7 Weird Ways to Save Money on Your Car Insurance
We all know that things like your age and driving history can greatly affect your car insurance rate, but did you know that if your child joins the Boy/Girl Scouts it could save you 10% on your annual premium? Or that by mentioning your alma mater, your insurance agent might knock off 5%?
There are literally hundreds of weird discounts that insurance companies offer, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites...
1. Mention Your Low-Risk Occupation
Oddly enough, mentioning your occupation might save you a bundle on premiums. That's because insurance companies follow trends such as what professions are the least likely to have an accident. That group includes professions like teachers, accountants and engineers. However, this can vary from insurance company to insurance company, so if they don't mention it, be sure you bring it up.
2. Etch Your VIN
Apparently etching your VIN number in all of your windows makes your car 64% less likely to get stolen. And some insurance companies will offer premium discounts anywhere from 2%-15% if you takes this precaution. But again, you'll need to bring it up because it's an underused discount that most agents don't even ask about. It only costs around $20 to etch your windows, so in most cases it's money well spent!
3. Exploit Your Memberships
If you're a member of any professional organization, chances are it'll get you a discount. Whether it's the AAA, the AARP, or the Chamber of Commerce, be sure to ask your agent for a full list of organizational discounts. Heck, even the name of your employer or credit union can sometimes earn you a discount.
4. Take a Safety Class
Sit through a 3-hour safety class and your insurance company might just knock off as much as 15% from your annual premium. You'll need to provide a certificate of completion in order to get the discount, but it might end up saving you hundreds of dollars each year. And besides, who wouldn't love an afternoon of watching defensive driver training videos? :)
5. Study Harder and Get a Good Grade Discount
Most insurance companies will offer you a 10%-15% discount if you're a student keeping up a "B" average. The theory goes - the most responsible a student is, the more likely they will be responsible on the road.
6. Move to North Dakota
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, North Dakota has the honor of having the lowest average automobile insurance costs in the country. Their cheap car insurance rates clock in at only $512 a year, which is roughly half the cost of states like New Jersey, Louisiana, New York, and Florida. And just for the record - you folks in Washington D.C. hold the title of most expensive insurance, with the average person paying $1,140 a year.
7. Don't Forget to Haggle
Online comparison tools are a great way to start working on a quote, but you should always follow up with a phone call because it never hurts to try and haggle with a live agent. Don't be afraid to ask them if they can do better than their first offer and don't forget to leverage the other online quotes you've pulled.
If another company has a feature or a price that you like better, see if they'll beat it or at least match it. (Hint: If you're already insured, try doing this one with your current company and tell them that you're currently shopping around and were wondering if they could do better than your current rate.)
Good luck Penny Hoarders!