Even though drivers in North Carolina rank at the very bottom of the list of states whose insurance companies offer discounts, it’s worth asking for these discounts the next time you’re up for renewal.
The average American car insurance bill is $762 per year, according to a recent Bankrate.com survey. The biggest discounts in the U.S. are found in Missouri, where 33% of their residents qualify to receive discounts (only 13% of NC drivers are eligible).
The good news is that you can receive car insurance discounts no matter where you live.
The most common discounts…and the ones that most of us have heard about…including those for having a home policy with the same company, being a good student, paying all of most of the bill upfront, being married and taking a driver training course, an Insure.com survey revealed.
There are more discounts that, though less common, which still can produce significant savings if you know what to ask. You should call and ask about specific discounts when you are looking for a new policy, and if you already have one, you should ask annually. People should also ask about discounts after a major life event, like a divorce or a shortened work commute.
Here are 10 little-known discounts:
- Automatic Bank Draft Payments: Because your insurance company wants payment in full and on time, most companies offer a discount to drivers who sign up for automatic bank drafts. You could save as much as 4% by asking for this option.
- Low Annual Mileage: Consumers who drive the fewest miles (typically under 12,000 miles per year) may be eligible for the largest discounts. Almost 15% of the companies surveyed offer a low mileage discount with savings of up to 11%.
- Additional Insurance Programs: Most policyholders know that they will get an auto insurance discount by purchasing a homeowner’s insurance policy with the same company, buying life insurance from the same company can have the same effect. The discount is around 4%, with nearly 37% of surveyed companies offering a ‘bundled’ discount.
- Limited Use: People who use their car primarily for specific uses like farming, who mainly drives his truck around his farm, will get the steepest discounts. Roughly 40% of surveyed companies offered this discount with an average savings of 10%.
- Customer Loyalty: The insurance industry is known for rewarding customer loyalty. Companies give discounts to consumers who have been customers for as little as a year. More than 35% of insurance companies surveyed offered loyalty discounts with an average savings of 6%.
- Home Ownership: People who own their homes, condos or apartments will save an average of 6% off car insurance. Insurance companies offer this deal nearly 20% of the time.
- Short Commute: People who commute less than average (less than 10 miles) to work can usually save money. One in five of the surveyed insurance companies offered this discount with an average savings of 4%.
- Shorter Work Week: For people who don’t commute every day, companies offer a discount of up to 8%. The shorter your workweek, the more you save. The average savings is 4%.
- Higher Education: Only 6% of companies offer a higher education discount for earning a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. degree. Some insurance companies offer discounts for completion of vocational or technical school. The average savings is 4%.
- Renew in Advance: More 25% of the insurance companies surveyed offered a discount to those who renew in advance of the end date of the policy and receive nearly 8% savings on average.