If They Knew This, 43% of Americans Could Save on Car Insurance

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — About 39% of Americans have auto insurance but many are missing out on discounts, according to a new study.

InsuranceQuotes.com found that 30% of drivers are not receiving any car insurance discounts.

"Some insurers are better at discounts than others--start by asking your insurer for a list of available discounts," said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst with InsuranceQuotes.com. "There will be a maximum amount that you can claim after multiple discounts but the more you qualify for, the better."

Also see: 8 Hottest Costs Under $15,000

A common discount that most people are not aware of applies for receiving statements by email. Only 33% of Americans know about this discount and nearly 50% have no idea that their credit score can affect how much they pay for car insurance.

"Most insurers won't inform consumers of the exact formula they use to factor this discount," Adams said. "However, in most cases if your credit score is excellent or good, you'll pay less for insurance than someone who has poor or even average credit because there is a direct correlation between the number of claims that are filed and credit score."

Statistics show that those who have poor credit scores are filing more claims, which makes them riskier as a customer to an insurer, according to InsuranceQuotes.com.

Another discount favors those who are coupled up, but only 57% know that car insurance also costs less for married drivers.

"There are dozens of possible discounts and many are easy to qualify for," said Adams.

While they tend to pay the highest insurance rates due to their inexperience, young drivers are the least likely to receive discounts.

Only 34% of drivers aged 18 to 29 years old are receiving at least one car insurance discount.

Discounts to qualify for include:

  • 1. Bundling car insurance with another type of insurance such as homeowner's or renter's insurance. "We've seen as much as 30% discount for bundling," Adams told Mainstreet.
  • 2. Passing a defensive driving course. If you've gotten a couple of tickets, taking a defensive driving course online is an inexpensive way to get a discount. Classes can cost $10 to $25, save drivers as much as 5% to 10% on auto insurance and last as long as three years after the course," Adams said.
  • 3. Driving a car with certain safety features, such as passive restraint systems, anti-lock brakes and daytime running lamps. "These discounts you get automatically once you give the insurer the make and model of your new car," said Adams.
  • 4. Belonging to a certain group, such as a labor union, AAA, or a fraternity/sorority, for example. "It could be 5% or more significant if you qualify as military depending on the carrier," Adams said.
  • 5. College or high school students who maintain at least a B average can quality for the good student discount, which applies until 26 years of age. "It can be up to a 25% savings on the student's policy or the parents' policy," Adams added.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

Also see: 8 Hottest Costs Under $15,000

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