Car Insurance Discounts That Save You Money

by Edward Harris on October 1, 2012

You can easily reduce your car insurance rates in Ohio by taking advantage of free discounts offered by your insurer. The savings in premium can sometimes be substantial…perhaps hundreds of dollars every six months. We’ll help you find these discounts so you can pay less for your coverage. Most¬† are available and already included on my own personal Ohio auto insurance policy.

The Best Auto Deductions

If you have more than one vehicle in your household, and they are not insured by the same carrier, you are missing out on a rate reduction. A multi-car discount will reduce the premium by approximately 10%-25%, depending on the insurer. The only reason to have your car or truck on a separate policy is if you have commercial coverage or a high-risk driver in your household.

Occasionally, it makes sense to use two different carriers to cover your vehicles. This generally applies if you own a rare or vintage classic/antique vehicle that is worth in excess of $50,000. Although your current company is likely to offer coverage, for the ultra-expensive cars, a specialty insurer may provide much better pricing and benefits. Occasionally, if your son or daughter levaes your policy, and stays with the same carrier, you may retain the discount.

Combine Auto And Home With Same Carrier

Every major company will reduce your auto rate if they also provide the coverage on your home. The savings is typically in the 5%-20% range so the reduction can easily be hundreds of dollars per year. So, of course, it’s worth considering utilizing the same company to cover both your home and vehicles. And when you apply, it would be through one carrier and not two. You can find additional information on applying here.

But it’s not always advantageous. For example, if you live in the Akron area and your autos are insured with Allstate and your home is insured with Farmers, it may appear that combining policies may make sense. But often, switching companies causes your home premium to increase more than the multi-policy discount you are receiving.

Often, in a specific city, zip code or county, a company will offer substantially lower homeowner’s rates than all other carriers. They may also calculate the replacement cost of your home closer to the amount you feel is realistic. In these situations, keeping your policy in tact makes sense, as long as the rates remain competitive. But watch homeowner’s premiums closely since they can fluctuate wildly.

Kids Don’t Have To Be Expensive

How To Get Biggest Discounts On Ohio Car Insurance

Good Student Discounts Are Available From All Insurers

We love the good-student discount. If you have teenagers in your household that drive, you don’t need an explanation. Youthful rates are expensive with any company, especially if you have newer vehicles. By maintaining a “B” average, most Ohio car insurers will lower the rate on that vehicle by 10%-25%. And the savings can be significant since young drivers are very expensive compared to everyone else.

Upon graduation from high school, the savings will continue throughout college. Usually, you will have to furnish a copy of the most recent transcript or grade report. Depending on the company, you’ll need to provide verification of grades once or twice per year. Very rarely, are you required to show proof every quarter or trimester.

Many companies will continue the savings throughout graduate school, assuming you are not working full-time for an employer. Once you no longer are eligible, in most situations, since you’re no longer under age 21, the young-driver surcharges have ended, and it easily offsets the loss of good-grades.

Attending College Out-Of-State Can Help Your Rates

Another often-ignored option is the “student away” discount. Once again, each company has different sets of guidelines, but it works something like this: Suppose you live in the Cincinnati area and your son or daughter goes to Boston College or Duke. Because of the distance, you will be entitled to a discount. If they stay in school most of the summer (which may happen their junior or senior years), the discount is larger. Often, if they attend a college 300 (or 500) miles away, the rate reduction will be the most.

However, let’s assume you live in Cincinnati or Columbus and your child goes to Miami or Ohio State. It’s possible you may receive a rate reduction but most companies in Ohio may not lower the premium. If they do, it will be minimal. Of course, if they take the car with them to college, a discount is unlikely.

How To Reduce Car Insurance Premiums

OSU May Not Qualify For The "Student Away" Discount

Since each company has different underwriting guidelines, it’s always a good idea to ask if your child qualifies. While some carriers may not offer this option, others may have a specific guideline regarding the relationship between the distance the school is from home and the amount of premium they will reduce.

The Newest Discount

How often you drive is a major component in determining how much you pay. Until the 1990s, most companies were not too concerned with the number of miles you drove. The main consideration was your age and if your vehicles were driven to work. But recent changes now place emphasis on the number of miles you annually drive your vehicles.

Often, there is a break given to your premium if you drive less than 5,000 miles per year. Sometimes there may be smaller reductions at the 10,000 level. And occasionally, staying under 3,000 miles will help. As you get older (assuming you are retired or are driving less), there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for one of these reductions.

The newest concept is the “usage-based” or “pay as you drive” program that several companies are now offering. Often, an electronic device (Don’t worry…They’re safe) is easily and quickly installed on your automobile. It will monitor and record your driving habits, including how often you’re on the road and how far you go. It may also record stopping distances and how fast you are driving. These “usage-based” options can potentially save money.

The “pay as you drive” option is typically less invasive. It simply records the number of miles traveled, and perhaps a few other basic calculations. The typical savings can be as much as 40% to the portion of the policy it applies to. As more statistics are studied and understood, this option may become standard with all companies.

Finding discounts for your Oh auto insurance is just a small portion of what we do. We’ll help you lower your costs and make comparing different policies an easy process. As new ideas and innovations are introduced here in the Buckeye State, we’ll review¬† and report what impact they have on your rates.

UPDATES:

August 2015 – Same-sex couples will be able to take advantage of additional discounts because of the recent Supreme Court ruling. Since married rates are often cheaper, some households with gay couples may see their premiums reduce. The amount of reduction depends on the carrier. Also, several companies were already including a “married” discount.

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