Shopping for a car insurance policy? Be sure to ask carriers whether you're eligible for a discount based on your profession.
Insurers often reduce rates for people with certain occupations or association memberships to attract new clients, says New Jersey insurance agent Kevin Foley. Here are five examples.
1. Emergency personnel can get car insurance discounts
Emergency medical technicians, firefighters and law enforcement officers often get car insurance discounts. For instance, they may get reductions up to 5 percent at Country Financial.
These professionals usually don't drive their cars at work and often live where they work. That means they have short commutes, making them less likely to have accidents driving between home and work.
Full-time teachers of grades kindergarten through 12 may be able to get a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance at Country Financial. Liberty Mutual Insurance gives teachers a price break by charging no deductible if their car is vandalized on school property or during school-related events. Plus, the deductible may be waived if their car is damaged in a collision while they drive on school business.
California Casualty offers teachers in California a payment schedule that allows them to skip summer months, when they're off.
Farm bureaus support agricultural professions through public relations, education and public policy advocacy. If you live in certain states, you can cut the cost of auto insurance by joining a farm bureau.
For instance, Nationwide offers a farm bureau discount that applies in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia.
4. College alumni association members
Many auto insurance companies offer discounts for university alumni association members and university employees, says Michael Tsiaklides, owner of BenefitPerqs Inc., in St. Louis. Insurers believe the more education you have, the less likely you are to have an accident, Tsiaklides adds. Generally, the discount is 5 percent of the premium or less.
5. Military personnel
Some insurers extend discounts to members of the military. Through USAA, military personnel and their families in most states can save up to 15 percent on comprehensive car insurance coverage when they use a garage on military bases. The civilian children of military personnel can receive discounts of up to 10 percent.
Active military personnel, retirees, members of the National Guard and members of the Reserves can qualify for auto insurance discounts of up to 15 percent through Geico.
Low-risk professions get rewarded
Car insurance discounts are offered to people who are at low risk of filing an auto insurance claim. Jobs that require little driving often qualify.
"Insurers are looking for business, and they are looking for good risks," says Robert C. Passmore, a senior director for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
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Car insurance discounts vary by carrier and by state. They often can be found through professional associations, says underwriter Ashley Hunter, president of HM Risk Group in Austin, Texas.
Educational background also can be a factor in qualifying for an occupational discount.
Says Foley, "The higher your education, the lower the likelihood of your having an accident."
Take the initiative
You can't enjoy an auto insurance discount if you don't know it exists. Ask insurance companies and their agents what's available, Passmore says. Contact your professional association directly.
Your driving history can affect the size of your discount. Policyholders with the best driving records get the biggest discounts.