MetLife

Eligible drivers can save up to 7 percent on MetLife Auto policies if they successfully complete certain driver safety courses, such as those offered by the National Safety Council (NSC).

You can purchase MetLife’s 90-minute NSC Driver Safety Course in two formats: DVD or online. The cost for either format is $19.95, plus shipping and handling.

Other eligible drivers in your household can also earn the discount by successfully completing the course.

Ask about discounts when shopping for insurance

When getting quotes, ask each insurer about its discounts. Don't rely on the insurer to offer the list. Instead, ask for all of them.

Discounts are important, but also make sure not get blinded by them. Some insurers like GEICO usually don't offer large discounts. However, that insurer has lower base rates, so you would still pay less for getting a policy with that company. 

Make sure to get apples-to-apples comparisons and figure out which company is better for you. 

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