Do All Insurers Offer the Same Discounts?

By Penny GusnerLifestyle and

Question:  Do all car insurance companies offer the same discounts?

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Answer: No. Car insurance companies don't always offer the same discounts.  The type and amount of discounts, as well as who is eligible for the discounts, varies by company.

Discounts are a way for auto insurance providers to compete and keep their current policyholders.  So, each auto insurance provider tends to have its own list of discounts it offers its policyholders.  Each company's eligibility guidelines for discounts may also vary.

State laws can dictate what discounts can be offered by auto insurance companies in that state and even mandate certain ones that must be offered, so discount lists can differ for the same insurance company by state.

Even if two car insurance companies offer the same discounts, the actual discount amount offered to motorists can vary greatly. For instance, one auto insurance provider may offer 10 percent off for a safe driver discount while another may offer 25 percent off.

And, some discounts affect a portion of your coverage while other discounts may affect the entire auto insurance premium.

For example, a low-mileage discount applies to bodily injury liability, personal injury protection (PIP), property damage liability and collision premiums with most insurers.  In comparison, an anti-theft device discount typically only applies to comprehensive coverage portion of your premium.

While not all car insurance companies offer the same discounts, there are several discounts that are popular with most auto insurance providers.  Common discounts offered include:

  • Safe driver discount: If your driving record is clear of accidents or violations for a certain number of years --typically three -- you may receive a discount.
  • Good student discount: Full-time high school and college students (under the age of 25) who maintain at least a B average, or achieve other certain academic criteria spelled out by the insurer, can receive a discount.
  • Low mileage discount: A reduced rate is offer for car owners who drive less than a specified number of miles a year (such as below 10,000 or under 7,500).
  • Anti-theft discount: If you have certain anti-theft devices or vehicle recovery devices attached to your vehicle, a discount is offered off of comprehensive coverage -- which is what covers a stolen vehicle.
  • Safety feature discount: If your vehicle has specific safety features, such as air bags or antilock brakes, insurers tend to offer a discount.
  • Multi-car discount: If you have more than one vehicle on your car insurance policy insurers will typically offer a discount.
  • Multi-policy discount: If you choose to obtain more than one policy type, such as car insurance and homeowners, with the same company you may receive a discount on both policies for “bundling” your coverages with them.
  • Renewal discount:  Maintaining coverage with the same car insurance company and renewing with them can get you a discount.

Review our car insurance discount guide for more information on how discounts are applied to your premium and a more comprehensive list of discounts that various car insurance companies offer.

There are also less common, and even odd, discounts that car insurance companies will offer to either attract certain drivers or just because some auto insurers find certain types of people “better risks”.   (See “6 weird car insurance discounts” for more information)

Several car insurance companies offer discounts to members of certain organizations, such as credit unions or alumni associations.  So always ask an insurer about these types of discounts and check the list and see if you qualify.

Since each car insurance company offers different discounts, it's important to shop around when obtaining a car insurance policy.  Ask not only what discounts are offered, but how much you'd receive off your total premium.

While discounts are a great way to reduce the cost of your car insurance policy, keep in mind that it may be possible that a car insurance company that offers fewer discounts may have a lower base rate and could actually offer you the overall cheapest car insurance rates.

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