Government Workers Can Save On Car Insurance – Here’s How

December 29th, 2011 Chad Posted in Discounts No Comments »

If you work for the federal, state, or local government, there is a good chance that you can receive a discount on your auto insurance. Several companies offer discounts to government workers, even if they are not insuring vehicles used for work.

GEICO stands for Government Employees Insurance Company and was actually founded as a way for government employees to save on their car insurance. Today, GEICO is open to everyone, but still offers substantial discounts to government employees.

GEICO has a special program for federal employees which includes Federal Leave Record cards in downloadable format so that employees can get these forms on their computer or through a mobile app; a Federal Employees Appreciation Program, which holds events in various cities throughout the year; and the GEICO Federal and Military Scholarship program, which offers college scholarships to dependents of federal workers. Best of all, GEICO offers the “Eagle” discount, which can be up to 8%, depending on the state, for federal employees on their total car insurance bill.

There is also a federally-sponsored marketing discount available to companies which maintain an affiliation with GEICO, and whose members may not be eligible for the Eagle discount.

Travelers also offers discounts on automobile insurance to government employees. In partnership with Capitol Benefits of Gaithersburg, Maryland, Travelers offers discounts to employees in the Washington, DC, area. Although a specified discount rate is not available, the company will gladly run a quote and figure the discount based on driving record, location, age, and type of vehicle. Discounts are also available under the same program for boats, homes, renters, and umbrella policies.

If you live in the western United States and you are a civil servant, you might be interested in a quote from CSE, the Civil Service Employees group. This group offers savings on automobile insurance premiums to those who work for the state governments.

Civil employees can save from 5% to 10% on the cost of their car insurance with CSE. CSE also offers further discounts for select groups, such as firefighters and police officers. CSE has regular discounts, as well, such as good driver discounts and good student discounts. Civil employees can take advantage of several forms of discount when purchasing insurance with CSE.

Discounts on premiums are not the only discounts available to government workers. The American Auto Assurance Company offers government employees and military personnel discounts on vehicle protection plans, as well. These plans cover you for many major repairs on your vehicle, not necessarily accident-related. These types of plans are not technically automobile insurance, but may still save you a great deal of money if you need major car repairs which were not caused by an accident; these types of repairs are not paid for by your regular automobile insurance.

Government workers are graded by their job type, and each grade seems to have a different level of cost for automobile insurance. This may be due to the types of cars driven, but a government employee will need to compare several companies to be sure he or she is getting the very best rates and discounts available.

Government employees should also think about how they are going to pay for their car insurance, as with some companies discounts hinge on this factor. Paying up front for a six-month premium will often give you the best discounts available, and some discounts may disappear if you do not pay your entire balance up front. Be sure to ask about this when you receive your quote; some companies advertise great discounts, but your final bill may be higher than you anticipated.




Car Insurance Discounts for Older Drivers

November 3rd, 2011 jess Posted in Discounts No Comments »

Older drivers are involved in daytime accidents at a higher rate than other drivers, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The rate of accidents and deaths equals that of teenage drivers.

Safety for Older Drivers

There are several reasons for older drivers being involved in accidents at a high frequency, including decreased vision and response time, frustration in difficult traffic situations, and side effects of medications they may be taking. Some medications even warn against driving due to potential dizziness that can occur while taking these medications.

Some older drivers will be more likely to panic and make poor driving decisions in heavy traffic. There have been cases of drivers hitting the accelerator instead of the brakes when they are frustrated in traffic.

Many older drivers will take side streets rather than risk highway driving. They will also tend to avoid heavily trafficked intersections. However, their limited mobility often makes it harder for them to have the flexibility to see behind them or check their blind spots. Loss of vision and hearing also impede elderly drivers and create a risk when they are behind the wheel.

Many older drivers understand the risk of driving so will only travel short distances in their familiar neighborhood. But often they get confused with changes in traffic patterns and end up lost or disoriented while driving.

Insurance Discounts for Older Drivers

Families very often live far apart from each other that older drivers depend on their cars to shop for groceries, visit friends, or just get out of the house for a few hours. So what do they do when insurance companies believe they are high-risk drivers and raise their insurance rates?

Here are some ways older drivers can get discounts from their insurance companies.

•Car insurance rates for older drivers differ in just about every state. Call your car insurance agent and ask about available discounts for older drivers. Then do some comparison shopping to see what other insurance companies offer.

•Research car models to see which cars are not often stolen or have low repair rates. This can affect the insurance rates significantly.

•Make sure the insurance agent knows about safety features on the car, such as alarm systems that will mean discounts.

•If the driving mileage is low, there should be low-mileage discounts available, especially for the driver that only goes on local trips and does not put a lot of miles on a car each year.

•If the older driver is a member of AARP, they should check with them to see if a senior safety driving program is available in their area. This can result in a discount of up to ten percent if the older driver takes a defensive driving course. Add to the discount by taking a senior safety driving program and get a double discount. The classes do not cost much and are worth taking for the discount.

•There are pay-as-you-drive discount insurance programs where a diagnostic port is put in the car that collects information about driving habits. This can save a driver almost 30 percent on insurance costs.




Will New Massachusetts Car Insurance Rate Regulations Backfire?

September 27th, 2011 jess Posted in Discounts, Insurance Rates No Comments »

In many states, your car insurance rates are partially based on your profession, education and credit score. Statistically, engineers are less prone to car accident than say, bar hops, so it makes sense to charge a lower insurance rate to the former. Those with a college degree have fewer accidents than the less educated, and those with better credit scores are more likely to pay the car insurance bill in the first place.

Massachusetts Car Insurance Rate Regulations

Massachusetts outlawed socioeconomic rating long ago, allowing insurers to charge based on driving history only. In April 2008, facing pressures from insurance companies that said the rates were squeezing them out of the state, Massachusetts changed to a competition based system in which insurers set their own rates within the Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner’s guidelines. So far, commissioners have stuck to the socioeconomic rating ban. But should a commissioner with sympathies towards insurance companies take office; that could change.

Legislation Seeks to Ban Socioeconomic Rating Practices

The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents wants to prevent that with a recently proposed 2012 ballot referendum and a legislative measure that ban socioeconomic factors when calculating car insurance rates. The association tried for legislation last year but failed, so it’s trying again and adding a ballot initiative this time. To be successful, the association needs nearly 69,000 signatures before December 8.

Insurance Companies Balk

Insurance companies believe the measure goes too far. Not only does it ban practices not allowed under current rules, but it’s also vague about what factors can be used for discounts. Such language could be interpreted to eliminate good student discounts or special group discounts. That would certainly backfire for residents, eliminating helpful discounts in place today.

Consumer Interest Groups Support the Legislation

Deirdre Cummings is the legislative director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MassPIRG). The group fights special interest groups on behalf of Massachusetts residents. Cummings often finds himself stuck in the middle when it comes to car insurance rate hikes. Consumers don’t believe insurance companies have any business in their personal lives. Some say it’s unfair that a high school graduate who decides to enter the workforce right away gets no shot at a good student discount. A laid-off worker whose credit score suffers would suddenly have to pay more for insurance at a time he can afford it least.

“Sometimes people feel a little violated that somebody’s looking into what they feel is a personal financial matter,” Cummings said. “We’re the middle person that has to explain to them why they’re being penalized. It’s not exactly the kind of news you want to share with somebody.”[1]

It’s likely that such a law would help consumers overall, even if it eliminates certain discounts. The combination of open competition, underscored by certain legislative restrictions would allow Massachusetts drivers to pay rates that stem from their personal driving histories rather than rates based on arbitrary life situations over which one has little control. Some would pay more, but some, especially those facing the toughest economic times, would pay less.

 


[1] http://www.wbjournal.com/news49874.html




Get Up To a 30% Discount on Car Insurance for Passive Restraints

September 13th, 2011 jess Posted in Discounts No Comments »

Everyone is looking for ways to get the most out of the discounts on their car insurance. There are many discounts available depending on a few different factors, many of which we will discuss throughout this article.  Insurance companies like Allstate, for example, are giving discounts of up to 30% for passive restraints.

In order to qualify for the passive restraint discount the vehicle must have come from the factory with the airbags or electric seat belts installed prior to ownership. Most, but not all companies offer this discount so be sure to ask when shopping for a policy.

Discounts Aren’t Created Equal

Auto insurance discounts fall into a few different categories. The first category involves “popular discounts.” These include reductions for the safest drivers based upon driving history or money off for good grades in school (an especially a good perk for new teen drivers). You can even earn a discount simply by changing your policy early (before expiration and renewal is due). Many companies offer an additional 10% incentive for switching your policy early.

Second, there are discounts for vehicle equipment. These discounts cover passive restraints (at 30%), anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices (both offering 10%). The third category offers discounts of approximately 10% for merely bundling your insurance policies. Having the same company write your car, home, renters or even life insurance policy, by simply combining a few policies will save you money. There are even discounts available just for being married.

The discount opportunity list goes on so be sure to check with an insurance agent or company for a full list of discounts available to you. What a better discount than for safety with passive restraints. Not only could they save your life it offers the greatest discount.

Car Insurance discounts are so diverse that they cover a whole range of demographics. If you are lucky enough to fit into several categories, you could really start to rake in the discounts. Unfortunately, if you are a single man, under 30 (or single women under 25) not living on a farm, with bad grades (if in school), no passive restraints, in a high theft area, don’t pay your policy in full, don’t have anti-lock brakes or even a theft deterrent device, then you are going to be paying the highest premiums possible.

Asking for the Discount

Obviously, you’d have to be pretty unlucky to find yourself unable to qualify for at least one kind of discount.  With so many options available, there’s a good chance that you qualify for a discount.  Knowing what discounts are available and what you can qualify for might require some effort on your part, but can really be worth it. If you are a household, which can consist of marriage (same-sex or traditional), domestic partnership or civil union, will start you on the road to at least 10-15% off your insurance premium, which will most likely require a marriage license or proof of certification.

The passive restraint discount can be applied to even the oldest of vehicles that have at least electric seat belts. Most cars these days come standard with airbags.

You should always treat your policy renewal as if it were the first time you are getting insurance for your vehicle. Be as thorough on your renewal as you would be on a brand new policy. Often times, discounts are available but we just didn’t know to ask.




Lowering Your Insurance Rates Just by Being Loyal

September 8th, 2011 jess Posted in Discounts No Comments »

Some insurance companies have figured out that keeping their existing customers happy is just as important as finding new customers. These insurers offer special discounts and savings opportunities to drivers who continue to sign on for new policies year after year. If you have a good driving record, you could qualify for even deeper discounts with your existing insurance company. Adding more vehicles or other types of insurance with the same company is another way to lower your overall insurance rates.

Discounts for Renewing with the Same Company

If you are happy with your current insurance company and plan to renew your policy with them at the end of the year, you should find out if they offer a discount for drivers who sign up for consecutive policies. In many cases, you will find that there is a standard savings applied for staying with a company for two or three years in a row. Remember, just because you are using the same company every year it doesn’t mean you have to have the same exact policy. Review your insurance needs annually and make sure your coverage matches the changes in your life so that you are always fully covered.

Save Money by Consolidating Insurance Needs

Another way insurance companies reward customer loyalty is by offering discounts for customers who sign up for more than one type of policy. Many car insurance companies also handle life insurance and home owner’s insurance. They generally have package deals that cut the cost of both types of insurance when you move all of your insurance needs to the same company. There is also a common discount for drivers who insure more than one household vehicle through the same company.

Earning Discounts for Periods without Claims

Driving for three years or more without filing a claim is a great way to earn additional discounts on your car insurance policy. In fact, some loyalty discount plans specify that the discounts only apply to drivers who have gone for a certain period of time without filing any claims. Keeping a clean driving record helps you save in many ways. Your overall insurance rates will be lower because of your safety record, and you should qualify for good driver and loyalty discounts through many of the most popular car insurance companies. Some insurance companies offer to lower your deductible without raising your rates for every year you go without filing a claim.

Getting Discounts You Deserve

Your car insurance agent may not openly offer these loyalty discounts to you when you renew your policy. As a car insurance customer, it is up to you to find out whether there are discounts you qualify for. Learning about loyalty discounts can be as simple as asking your agent to review your policy before you sign up for another year. You could also compare car insurance quotes online to see what discounts are available through different insurance companies. It is a good idea to always research your potential discounts instead of waiting for your insurance company to let you know when you qualify.




Military Car Insurance – Are Special Discounts Available?

August 24th, 2011 Chad Posted in Discounts No Comments »

As a way of thanking troops for their services, many car insurance companies offer discounts to military personnel that are not available to the public. Servicemen are considered special cases because, without discounts, they would be penalized with higher insurance rates due to deployment and continually moving around the country.

Obtaining Discounts on Insurance

All members of the armed forces should consider taking advantage of generous military discounts, some as high as 15 percent off the normal rate. While some insurance companies that routinely work with the military do not offer discounts because their rate are already lower than other companies, some insurers like USAA offer the lowest rates around military bases.

USAA

USAA allows military personnel to save on auto insurance by offering safe driver, driver training and defensive driving discounts for individuals who maintain a good driving record and successfully complete basic training courses. For children of military personnel, there is a “good student” discount to reward high academic achievement. To enroll with USAA’s program, you must be an active duty officer or enrolled in the National Guard and Reserves. Those who are enlisted in programs like the Academ, OTS and OCS, and ROTC contract are also eligible, as are the spouse and children of a current USAA member.

GEICO

The other major play in auto insurance for military personnel is GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company). Discounts of up to 15 percent of your total insurance premium are awarded to various personnel including those who are both on active duty and retired veterans, as well as members of the National Guard or Reserves. If you are assigned to serve in a designated imminent danger pay area, GEICO has an emergency deployment discount.

If your orders direct you to one of the dangerous Department of Defense areas or if your vehicle is currently stored under GEICO’s approved storage-protection plans, you are also eligible for the discount. Certain other military organizations offer discounts to their members. However, do your research because there are some geographic limitations and some military operations are not included with the discount.

GEICO has an overseas policy when coverage is needed while the individual is out of the country. The 12-month policy is a competitive rate and GEICO will provide you with all of the documents you need to register your vehicle overseas. However, cars that are used strictly for business cannot be covered under this policy and the only way a rental car will be covered is if your personal vehicle is undergoing repairs. You cannot insurance someone else’s car either, just your own.

Armed Forces Insurance

Armed Forces Insurance provides car insurance in only 10 states but they partner with Progressive to provide insurance in an additional 28 states. While not all states are covered, they do offer insurance across most of the country. You are required to show paperwork as evidence of your service in the armed forces, or if you were honorably discharged, you need to have proof of that as well. Widows, children and spouses of current Armed Forces Insurance members are also eligible for discounts.

Look for Military-Oriented Companies

Since many insurance companies do not fully understand the lifestyle of military personnel, it will be to your benefit if you can locate one who knows the impact that deployments and temporary duty assignments can have on a family.

Keep Your Insurance

If you know you will be deployed, it is imperative that you do not cancel your car insurance. Some service members mistakenly think that because they will not be using their vehicle and put it in storage that they do not need their policy any longer. This is not recommended because if something happens to your vehicle while it is in storage, there is no coverage to pay for damages.

If the car insurance lapses for an extended period of time, you may have a harder time getting another policy when you return. Insurance companies that regularly work with the military can offer you a storage-only policy that will cover your vehicle if damages are incurred while you are away. For example, United States Automobile Association (USAA) offers an 80 percent discount to those who store their vehicles under their policy.

Cover Your Family

While you are deployed, it is important to make sure the policy will continue to cover your spouse and your children in your absence. Just because you are not in this country does not mean that your family should not be protected and eligible for your military discount. Make sure your discount continues for you and your family after you return to the states. You are entitled to a deployment waiver that allows you to keep your discount, even if the coverage had the potential to lapse while you were overseas. Most car insurance companies provide this option.