Drivers with short commutes, who own their home and who don’t drive every day of the week are among the many consumers eligible to save hundreds of dollars each year on car insurance. Not that they necessarily know it.
The average American spends $762 per year on car insurance, according to a Bankrate.com survey. Depending on where you live, you’re more—or less—likely to score big discounts. Missouri residents get the most discounts (discounts are available about 33.1% of the time), followed by Connecticut (32.6%), Indiana (32.3%), Wisconsin (32.1%) and Iowa (31.7%), according to a survey released Monday by Insure.com. Meanwhile, residents of North Carolina tend to get the fewest discounts (discounts are available about 13.2% of the time), followed by Hawaii (14.5%), New York (20.3%), Massachusetts (20.5%) and Michigan (20.9%).
While it’s hard to pick up and move, the good news is that you can score car insurance discounts no matter where you live. The most common discounts—and the ones that most of us have heard about—include those for being a good student (77% of the insurance carriers surveyed by Insure.com offered this with an average 16% discount), having a home policy with the same company (68% offered this with a 9% discount), paying all of most of the bill upfront (46% offered this with a 9% discount), being married (41% offered this with a 14% discount) and taking a driver training course (41% offered this with a 7% average discount), the Insure.com survey revealed.
But there are many more discounts that, though less common, still can produce significant savings if you can get them. “The right discount can knock hundreds of dollars off your car insurance bill,” says Insure.com editorial director Amy Danise. But many discounts aren’t advertised or automatically offered: “Often you just have to ask to start saving some money,” advises certified financial planner Joel Ohman, founder of CarInsuranceComparison.com. Danise says you should call and ask about specific discounts when you are looking for a new policy, and if you already have one, you should ask annually. People should also ask about discounts after a major life event like a divorce or a shortened work commute.
Here are 11 little-known discounts—and what they can save the average consumer.