Auto insurance can be a beast if you don’t know how to navigate and where to look for savings. Discounts are especially important if your profession is not known for high salaries, such as teaching.
There are no hard and fast rules for determining and doling out discounts. Typically, your auto insurance company will start with assigning you a base rate. After assessing your risk levels, they will consider any factors that might afford you a discount.
There are many discounts, such as multi-vehicle, good driver and bundled discounts. There are also many lesser-known ones to consider, including educator-based savings. Keep in mind you won’t qualify for all of them. Plus, not all of them are available from every company or in every state. But if you don’t know they exist, you won’t know if you qualify.
There’s no industry-wide discount for teachers, but Megan MacBey, account executive at Eagle Insurance Group in Massachusetts, said you can get savings in other ways.
“Discounts would depend on the company. Some may have an affinity program for teachers with certain schools or universities, but there is not a general discount that applies for all teachers,” she said.
How much is car insurance?
The price of an auto insurance policy will vary significantly among insurers. Each company assesses risk differently and uses its own formula to calculate what you pay.
Insurance.com analyzed the breakdown of discounts on an annual auto insurance policy and found the average base rate is $1,629. That total is before any discounts such as homeownership, driver training, or profession.
Teachers are listed as a low-risk driver. That can lead to a 2% discount off the base rate. Couple that with an education discount — the amount varies based on degree level — and a teacher could save another $50 off their base rate.
The best way to uncover discounts and the best price is to shop around. For example, Geico takes the title for cheap car insurance in 36 states, as well as overall for the country, based on an Insurance.com’s analysis of rates from top market-share companies for full coverage. Geico’s average nationwide rate is nearly half of other insurers. That shows why it’s important to compare car insurance rates before buying a policy.
How can teachers get cheap car insurance?
The most direct route to a teacher-based auto insurance discount is to ask insurance companies about their discounts. If the company offers teacher-related discounts, you’ll likely need proof that you’re a teacher. Some of the insurers that offer discounts include: Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Plymouth Rock New Jersey, California Casualty, Geico, Esurance, and Horace Mann.
In addition to companies offering specific teacher discounts, there are other options for educators. Car insurers provide affiliation discounts. If the consumer has an active membership in one of these affiliated groups, you can benefit from group savings discounts.
State educator associations also offer several discounts. In Massachusetts, the MTA — Massachusetts Teachers Association — give up to 10% off for members and their immediate family.
If you bundle your insurance, you maximize your savings. Organizations like the MTA typically partner with outside agencies to facilitate the partnership discounts. In this case, the partnership is with the Educators Insurance Agency, which is a member of the Hanover Insurance Group.
Along the same lines, large colleges or trade schools sometimes offer affiliation discounts for students and alums. City University of New York (CUNY), for instance, not only provides its alums car insurance but home insurance, dining and travel discounts and theater and movie tickets.
Ways to get cheap car insurance
You can still get discounts not related to teaching, too. Think about your lifestyle and your driving habits:
Do you pay your bills on time every month? Do you pay off your auto insurance in full? Insurers may discount you if you set up auto pay or if you pay in full each year.
Do you own a home? If so, insurance companies consider you low risk and may reward you with a discount.
Some insurance companies pass on incentives for customers who go paperless. As much as the consumer is seeking to save money on auto insurance policies, so too is the insurance company.
And let’s not forget comparison shopping. Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insurance.com said, each person’s personal rating factors will differ. That includes age, vehicle and driving record. So, the best insurer for one person might not be perfect for someone else.
Gusner offered a few ways to get and keep cheap car insurance rates:
- Shop around at least once a year, if not at every six-month renewal period.
- Keep a clean driving record. Your history behind the wheel shows the insurer your risk.
- Maintain continual auto insurance coverage. A gap in coverage is looked down on by insurers and will take away your chance to get the cheapest car insurance rates.
- Raise your deductible. Set your collision and comprehensive deductibles as a higher rate -- but still one you can afford.
Being a teacher is a noble profession. It can also help you save on your auto insurance.