The Biggest Car Insurance Discounts

A survey of the ten largest auto insurers reveals some surprising breaks.

The discounts can vary a lot by company and state. BankRate.com just surveyed the ten largest auto insurance companies about their discounts, and some of the breaks are surprising. Ask about available discounts when you’re shopping around for coverage or if you’re planning to buy a new car. And let your insurer or agent know when you have a life change, such as getting married or moving to a new neighborhood or city. A change may lower your premiums.

You may get a break for taking a defensive driver course (although some insurers offer these discounts only to senior drivers or teenagers). If your child is a full-time student, maintaining at least a B average in high school or college, a discount of about 15% is typical. Most insurers give you a discount if your child moves more than 100 miles away from home for college and doesn’t take a car, but the insurer will still provide coverage while your child is home for vacations.

Your occupation can make a difference. Several insurers offer discounts for members of the military, and some have special breaks for certain jobs (such as teachers) or members of certain groups (such as alumni associations). And the way you pay can make a difference: Most of the insurers surveyed offer a discount for paying your premium in a lump sum rather than monthly, and for paperless billing and automatic payments.

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