Best car insurance discounts

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Car insurance is required by law in almost every state. With a little time, you could find the best policy with multiple car insurance discounts for your own needs.

Almost every major insurer offers multiple automobile insurance discounts and many of them are generally easy to earn. There are car insurance discounts for teachers and students. Some companies offer discounts based on good driving records and others offer discounts for carrying insurance for a specified length of time.

When looking for the cheapest car insurance company and assessing discounts, keep in mind that every policy is unique. An insurer who gave your neighbor a great rate may not be able to offer the exact same for you. There are also differences in cost depending on where you live. You should be able to find discount auto insurance that works for your own circumstances, though. For instance, if you have a perfect driving record, good driving discounts could be the best option for you. If your car is new, there may also be a discount for that.

Types of car insurance discounts

Depending on a number of factors, insurance companies probably have a discount for you. Here’s an overview of how to get discounts on car insurance.

Driver discounts

Many insurance companies offer special car insurance discounts for particular professions. Other discounts may apply to you depending on your age or your service in the military.

Best car insurance companies with discounts for teachers
If you are an educator, either in K-12 classrooms or the college campus, you may be able to find discounts from insurers, including these below:

  • Farmers — In addition to discounts for teachers, Farmers also offers occupational discounts to select groups such as doctors, RNs, police and firefighters.
  • Geico — Geico offers discounts to those in more than 500 groups they have partnered with, including professional organizations and alumni groups.
  • Liberty Mutual — Teachers could save with Liberty Mutual in several ways. If teaching materials are stolen or damaged while in your vehicle, you may be covered up to $2,500. Additionally, if your vehicle is damaged in a collision while driving for school or business, there is no deductible.

Best car insurance companies with discounts for students or young drivers
If you have young drivers in your house, you know that their insurance coverage is generally not cheap. But many insurers offer discount insurance if your teen or young adult driver earns a “B” or higher average in high school or college. Some also offer discounted insurance if your young driver is attending college more than 100 miles away without a car.

  • Allstate — You could save in multiple ways, including if you are a full-time student and get good grades, have successfully completed the company’s teenSMART driver education program and if you attend college at least 100 miles away from where your car is kept.
  • Farmers — Farmer’s young driver discounts include savings for drivers under 25 who are the child or grandchild of a policyholder, good students and students attending school at least 100 miles away that do not have regular access to the covered cars.
  • Geico — If you are a student and maintain a “B” or better average and if you have not been in an accident for the last five years, you could save up to 15%.
  • Liberty Mutual — You could save if your son or daughter has a GPA of “B” or better, or if they are away at school and only drive when they are home occasionally.
  • Nationwide — If you are a driver aged 16-24 and you maintain a “B” average, you may earn a discount from Nationwide.
  • Progressive — Progressive offers a variety of discounts for teen drivers, including one for good students and one if students participate in the Snapshot telematics program, which can also help your teen improve their driving with real-time feedback.
  • State Farm — State Farm’s offerings for young drivers are similar to most insurers: your teen or student driver could earn savings of up to 25% if they earn good grades in high school or college. It also has a discount option for students living away from home.
  • USAA — You could see a discount on your USAA policy if your teen driver takes a basic driver training course, maintains good grades or goes more than five years with no accidents.

Best car insurance companies for military personnel (active, retired and deployed)
Some insurance companies thank our military members for their service by offering a discount. These discounts may increase if you are deployed. Veterans and their families are also typically eligible for a discount.

  • Geico — Geico supports the military with up to a 15% discount for active duty and retired military members, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserves.
  • Liberty Mutual — The discount amount offered for military members varies depending on your situation, but you could save on car insurance.
  • USAA — If you are active-duty military, you could save up to 15% when your vehicle is garaged on base and up to 60% if you store your car while deployed.

Best car insurance companies for federal employees
Geico started out in business as a company solely for federal employees. Though Geico is now available to drivers nationwide, discounts of up to 12% are still available for anyone working in government at the federal level.

  • Geico — The company has an “Eagle Discount,” which may be available if you are an active or retired federal government employee, GS-7 and above.

Driver history and safety

Increasingly, companies are testing telematics technology, which uses devices or apps to monitor driving habits in real-time. A clean driving record may earn significant double-digit discounts. But even if you do not have a spotless record, you may benefit from accident forgiveness programs, low-mileage discounts or defensive driving discounts.

If you have bad credit, insurers often raise your rates as credit scores are usually used as predictors as to how a person manages their financial affairs, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The worse your credit, the more of a risk an insurer might see in insuring you.

There are many ways to increase your credit score. However, until you do, it could pay to shop around. Some insurers may be more forgiving of high-risk carriers than others and have lower rates as a result.

Best car insurance companies with discounts for safe drivers
Safe driver savings are generally a category of discount where you could save big time. If you prove you are a good driver, your insurer may give you a double-digit discount as high as 20% or more.

  • Geico — If you go for five years without an accident, you could save up to 22%. You may get a discount for seat belt use, too.
  • Liberty Mutual — There are three discounts for safe drivers: an accident-free discount, a violation-free discount and a discount for using the company’s telematics app, called RightTrack, which could save you up to 30%.
  • Nationwide — Nationwide’s safe-driving program, SmartRide, offers a 10% discount just for signing up and up to 40% if you prove to be a safe driver.
  • Progressive — The Snapshot telematics program gives Progressive a real-time picture of your driving habits. If your driving is good, you could save an average of $145, says the company.
  • State Farm — State Farm’s real-time driving discount program, Drive Safe & Save, may save drivers up to 30%. There is also a program for new drivers under the age of 25 called Steer Clear with a discount that varies depending on your location and other factors.
  • USAA — USAA recently added a telematics safe-driving program called SafePilot, which offers a 10% discount for enrolling and up to 30% on your next policy period following a good driving score.

Best car insurance companies for drivers with accidents and claims on record
If you have a few points on your license, your insurance costs are likely higher. Some insurers offer accident forgiveness coverage and others, like those we note below, keep the increases to a minimum following an accident.

  • Allstate — Accident forgiveness coverage is optional at Allstate, but it could be worth getting since it prevents your rate from going up following your first accident, even if the accident is your fault.
  • Geico — If you have a good driving record with few claims, and if you have accident forgiveness, you may not see an increase on your premiums.
  • Liberty Mutual — Liberty Mutual’s accident forgiveness coverage could keep your premium stable following an accident. You need to be accident-free for five years to qualify, but could also become eligible for the discount the longer you go without an accident.
  • Nationwide — Available in some states, Nationwide’s accident forgiveness coverage helps avoid a rate increase if you have a single at-fault accident.
  • Progressive — Progressive’s accident forgiveness coverage is included with many policies. Small accident forgiveness ensures that your rate stays the same if the claim is less than $500. Large accident forgiveness is for those who have been with the company for more than five years and have been accident-free for three years.
  • USAA — If you go accident-free for five years with USAA, your rate will likely stay the same even after a single at-fault accident.

Best car insurance companies for low-mileage driver discounts
Seniors and others who drive less than the 13,500 miles a year that an average U.S. driver does may earn a discount from the following companies.

  • Allstate — Allstate’s Milewise program is pay-per-mile car insurance that rewards drivers who are not behind the wheel very much with lower premiums.
  • Nationwide — the company offers its SmartMiles program for drivers who don’t drive often. You will pay a low base rate and then a flexible rate on top of that based on how many miles you drive each month.
  • Progressive — Progressive offers low-mileage discounts based on the company’s Snapshot program, which personalizes your rate based on your actual mileage each month.
  • USAA — USAA’s low prices may be even lower if you drive less than the average number of miles each year.

Best car insurance companies with discounts for defensive driving courses:
Insurers will reward any efforts on your part to avoid accidents, including taking a defensive driving course.

  • Farmers — In some states, if you are a senior driver and complete a state-approved defensive driving course, you could save for three years.
  • Geico — The discount for taking a defensive driving course varies depending on the state you live in, but you could see some savings no matter where you are.
  • Nationwide — Nationwide offers a defensive driving discount to drivers aged 55 or older who live in select states, have not had an at-fault accident for 35 months and take a state-approved driving course. Savings are roughly around 5%.
  • State Farm — You could receive an average of 10-15% off on your premium for taking a defensive driving course. These courses are often inexpensive and can be taken online.
  • USAA — You may earn a small discount for taking a defensive driving course, either online or in person.

Vehicle equipment

Your choice of car options may earn you some discounts. Anti-lock brakes, adaptive cruise control, daytime running lights and other safety features earn you a discount at many insurers, and anti-theft protection is also a valued benefit.

Best car insurance companies with discounts for safety equipment
Since most newer cars have at least a few safety items on them, such as anti-lock brakes, these are easy discounts to earn. You can generally save between 5-25% of your premium with these options.

  • Allstate — Like many insurers, Allstate offers a discount for anti-lock brakes, airbags and other safety equipment.
  • Geico — Geico’s savings for safety equipment include a significant 23% discount for airbags, a 5% discount for anti-lock brakes and a 3% discount for daytime running lights.
  • Liberty Mutual — The company offers small discounts for anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and adaptive headlights.
  • State Farm — You could save up to 40% on your medical payments coverage just for having a car that was made in 1994 or later, depending on the make and model. You may also save up to 40% on medical payments for airbags and other passive restraint equipment included in vehicles older than 1993.

Best car insurance companies with discounts for anti-theft discounts
Your comprehensive insurance covers you following the theft of your car, but since your insurer would rather not have to pay out on theft claims, they usually offer considerable discounts for anti-theft systems.

  • Allstate — An anti-theft device installed in your car could save you money on your premium.
  • Geico — Another big discount from Geico is the 23% you could save if you have comprehensive coverage and install an anti-theft system in your car.
  • Liberty Mutual — You may qualify to save money with Liberty Mutual if your car has anti-theft technology installed.
  • Nationwide — In many states, you could receive a discount from Nationwide for either factory-installed anti-theft devices or those that you install yourself.
  • State Farm — The company cautions you to check with your State Farm agent before installing anti-theft discounts as some may be more discount-worthy than others.

Customer loyalty

Once you have found a company that works for you, you may earn additional discounts—especially if you bundle your car insurance with home, life, boat or other insurance. Adding multiple cars to your policy can also save you money.

Best car insurance companies with discounts if you have multiple cars
If you are a two-or-more car family, you could save money easily by insuring them both with the same company.

  • Geico — Insure two or more cars with Geico and you could save an average of 25% on the premiums for each of them.
  • Farmers — You could save with Farmers if you have more than one vehicle insured with the company.
  • State Farm — Your savings for multiple autos on your policy could be as much as 20% at State Farm.
  • Liberty Mutual — Insuring all your vehicles with Liberty Mutual could save on your premiums.
  • Progressive — At Progressive, the savings are not huge — an average of 4% — but it may still benefit you to add a second car to your policy if you already have one.

Best car insurance companies with discounts for someone with multiple policies
Bundling is a very common discount — most insurance companies offer it. Whether you own your home or rent, having both your car insurance and your homeowners or renters insurance with one company could give you a discount on the premiums.

  • Allstate — An auto-home bundle may give you up to 10% off on auto and 25% off on the home premiums.
  • Farmers — If you have an auto policy plus a home, life, umbrella, small business or specialty policy with Farmers, you could earn a small discount on the premiums.
  • Geico — If Geico covers all your insurance needs — your car and homeowners, renters, condo or mobile home policy — could save on your car insurance.
  • Liberty Mutual — This popular discount may net you savings if you bundle your car insurance with home, renters or condo.
  • Nationwide — The company claims that you can save an average of $646 when you bundle your home and car insurance. You can also bundle renters, motorcycle, boat or life insurance with auto.
  • Progressive — You may save an average of 4% on your car insurance if you bundle it with motorcycle, RV or another product. Bundling car and homeowners policies could earn you discounts on both policies.
  • State Farm — If State Farm has your homeowners, renters, condo or life insurance policies as well as your car insurance, you may save up to 17%. State Farm states that bundling home and auto could save you up to $854 a year.

Best discounts offered by top car insurance companies

Although there are some discounts common to most insurers — a bundling discount, for example — others are more unusual and may be found at only one or two companies. The number of discounts at each company varies, too. Smaller regional companies tend to offer fewer discounts than larger companies. The following four insurers are particularly known for the scope of their discount list, meaning you may be able to qualify for more than one discount and save significantly on your premium.

Geico

Geico has more than 15 regular discounts, making it one of the best companies in the business for discount offerings. Added to the company’s already low rates, Geico may be able to give you the lowest possible cost for your policy. Some of the discounts are quite generous. For example, up to 23% off for having airbags and up to a 25% savings if you insure multiple vehicles with the company. Even regularly wearing your seat belt could net you a small savings. There are also discounts for membership in any of more than 500 organizations on the company’s list.

Progressive

Progressive offers 13 possible discounts, although some of them are smaller than Geico’s discounts. Despite this, it is relatively easy to qualify for more than one so your savings could add up. Bundling could net you a 5% savings on average and there are three savings possibilities for young drivers, making this a good company to consider if you have teens in your household. Doing business online with Progressive can also save money: 9% on average, for example, just for signing your documents online, and there are additional discounts for going paperless and setting up an automatic payment plan.

State Farm

State Farm has 13 discounts, and the company rewards safe drivers with many of them. State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program uses a mobile app to give the company real-time information on your driving skills. If they like what they see, you could save up to 30%. A similar program is Steer Clear, which is for new drivers under 25, who can save up to 20% if they go for three years without an accident. Simply taking a defensive driving course may earn you 10-15% off. Young drivers are also eligible for saving up to 25% for getting good grades in high school or college.

Allstate

Allstate offers 11 discounts to policyholders. Bundling may net you a generous 10% off your auto policy and 25% off your homeowners policy. You could also save if you bundle your car insurance with a life or renters policy. Have you purchased a new car in the past year? If so, you may be eligible for a discount. Adding Allstate’s Safe Driving Bonus to your policy could earn you a reward every six months as well as $100 off your collision deductible every year if you are accident-free — saving you up to $500. Allstate’s Drivewise program offers a discount for signing up and even more savings after six months if you are a careful driver.

How to decide which discount is best for me

When you are deciding how to get discounts on car insurance, do some research. Check out the sites of the top car insurance companies and go a step further than getting a free estimate. Most insurance companies list their discounts on their sites. Check them out and determine which ones you may be able to take advantage of to decide which will be most useful to you.

Have some dings on your driving record? Focus on discounts for car safety features. Driving an older car? You could combine your home insurance policy with your car’s insurance to save money. The key is to personalize the discounts to match your circumstances.

No two policies are exactly alike, so consider remembering that the company your best friend swears by may not always have the best savings for you. Fortunately, you can do a lot of your research sitting at your computer. You may find that your best car insurance discounts are only an email or phone call away. Once you have determined which discounts you are eligible for, you can do the math to decide which company will help you get the cheapest car insurance with the applied discounts.

Frequently asked questions

In addition to looking for discounts, how can I save money on car insurance?

When looking to save money on auto insurance, a good first stop is Bankrate’s “How to Lower Your Car Insurance” page. It discusses opportunities through coverage, increasing your deductible and more. And it usually pays to do your homework and compare several quotes to find the cheapest car insurance for your circumstances.

How do I find out what discounts my insurance carrier offers?

Start by comparing quotes on websites that give you insurance quotes side-by-side and explain their discount offerings, such as a company’s discounts list. However, these are not the final word on finding the best car insurance discounts. You may also talk to local insurance agents to get the best discounts — they might know of some that are not listed on the website or available only in your region.

What if I have a bad driving record?

Having a troubled driving record can make shopping for car insurance more tricky. In cases like these, it could be more important than ever to shop around and compare rates. Look into providers that offer other discounts to lower your rates, like bundling home and auto insurance. Consider taking a defensive driving course, which will both improve your driving skills and may earn you a discount with your insurer.

Written by
Mary Van Keuren
Insurance Contributor
Mary Van Keuren has written for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com and Thesimpledollar.com for the past five years, specializing in home and auto insurance. She has also written extensively for consumer websites including reviews.com and myslumberyard.com. Prior to that, she worked as a writer in academia for several decades.