Insurance companies give discounts to those they see as "better risks." Ask about the type of discounts offered by each company before you buy.
The following describes some typical discounts:
Most insurance companies include a discount for insuring more than one car with the same company. Companies offer these discounts not only because they want all of your business, but also because it is more cost effective for them. Industry statistics show that individuals and families who insure more than one car generally have better than average claims experience. Companies pass along some of their savings to you through this discount.
Driver Education Courses
Discounts for driver education courses are targeted primarily at younger and older drivers.
- Mature Driver Discount: Maine law requires every auto insurance company to provide a discount for liability, medical payments, and collision coverages for drivers age 55 and older who have completed an approved motor vehicle accident prevention course. You may contact the Bureau of Highway Safety for a list of approved courses and times. This discount for older drivers may not be applied if either the insured or another member of the insured's household was involved in an at-fault accident or has a moving violation or license suspension during the previous three years. The discount applies for 36 months after the course completion. A new course must be completed every three years to continue the discount.
Insurers’ experience has shown that those students who are responsible enough to maintain a B average or better tend to be more responsible drivers. For that reason, many companies offer a "Good Student Discount."
Automobile safety devices can help lower insurers’ costs by preventing accidents or limiting their severity. These savings are passed along to the policyholder with discounts for safety equipment, such as air bags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seat belts.
Devices or systems that discourage theft or vandalism also lower claims costs. Many companies provide discounts for antitheft devices, such as alarm systems.
The fewer miles you drive the less chance you have of getting into an accident. Insurers recognize this fact and generally offer discounts for low mileage drivers. Some insurers also offer discounts for drivers who carpool.
Some insurers offer discounts to drivers with a good driving record who renew coverage with the same insurer.
Some insurance companies offer a discount when you buy both your homeowner’s and auto policies from them.
Some insurers, particularly mutual companies, provide dividends to policyholders if the sale of auto insurance has been profitable to them. Dividends are declared and paid after the policy period has expired. Discounts not only help companies attract customers, they are also ways for companies to compete and keep business.
When you shop, don't just ask if a discount exists, but also ask how much you will save. The savings can differ from one company to another. In addition, you should make sure that you receive all the discounts for which you qualify. When comparing the cost of insurance among different insurers, compare the total cost after any applicable discounts have been applied.
Find more resources at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners