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Car Insurance Discounts

No one likes to have to pay for car insurance. Driving on the streets and highways is a privilege and with it comes certain costs and responsibilities. Buying car insurance is one of those costs. Each driver is responsible for the damage or injury he may cause in an accident. Insurance assures the driver will take responsibility and pay the other guy whose car gets hit. Reducing the cost of auto insurance can be handled in so many ways. This list will help you understand what insurance companies are looking for in order to reward you with lower rates.

  1. Prior Insurance. Keeping a policy in-force with your name on it or you as a listed driver is probably the number one most important discount. Insurers reward policy owners with discounts of up to 40% just by keeping a car insurance contract going. If you haven't had insurance, the discount usually begins after you have maintained your insurance coverage for six months. Gather up all your policy documents and take them into your independent insurance agent's office for review. She may be able to find enough proof to get you this credit. Some companies don't automatically drop the cost of insurance after your first six months. You have to either ask for it or shop around for a company that will reward you with a transfer discount. Your independent insurance agent usually represents more than one company and can check for you at every renewal to see which company is offering you and your unique criteria the very best rate you can get. If your agent isn't giving you this kind of service, you need to contact

  2. Renewal Discount. As stated under Prior Insurance above, insurance companies usually reward you after you have had their policy for six months. If your policy didn't go down in price after your first six months of continuous insurance, give Pulse Insurance a call at 503-489-3143. The agent can help you locate a company that will give you a renewal discount.

  3. Transfer Discount. Similar to the Renewal or Prior Insurance discount, the Transfer Discount is a reduction in the price of your auto insurance that a company will offer as an enticement to get you to switch to their company. See your independent insurance agent to see which companies offer this Transfer Discount. It can be as much as 25% off the company's normal entry level prices.

  4. Higher Limit Discount. If you maintain limits above what the State of Oregon requires, many companies now offer you a discount if you purchase those same limits or higher. So, higher limits doesn't necessarily mean higher price. In many cases, choosing higher limits lowers the price of your insurance to less than what it would cost to buy a policy with just minimum state requirements. Strange? Yes! But, the logic behind offering lower prices for higher limits is that it indicates you are responsible in your financial decision-making and that translates to a more responsible driver. And a responsible driver is what every insurance company hopes for. So, call your independent insurance agent today to find out which companies reward you for having had higher than state minimum limits. If you have minimum limits now, raise them as soon as you can. You will be surprised at how little your rates go up for simply doubling the limits of your liability coverage. There is no limit to how much someone can sue you for after an accident. Get as high a limit of coverage as your budget will allow. You will find that as you shop around, the fact you had higher limits will act in your favor.

  5. Multi-car Discount. Most companies take off a percentage of the cost of each vehicle if you insure more than one car on the policy. However, a few only give you this discount as long as you have the same number of cars as drivers.

  6. Paid-in-full. Nearly every insurance company offers you deep discounts if you are able to pay the full term premium at once. Ask your independent agent to compare the paid-in-full price with the various payment plans she will have to offer you. The savings may be worth the time.

  7. Prior Insurance with Same Agent. Some companies promote loyalty of the client to his independent insurance agent and offer a small additional percentage of discount when transferring from one company to another within the agent's office. Be sure your agent has checked the box that indicates you are a current client to get the maximum credit.

  8. Uninsured with Cause. This discount has many names, but essentially it means that you are entitled to receive a discount as though you had continuous coverage for six month or more. The law in the State of Oregon requires insurance companies to give the Renewal or Transfer discount if one of the following applies:

    • You were on active military duty and deployed
    • You were given a company car for business and personal use
    • You did not own a vehicle
    • You are buying a car for the very first time, or
    • You lived in a country other than the United States.

    Now comes the hard part. You must prove one of the above conditions existed. You will be required to show documented proof. Some of these might be a little difficult to prove. Talk to your independent agent for more details on how to get the proof you need to take advantage of these discounts.

  9. AAA or other Travel Membership Discount. Some companies give discounts if you belong to a travel membership organization. Be sure and let your independent agent know if you have a current membership card and ask which plans qualify.

  10. Homeowner or Renter Discount. Let your agent know if you own a home, condominium, townhouse, manufactured home or mobile home or have purchased a renters insurance policy. Ownership implies stability with an insurance company and they reward drivers that show signs of stability in their finances, employment and residence.

  11. Carpool Discount. If you go to the same place to work everyday but take turns driving with a co-worker or someone else that works nearby, you can take off an additional percentage. Just let your independent agent know. Be careful, the company will check by asking for an odometer reading and will measure the distance from your home to your place of employment using some online map service.

  12. Pleasure Use Discount. If you are a stay-at-home parent, retired or work strictly from your residence, you may qualify for the Pleasure Use Discount. This means that you use your vehicle occasionally to go to church, grocery store or other unscheduled destinations. Again, the company may periodically ask for an odometer reading to verify the discount.

  13. Car Feature Discount. Here we will group all the discounts companies may offer depending on what features your automobile has. Typical discounts include: daytime or running lights, ABS brakes, anti-theft device (alarm, tracking system, etching), front and side airbags, automatic seatbelts, etc. The discounts for these are usually recognized in the sophisticated software your independent insurance agent uses based on the VIN number. So, when contacting your agent for a quote, be sure you have the complete and correct number available.

  14. Marital Status Discount. Most companies offer discounts if you state that you are married AND that you list your spouse on the policy. Many spouses are not licensed. We can work around that. Some companies still allow the married credit and are able to exclude or list the spouse as a non-driver. Many companies are now recognizing domestic partners for this discount. Just give us a call if this applies to you and we will see how much you can save by declaring and listing a domestic partner on your auto insurance policy.

  15. Senior Accident Prevention Course Discount. If you are over 55 and take an Oregon State sponsored Senior Accident Prevention Course, you may be entitled to an additional discount. Just be prepared to show your certificate to your independent insurance agent. The course must have been completed in the most recent three years in most cases.

  16. Drivers Training Discount. This discount usually applies to young drivers. Keep a copy of your drivers training course certificate and show it to your agent. The price of insurance for a young operator is high enough as it is. Drivers training will help to lower that cost.

  17. Good Student Discount. Maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or higher entitles you, the young student driver, to an additional discount with most companies. Just show your independent agent your most recent grade report. She will take a photocopy of your grades and send them into your parent's insurance company for additional savings. See, it pays to get good grades!
There may be other discounts than the ones listed here. Some companies charge less for certain occupations. Be sure and tell your agent what you do for a living. Some companies give discounts if you have advanced educations. Tell your independent agent of any degrees you hold. We look forward to being able to answer any questions you may have about auto insurance discounts.

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