Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2020

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Next to health insurance, car insurance is one of the largest purchases a typical American family will make each year. While the average cost of an auto policy has gradually been dropping in recent years, car insurance is still an expensive proposition in most areas of the country.

Before buying or renewing an auto policy, the vast majority of motorists will actively be looking for ways to save money on their annual premiums.

Find every discount offered by your local car insurance providers quickly and easily, just by putting your ZIP in the FREE box on this page!

Like most retail or service businesses, car insurance providers offer a variety of discounts. There are, of course, discounts available for a company’s best customers, as well as discounts offered to the safest drivers.

Beyond these basics, however, most insurance companies have begun to offer additional discount incentives, designed to both attract new customers and maintain their current customer base.

Some Unusual Car Insurance Discounts

The Penny Hoarder blog was founded by Kyle Taylor, a young entrepreneur who has grown up clipping coupons and searching for ways to pinch pennies on most any kind of purchase.

His site features articles ranging from saving money on groceries to small, home-based, money-making businesses like reselling used books.

In a recently published article by the Penny Hoarder blog, the author focuses on unusual ways to save money on car insurance.

The Penny Hoarder blog provides readers with solid information and tips on where to find car insurance discounts and how much you are likely to save.

The Penny Hoarder suggests that mentioning your occupation can lead to big savings on your auto premiums. Insurance companies follow trends and constantly gather statistical data.

Careful analysis of this data will determine if members of certain professions are more or less likely to be involved in traffic accidents.

Members of the teaching, accounting, and engineering professions are less likely to be involved in an accident than say, outside sales professionals or delivery drivers.

If you are in one of the lower risk professional disciplines, make sure you mention it to your insurance provider and ask them for an appropriate discount.

Insurance companies will offer discounts of between 2% and 15% if you take the precaution of etching your vehicle’s VIN number on each window of your car. Research shows that by doing this, your vehicle is 64% less likely to be stolen.

Etching your windows should only cost about $20 and can save far more each year in reduced premiums, but you’ll need to bring it up with your insurance agent, as most won’t think to mention it.

Mention your membership in most any civic, community, or professional organization and you will likely be eligible for insurance discounts and special rates on your auto policy renewal.

National groups such as the AARP and AAA offer insurance discounts to their members, as do college alumni associations.

Many private clubs and lodges also maintain connections with auto insurance providers that offer discounted rates for members.

Most car insurance providers will discount their annual premiums by as much as 15% a year if you have recently taken a driver safety class. Most drivers know that taking a class is one way to reduce or eliminate the points from a traffic violation, but many don’t know realize that you can benefit financially from taking safety classes without having committed a traffic offense.

Many new and younger drivers are just discovering the discount benefits available to them for getting good grades in school.

In general, maintaining a B average or better in your high school or college studies can qualify you for a 10% to 15% discount on car insurance.

This is also good news for moms and dads, as most students begin their driving careers on their parents’ policies.

If you don’t plan on driving very often, some auto insurers will discount your annual premiums. The more you drive, the more likely you will get into an accident, get a traffic ticket, or have to file an insurance claim for some other reason.

Drive less and your insurance company may reward you with lower rates.

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Car Insurance Rates Vary from State to State

Moving to a state with lower car insurance prices is yet another way to save money on your annual car insurance premium.

While most consumers wouldn’t take such a drastic step just to save a few dollars on car insurance, there can be very large differences from state to state in the cost of an annual auto policy.

According to the NAIC, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, North Dakota has the lowest annual average cost for basic auto liability coverage in the United States, at just $512.

This is about half of the cost of insurance in higher priced states like Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Florida. Washington D.C. ranks Number One, with basic liability coverage costing an average of $1,140 per year.

On average, auto premiums are much higher if more than minimum liability coverage is purchased.

Most experts agree that motorists should be fully insured against most any mishap, so they recommend liability coverage amounts of 100/300/100 plus collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist’s coverage.

Full coverage is highest priced in the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, and West Virginia; all averaging more than $2,000 per year, according to studies published by Forbes Magazine.

The least expensive states in which to buy full coverage include Maine, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Drivers can purchase the same policy as described above in these three states for less than $1,000 per year.

Save Money by Bargaining

Bargaining with your insurance carrier or agent will also help to keep your insurance rates in line. Insurance companies will be eager to maintain your business come renewal time, especially if you have a clean driving record and haven’t filed a claim in a while.

Don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent for a better rate or to match a quote you may have received from a competing company.

Many companies have the flexibility to match competitor’s quotes or to give premium customers–customers that have been with the company for many years–a break at renewal time.

Most insurance providers offer better rates to their list of preferred customers. When it comes time to renew, make sure you’re on that list!

More Unusual Car Insurance Discounts

Some car insurers will discount your policy premiums if you garage your vehicle or park it in a secure facility. In this way there will be less of a chance of your vehicle being vandalized, stolen, or damaged accidentally. This advice comes from the Insurance Information Institute.

Other companies will discount your family insurance plan if you monitor the comings and goings of your teenage driver. Parents who install a GPS monitoring device along with a camera can easily track the whereabouts of their sons and daughters, and help reduce the chances they’ll get into potentially hazardous situations.

The Institute advises motorists to buy their automobile coverage from the same company that carries their homeowner’s insurance and/or other insurance policies.

Most insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts for customers with two or more insurance policies. This discount extends to customers with life insurance, health, and accident and disability coverage, as well as homeowner’s coverage.

Another tip offered by the Insurance Information Institute for saving money on car insurance is to maintain good credit.

A solid credit history is yet another indication that a motorist will be less likely to get into trouble on the highway and end up filing an insurance claim.

Good credit also indicates that the policyholder will be paying his premiums on time and, therefore, is much more apt to qualify for discounted insurance rates.

While we’re talking about credit, most insurance companies add extra fees and service charges when a customer intends to make payments over time.

To get the lowest rates, pay your entire six-month or annual auto premium up front.

We mentioned above that numerous organizations offer car insurance discounts. There are also companies that offer group car insurance to members of certain organizations or employees of certain companies.

Like group life insurance, group auto coverage spreads potential claims risks over a large number of policyholders, reducing premiums for all of the group participants.

Ask for Discounts

Some insurance discounts may not be available in all states and in all market areas. The key to saving money, the I.I.I. reminds us, is not the size of a particular discount, but the final price the insurance company is going to offer you to sign on the dotted line.

If you have not had any moving violations or chargeable accidents for a number of years, you will usually qualify for the lowest tier rates an auto insurer can offer.

As mentioned above, taking a driver’s education or a defensive driving course is often the next best way to reduce your car insurance premiums.

Younger drivers who are away at school without the family car will qualify for reduced insurance rates. Other car insurance discounts you should ask for include discounts for car alarm systems and professionally installed anti-theft equipment.

Increasing your deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage will also lead to lower premiums, potentially saving big bucks, especially if you can eliminate collision coverage for an older vehicle.

Policyholders with more than one vehicle also receive significant discounts on their auto policies.

Every car insurance discount imaginable can be found when you shop online by putting your ZIP in the FREE box on this page!

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