A first responder can be either a firefighter, volunteer firefighter, police officer, EMT or paramedic. Though each job comes with an element of risk, insurance companies may offer auto insurance discounts to first responders as a show of thanks for doing what they do. If you are a first responder and are shopping for car insurance, consider looking for insurance companies that give a special discount to first responders. You may be able to score a lower premium by doing so.
The best car insurance for first responders
As a first responder, you know that life can turn on a dime. Fortunately, it’s your employer’s responsibility to cover insurance on the job. While it is not your responsibility to insure any work vehicle that you operate (even if you park it at home some nights), when it comes to personal auto insurance, you will likely benefit from comparing quotes from multiple providers who offer the types of auto policies you want. That way, you can find the best rate available.
While shopping for the best car insurance, you may be able to find companies that offer discounts to first responder car insurance in your area. Oftentimes, companies may offer both lower rates and discounts to first responders because people in these professions may pose a lower risk. By having emergency driving training, first responders could be considered less likely to file a claim. Of course, the rate each first responder receives will vary based on a number of additional personal factors.
Discounts for first responders
Because of your occupation, you may qualify for special discounts as a first responder. Below are three examples of companies that offer special car insurance savings for first responders. Keep in mind that it is not an exhaustive list. Some companies may offer first responder discounts but do not advertise it, so you will want to speak with an agent about any possible savings to determine how you might be impacted.
|Car insurance for firefighters||California Casualty Insurance||Must be a firefighter with an approved agency or employer.||You might qualify for reduced rates as well as a reduced deductible if your car is hit or vandalized while at work, $1,000 in pet coverage, $500 in non-electronic personal property coverage and family assistance with premiums if you die while on duty.|
|Car insurance for police officers||Nationwide||Must be a law enforcement or corrections officer.||Speak with an agent about specific savings and discounts for law enforcement and corrections officers.|
|Car insurance for EMT and paramedics||Country Financial||Must be employed as a full-time firefighter, police officer, EMT and paramedic||You could qualify for a 5-10% discount on car insurance as a full-time firefighter, police officer, EMT or paramedic.|
Is car insurance more expensive for first responders?
Auto insurance for first responders may be cheaper than it is for other drivers (assuming the responder has a clean driving record). The amount the first responder saves varies on a lot of factors in addition to his or her occupation. These may include things such as:
- Age (except in HI)
- Car make and model
- Gender (except in CA, HI, MA, MI, MO, NC and PA)
- Driving history
- Coverage level
- Insurance company
Any of the above factors could greatly increase or decrease one’s car insurance premium, whether or not they are a first responder. However, first responders may be more likely to exhibit safe driving habits, or opt for safer model vehicles, which could result in lower insurance costs overall.
How can first responders save on car insurance?
As a first responder, one of the best ways to save money is by finding companies that offer discounts for your profession — be it firefighter, police officer, EMT or paramedic. Speak with an agent and get a quote, making sure that every discount type you are eligible for is factored into your rate. Next, it helps to get a quote from several other reputable insurance companies. It is even possible that you might find a lower rate from a company that does not necessarily offer any discounts for someone in your profession.
After you have shopped around and compared quotes, there are still a few things you can do to lower your car insurance. These include:
- Driving a modest vehicle: Older cars may cost less to insure because they do not cost as much to replace. A modest sedan can often be cheaper to insure than a sports car or luxury model due to the more affordable cost of repairs. Driving a vehicle with a high safety rating may also result in extra savings or lower premiums.
- Increase your deductible: A higher deductible will lower your monthly costs, particularly with collision coverage. Just remember that you are assuming more financial responsibility in the event of a claim. Most companies offer a variety of deductible options, so discuss options with an agent to see what works best for your budget and coverage needs.
- Taking advantage of discounts: Many drivers assume their insurance company automatically applies the discounts they are eligible for to their premium. Though a company may apply some discounts (such as auto-pay and safe driver), it is important to ask about any you might qualify for. Aside from occupational discounts, you could leverage additional savings based on driving habits or even how you choose to pay your premium.
- Reduce your annual mileage: Many car insurance companies offer significant discounts to drivers who drive less than a certain number of miles every year. Many first responders tend to live close to work, so if you can ride a bike or carpool to work and reduce your annual mileage, you may be able to significantly lower your rates.
Frequently asked questions
If I respond to a situation while off duty and get into an accident, which insurance company should I file the claim with?
You’ll likely want to talk with your employer to determine how your insurance policy works. It’s possible that your insurance policy covers off-duty good samaritan acts. However, it may not. The best way to determine which company to file your claim with is to read each policy, talk to your employer and consult your insurance agent.
What is the cheapest car insurance company?
The cheapest car insurance company depends on your individual characteristics such as driving history, claims history and vehicle make and model. You may especially want to get quotes from companies that offer discounts to first responders. If you’re not sure where to start, the cheapest car insurance companies on average are Auto-Owners, USAA, Amica, Erie and Geico, according to Bankrate’s study of quoted annual premiums.
What is the best car insurance company?
The best car insurance company for you depends on your individual factors and preferences. If you’re a first responder, you may want to get quotes from the companies that offer discounts to members of your profession. You may also want to consider your policy needs. An independent insurance agent can help you nail down your policy needs and locate companies that offer the types of auto policies you want.