Unexpected Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates

how to lower your auto insurance

Driving a car nowadays comes with so many costs that some people would rather take public transportation than pay for gas, maintenance, and other associated expenses. One of the most notorious expenses drivers hate is auto insurance. Unfortunately, if you want to operate a vehicle in most states, you have to at least carry liability coverage.

The good news is there are a number of options available to lower the cost of coverage — some many people are already aware of and others that may not be as well known, but are just as effective. So before you pay your next auto insurance premium, take time to examine some of the most unexpected auto insurance discounts out there.

Knowing How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Is Important

It’s essential to learn how to lower your auto insurance expenses. According to a recent study conducted by AAA, the cost to own and operate a car in the United States jumped in 2012 by 1.9 percent.

Putting gas in the tank of a medium-sized sedan is now 59.6 cents per mile, or $8,946 per year, while the price of tires increased by 4.2 percent and maintenance costs by 0.67 percent. As for insurance, AAA estimated that the average cost for a sedan is up 3.4 percent to $1,001 per year.

With other costs in your life to consider, it’s not easy to factor in the cost of coverage, which is why some people like to chance it by going without. But believe it or not, failing to carry at least liability insurance could result in a slew of costs if you’re ever in a car accident.

Realizing that avoiding insurance is not the way to go means it’s up to you to learn how to lower your auto insurance costs. Luckily, there are tons of ways to keep your auto insurance rates low — even some you would never expect.

5 Auto Insurance Discounts You Would Never Expect

When it comes to auto insurance discounts, most people are aware of the more common types, including the multi-policy discount, good student discount, and online discount. But there are other great ways to reduce your auto insurance costs. Here are five to watch out for:

The Occupation Discount

Depending on your occupation, you may be able to receive an auto insurance discount. Some companies offer reduced premium costs for being dentists, doctors, teachers, registered nurses, firefighters, engineers, scientists, police officers, and the list goes on.

While many insurance companies ask your occupation when signing up for coverage and automatically apply a discount at that time, it’s definitely worth inquiring to see if you can save a bit on your coverage thanks to your occupation.

The Military Discount

Individuals who serve the country in the armed services may be able to receive a discount. For example, Geico offers up to 15 percent off for members of the military or National Guard. Also, college students involved in a commission program like ROTC may be eligible for savings.

College “Greek” Discount

If you belong to a college fraternity or sorority, you may be surprised to learn that your benefits extend beyond fun parties, networking opportunities and reunions with your alumni friends. A number of insurance companies offer auto coverage discounts to individuals who proudly wear their Greek letters. So ask your chapter president, or call your insurance company for more details.

Switch Companies Early

Did you know that some insurance companies reward consumers who make the switch from another company to theirs prior to the renewal date? Not all companies follow this guideline, but if you’ve been thinking about jumping ship, it’s a good move to make, largely because companies don’t penalize customers for ending their coverage before their term ends.

Insure with Your Partner

You may be able to reduce your auto insurance rates once you get married. Insurance company statistics show that drivers who are a part of a couple often tend to be safer behind the wheel. Some companies also extend discounts to unmarried opposite sex and same-sex couples who insure their vehicles together, so take time to learn whether your company can save you and your partner some cash.

Other Ways to Save Money on Auto Insurance

If, for some reason, you find that you don’t qualify for one of the above discounts, there are other ways to save money on auto insurance. Here is a quick list of options to consider:

  • Raise your deductible: If you want to decrease your car insurance premium, one option to consider is raising your deductible. For instance, if you currently pay a $500 deductible, consider increasing it to $1,000, which will, in turn, lower your premium costs. Of course, if you take this route, be sure to have that deductible money sitting around in case you need it.
  • Pay as you drive: Another way to lower your coverage costs is to take advantage of the pay as you drive (PAYD) discount. To receive this discount, you have to agree to have your driving behaviors monitored by your insurer, usually via a tracking device. If your company decides you have good driving behavior and don’t spend a lot of time on the road, you could save as much as 50 percent on your coverage.
  • Increase your credit score: Many people don’t realize that their credit score is directly linked to their auto insurance premium. Companies review an insurance score, which is determined by your credit score, to decide how much of a financial risk you are. So if you want to lower your insurance rates, work on improving your credit.

Of course, one of the best ways to save money on auto insurance is to shop around with different companies. Insurers very often offer fantastic rates and unique auto insurance discounts, but it’s hard to know about them if you don’t request quotes. If you’re bummed about the premiums you’re paying for coverage, be sure to explore the many ways you can reduce your auto insurance costs.