Nobody likes paying for auto insurance, especially knowing they could lower their rates if they shopped around. Big-name insurance companies like State Farm, Geico and Farmers Insurance constantly bombard you with ads and it can be hard to separate fact from fiction and take the time to shop coverage around.
Verify you’re applying every discount
Companies offering auto insurance don’t list every discount very clearly, so the list below gives a summary of some of the best known in addition to some of the lesser obvious ways to save on auto insurance. If you are not receiving all the discounts you deserve, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Air Bags and Passive Restraints – Options like air bags may get savings of 25 to 30%.
- Telematics Discount – Insureds that choose to allow driving data submission to track when and where they use their vehicle by using a small device installed in their vehicle such as In-Drive from State Farm or Allstate’s Drivewise system may see discounts if they exhibit good driving behavior.
- Auto/Life Discount – Some insurance companies give a lower rate if you buy life insurance.
- No Charge for an Accident – Not really a discount, but companies like Geico, Progressive, and Allstate allow you one accident without the usual rate increase if your claims history is clear for a set time period.
- Anti-theft System – Anti-theft and alarm system equipped vehicles are less likely to be stolen so companies will give you a small discount.
- Discounts for Government Workers – Active or former government employment could qualify for a slight premium decrease depending on your company.
- Discounts for Seat Belt Usage – Drivers who require all vehicle occupants to buckle their seat belts can save a little on the premium charged for medical payments and/or PIP.
- Own a Home – Being a homeowner can get you a discount because it is proof of financial responsibility.
- Discounts for Cautious Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can save as much as half off their rates as compared to drivers with claims.
- Good Students Pay Less – Performing well in school can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. This discount can apply up to age 25.
A little disclaimer on discounts, most discount credits are not given the the whole policy. Some only apply to specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. So even though you would think adding up those discounts means a free policy, that’s just not realistic. But all discounts will help lower your premiums.
Larger auto insurance companies and their offered discounts are shown below.
- Geico may include discounts for defensive driver, driver training, good student, federal employee, multi-policy, five-year accident-free, and multi-vehicle.
- USAA offers discounts for family discount, loyalty savings, multi-policy, good student, vehicle storage, new vehicle, and driver training.
- Progressive has savings for online quote discount, multi-policy, multi-vehicle, online signing, continuous coverage, and homeowner.
- American Family offers premium reductions for mySafetyValet, defensive driver, TimeAway discount, bundled insurance, and early bird.
- Esurance discounts include good driver, multi-car, multi-policy, safety device, and anti-lock brakes.
- Farmers Insurance includes discounts for switch companies, teen driver, early shopping, multi-car, pay in full, youthful driver, and alternative fuel.
- State Farm policyholders can earn discounts including anti-theft, Drive Safe & Save, safe vehicle, multiple policy, and good driver.
Before you buy a policy, ask all the companies what discounts are available to you. Savings might not be offered in Tijeras. To view insurance companies who offer discounts in New Mexico, click here to view.
Informed consumers know how to buy auto insurance cheaper
When buying auto insurance it’s important to understand some of the factors that go into determining your auto insurance rates. When you understand what determines base rates, this enables informed choices that can earn you better auto insurance rates.
The itemized list below are a few of the things utilized by car insurance companies to help set your premiums.
- Teen drivers pay more – Mature drivers tend to be more responsible, cause fewer claims and accidents and tend to be get fewer driving tickets.Inexperience drivers tend to be less responsible behind the wheel therefore auto insurance rates are much higher.
- Gender and insurance – Over time, data shows that women are safer drivers than men. It does not mean females are better drivers. Both genders tend to get into accidents in similar percentages, but the male of the species cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. They also get higher numbers of serious violations such as DWI and reckless driving.
- Alarms and GPS tracking lower rates – Owning a car with anti-theft technology or alarm system can get you a discount on your auto insurance. Advanced theft deterrents like OnStar, LoJack tracking, and tamper alarms can help prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
- No auto insurance gaps is important – Driving with no insurance is a misdemeanor and as a result your rates will increase for letting your coverage lapse. Not only will rates go up, not being able to provide proof of insurance may earn you fines and jail time. Then you may be required to provide proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 filing with the New Mexico department of motor vehicles.
When should I discuss my situation with an agent?
When choosing proper insurance coverage, there is no “best” method to buy coverage. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs and your policy should reflect that. For instance, these questions can help discover if you may require specific advice.
- When would I need rental car insurance?
- Who is covered when they drive my vehicle?
- Do I need PIP coverage since I have good health insurance?
- Am I covered if I wreck a rental car?
- Does medical payments coverage apply to all occupants?
- Should I file a claim if it’s only slightly more than my deductible?
- What are the best liability limits?
- Will my vehicle be repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
- Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you may need to chat with an insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, simply complete this short form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It is quick, free and can provide invaluable advice.
Some additional reading
More information is located on the website for the New Mexico Insurance Division through this link. New Mexico drivers can view a list of available companies, download brochures, and file complaints about an insurance agent or broker.
One last thing about your coverage
More affordable auto insurance is available on the web and from local agencies, so you should be comparing quotes from both to have the best selection. Some insurance providers may not offer price quotes online and most of the time these regional insurance providers sell through independent insurance agencies.
Throughout this article, we presented many ideas to get a better price on auto insurance. It’s most important to understand that the more times you quote, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may be surprised to find that the lowest priced auto insurance comes from a small local company. These companies can often provide lower premium rates in certain areas as compared to the big name companies such as State Farm, Geico and Nationwide.