No matter what company you're insured under or how much your current car insurance policy costs, you should always ask about discounts you can apply to your premium. More than likely, you already qualify for a few savings.

You can receive up to hundreds of dollars off your premium for a variety of reasons. Some notable discounts include:

Safe driver discounts

Discount Companies offering the discount
Accident-free American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Defensive driving American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Seat belt GEICO, State Farm

A driver who has little history of traffic violations or car accidents is less likely to be involved in them down the road. Safe drivers put an insurer's mind at ease and lessen the chance that the company will have to pay out claims.

Car insurance discounts based on driving history include:

  1. Accident-free discount Do you have a perfect driving record? Insurance companies will love you! If you have an accident-free driving record, you could pay less, other things being equal.
  2. Defensive driving course discount: Don’t be shy if you graduate from an accredited defensive driving course. You could receive a car insurance discount as a result. Be aware, however, some companies only offer this discount if you're over the age of 55.
  3. Seat belt use discount: Encourage yourself and your passengers to always wear seat belts. Some companies may offer you a discount off of medical payments coverage or personal injury protection.

Student discounts

Discount Companies offering the discount
Good student American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Away at school American Family, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, State Farm
Young volunteer American Family

Some insurance companies offer discounts to customers who get good grades or are leaders in their fields. This is because being a responsible student or volunteering to assist the community indicates maturity. Here are a few discounts students can qualify for:

  1. Good student discount: Keep your grades up and your rates down. Carriers usually look for a "B" (or 3.0 GPA) average or better, but some insurers will also accept a "B-" (or 2.7 GPA). This can apply to high school and university students, as long as you're under the age of 25.
  2. Away at school discount: Students who are away at school more than 100 miles from home sometimes stow their car for the semester. If this sounds like you, you might qualify for a discount.
  3. Young volunteer discount: Insurers attempt to promote community engagement by sponsoring local teams, donating to charity and encouraging others to volunteer for good causes. Drivers under the age of 25 who have dedicated more than 40 hours a year to a nonprofit organization can qualify for a small discount.

Affinity group, professional and club membership discounts

Discount Companies offering the discount
Affinity group Farmers, GEICO, Travelers
Organization or club membership Contact your insurer

Certain clubs and organizations that forge long-term partnerships with insurers can secure rate discounts.

  1. Affinity group discount: This discount is often extended to engineers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, government officials and other such professionals. If you're insured under GEICO, for instance, check to see if you're in one of the 500 eligible organizations that can receive a discount.
  2. Organization or club membership discount: Many club memberships and organizations, including alumni groups, qualify you for a car insurance discount. A few examples: AAA, MENSA, and even fraternities and sororities.

Veteran and military discounts

Discount Companies offering the discount
Military Liberty Mutual, GEICO
Emergency deployment GEICO
  1. Military discount: Those who are active duty or retired from the military qualify for savings from multiple insurance companies. In some cases, these discounts can also apply to family members as well.
  2. Emergency deployment discount: Military members who are scheduled to be deployed in the near future should contact their insurance companies to see if they can qualify for this discount.

Vehicle equipment discount

Discount Companies offering the discount
Alternative fuel Farmers (only in California), Liberty Mutual
Electronic stability control Farmers, Liberty Mutual
Anti-lock brakes American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Anti-theft American Family, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Passive restraint American Family, Allstate, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm
Utility vehicle USAA

Insurance carriers encourage people to buy certain types of vehicles because they’re involved in fewer accidents. Drivers are encouraged to invest in certain safety features for similar reasons.

You can also be rewarded for purchasing cars and features that don’t necessarily reduce their on-road risks. One example is the discount that often comes along with buying an eco-friendly vehicle.

Here are some of the discounts insurance companies commonly offer to people who buy specific types of cars, or cars with certain features:

  1. Alternative fuel discount: Let your insurer know if you drive a hybrid, electric, ethanol or flex-fuel vehicle. It may cut your bill as a result.
  2. Electronic stability control (ESC) discount: ESC systems automatically divert power from wheels with reduced traction. They also adjust wheel power to prevent rollover or skidding. This can help you retain control of your vehicle in dangerous situations.
  3. Anti-lock brake discount: Vehicles that stop faster and more efficiently are safer and cheaper to insure.
  4. Anti-theft discount: Devices like Onestar, LoJack and Teletrac Navman help prevent car theft and help law enforcement officers recover stolen vehicles. They also lower your risk of filing a stolen car claim, something many insurance providers reward with better rates.
  5. Passive restraint discount: Passive restraint is any safety device that activates automatically. The most common passive restraint device is an airbag. This helps prevent or reduce injuries associated with severe braking or collisions. Features that prevent or reduce injuries keep medical costs down and usually keep insurance costs down, too.
  6. Utility vehicle discount: Many utility vehicles qualify for discounts, especially when they’re used for work transportation purposes.

If your vehicle has some of these safety features and your insurer doesn’t give you a discount for them, shop around. Click here to compare auto insurance quotes that include safety discounts so you can get the best rates and coverage.

Special circumstances discounts

Certain driving tendencies may reduce your overall risk and often result in a car insurance discount, including:

  1. Telematics device discounts: Insurers like Progressive and Allstate may give you a discount if you connect a telematics device to your vehicle's onboard computer. Cars made after 1996 have integrated computer systems that monitor aspects like acceleration, speed, braking and turning. Safe drivers can prove their daily good behavior with data that are transmitted to the device.
  2. Days per week driven discount: Insurance providers typically give people who rarely use their cars small discounts because they’re less likely to be in an accident. Discounts can apply for one to four days of driving per week.
  3. Low-mileage discount: Do you drive less than 10,000 miles a year? That could help you save money on car insurance. Companies like Metromile combine this concept with telematics. Metromile customers only pay for the number of miles they drive in a month, which can earn them deep discounts.

Bundling and loyalty discounts

Discount Companies offering the discount
Multi-car Most insurance companies
Bundle Most insurance companies
Long-term policyholder American Family, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, USAA
Generational American Family

Two ways you can save your insurer money — and get a discount — are to bundle policies and stay loyal to your insurer. Here are some specific discounts and what you need to do to earn them:

  1. Multi-car discount: If you drive two or more cars, or if your family owns multiple vehicles, you can qualify for a better rate if you put all of them on the same policy. You must insure at least two of those vehicles under the same insurer.
  2. Home and Car Discount: Buy your home, renters or condo insurance from the company that provides your car insurance and you may receive a discount on both
  3. Car and Life Discount: Providers that write life insurance policies typically grant discounts if you bundle your life and car coverage together
  4. Long-term policyholder discount: Loyalty means a lot to some companies. If you stick with one company for a long period of time, request a discount.
  5. Generational discount: Have a parent or family member who is insured under the same insurer as you? Contact your insurer to see if you can get a generational discount.

Other discounts

Discount Companies offering the discount
New car Allstate, GEICO, USAA
Paid in full Allstate, American Family, Liberty Mutual, Progressive
Electronic funds transfer American Family, Liberty Mutual, Progressive
Paperless Allstate, American Family, Liberty Mutual, Progressive
Early bird Allstate, American Family, Liberty Mutual
  1. New car discount: Modern cars periodically get upgraded safety features that can protect you from accidents. As a result, insurers reward customers with newer vehicles.
  2. Paid-in-full discount: Paying for your policy in full instead of breaking it up into incremental payments may qualify you for a discount.
  3. Advance renewal discount: If you renew your policy 10 or more days before it runs out, you keep your insurance carrier from having to do a lot of extra paperwork. They may thank you with a discount of as much as 8%.
  4. Electronic funds transfer discount: Link your premium payment to a payment card and you can save big. Car insurance companies like it when you do this because it ensures your premiums will be paid.
  5. 55 and retired discount: Retirees generally drive less and drive safely. If you're retired, ask for a discount.
  6. Paperless discount: Printing and mailing out bills adds to administrative costs. Enroll in an e-delivery of your policy document and receipt to save on costs.
  7. Early bird discount: Drivers who are currently insured under another company and decide to switch seven days before their policy period ends may be rewarded for their planning and initiative.

Why do insurance companies give discounts?

Insurance companies give discounts as a way of rewarding drivers, competing against other companies and promoting their presence.

Rates are based on the amount of risk assumed to cover a driver. Companies take risk into consideration because safe drivers tend to file fewer claims. Proving that you’re a low-risk driver by installing anti-theft devices or attending defensive driving classes can result in lower premiums. Insurers also notice that drivers with certain histories, backgrounds and habits are less likely to file claims than those without those features.

Additionally, insurance companies are an integral part of the communities they serve, so many of them want to be involved in activities that benefit those communities. Stellar students, industry professionals and certain club members all receive discounts as a way of insurers to boost their engagement with the community.

What are other ways you can save on car insurance?

Aside from taking advantage of car insurance discounts, there are four steps we recommend you take to save money on your car insurance premiums:

Compare car insurance rates from multiple companies. The difference between the most expensive car insurance quote and the cheapest quote can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Continuously evaluate your policy to see if you still need certain coverages. Your driving habits will undoubtedly change over time. If you are rarely driving or have your car in storage, it probably doesn't make sense to pay for coverages you aren't using. Drivers who fall into this category should assess if they are spending on unnecessary protection.

Cut administrative costs as much as possible. Another way to qualify for discounts is to reduce your insurer’s administrative costs. A few examples include:

  • Automatic payments
  • Bundling insurance policies
  • Going paperless
  • Paying for six months or a year’s worth of coverage at one time

Improve some of the factors that affect your premium rates. Insurers take a number of factors into consideration, including your accident history, credit score, age, location and vehicle. If any of these factors change, contact your insurer to get a new quote estimate. Based on our analysis, improving your credit score from worst to excellent can save you an average $1,882 a year.

What do you need to know about car insurance discounts?

Discounts usually aren't automatically applied. You should ask your insurance agent for details. Before you contact an insurer to discuss rates and discounts, keep a few things in mind:

  • Certain discounts apply to certain types of policies and coverages, and not necessarily any policy.
  • Discounts can have a limit. Some companies do not allow you to stack certain discounts on top of other discounts. Additionally, some companies allow discounts only up until a certain percentage point.
  • Insurers may have restrictions on which states offer certain discounts.
  • State law may require your insurer to automatically place discounts on your plan. For example, New York requires auto insurance companies to give you a 10% discount for three years if you've completed a defensive driving course. LLC has made every effort to ensure that the information on this site is correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is free of inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. All content and services provided on or through this site are provided "as is" and "as available" for use. LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or to the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk.