Drive Through Hoops To Save Money On Insurance

Of all the regular costs that dog car owners, liability insurance is among the cruelest. You only get the best rates if you never file claims, so careful drivers end up subsidizing the costs incurred by reckless ones. The best drivers can hope for is to find the lowest rate by shopping around and taking advantage of every discount.

Thousandaire advocates checking with your insurer for discounts. He found a way to score a defensive driving class discount by taking an online class. To make the deal even sweeter, he found an online coupon that saved $5 on the class.

If you have a clean driving record, you can call your insurance agent and ask if you’re eligible for cheaper rates. If you get stonewalled, it may be time to start looking for quotes from competitors.

Save $220 on Car Insurance for Defensive Driving [Thousandaire]


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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Locating an agency is a good idea, too. They can shop for a lot more than you, and faster, and you can them all sorts of questions about how to get discounts.

    Plus, they’re free!

  2. KyBash says:

    My new agent calls every year to ask for a sit-down to discuss whether I might be eligible for a discount I wasn’t previously qualified for. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it could save me some money, and it’s easy to quash his upsell spiel, so I do it.

  3. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    If you can get insurance through USAA, do it! You get dividends back every year, to spend or apply to your payments. Awesome :D

    • theblackdog says:

      That is always awesome, and if you have a bank account with them, they will directly put it into your account.

      Also, they were the ones who saved me lots of money in college when they asked if I drove to class. I didn’t, so reclassifying my driving habits as pleasure cut the insurance almost in half.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I used to have USAA when I was in the Army. It’s a shame that their rates are so high and they wont insure a house that you can’t definitively affirm that 100% of the K&T has been removed.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        I know they won’t provide renters or Homeowners insurance in Florida, but that’s because the state set up really stupid anti-consumer laws because of Hurricanes and things.. the only reason my parents still have coverage is due to being grandfathered in.

        I’ve never had an issue with them, sorry that your experience wasn’t as stellar :(

  4. neekap says:

    Never assume you’re getting a good deal with your current insurance agency. I switched earlier this year from State Farm to Liberty Mutual and Liberty Mutual came in at over 50% cheaper on their policy with identical coverage. State Farm couldn’t come close to Liberty Mutual even though I’ve had my policy with them for over 25 years.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      You need to be careful with Liberty Mutual. They were just sued by my state’s AG for illegally requiring body shops to use junkyard parts on new cars.

    • alexwade says:

      Funny, I have Liberty Mutual and I am very unhappy with them. Recently here in North Carolina, the auto insurance companies were asking for a big rate increase. The NCDOI actually ordered the auto insurance companies to drop their rates by a small amount. What happened? My insurance rates are higher today even though my only claim was due to vandalism 5 years ago, even though the value of my vehicle is much less, even though NCDOI ordered a rate reduction. I specifically asked Liberty Mutual how they can raise rates when they were ordered to lower rates. Next year, I am not renewing. There is no justifiable reason why the insurance for an older vehicle keeps going up.

      It appears to me that Liberty Mutual gets you with a teaser rate and slowly makes up for it over the years.

  5. lagotech says:

    It seems like every other commercial on TV is for car insurance, Imagine how much lower your rates could be if they would just stop with the overkill marketing.

    • consumeristjohnny says:

      Imagine how much cheaper things would be if we didnt pay people too. Marketing is part of the world. In fact, marketing keeps the cost of the insurance down. If a company gets MORE customers, it is able to disburse the risk in a larger pool. If a company just waited for people to come to them, the pool would generally be smaller. A smaller pool means increased rates. There are plenty of insurance companies that do not advertise. Go to them. See what their rates are. Your hypothesis does not conform to reality.

      • MrEvil says:

        There is such a thing as too much advertising. If Geico could just cut back a bit on the TV spots they might attract the same number of customers AND not spend as much on national Tv advertisements.

  6. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    With the internet, it may seem outdated but going through a broker for insurance can save a significant amount of money. A good broker should be able to check rates at several insurers, find discounts, and find an appropriate policy based on your own history.

    I used to think insurance brokers were an incredibly outdated concept but a couple weeks ago, one did the impossible and found my family health insurance that we could afford.

    • ned4spd8874 says:

      I’ve been using a broker for about 15 years now. The same guy the whole time! He helped me save hundreds when I first contacted him and have been sold on him ever since.

  7. teamplur says:

    Duh just click on those adds that tell you “new law lets (yourstate) drivers get super cheap insurance!”

    • rpm773 says:

      I’m not sure you or others have noticed, but why do all the recent ones employ the term “easy trick”, or “ridiculously simple trick”, or something similar with the word “trick”.

      That’s been bugging me for the last several weeks

      It’s almost like at the great Banner Ad Industry Convention 2011, there was a keynote speaker that said studies show using the word “easy trick” in a banner ads gets more customers.

      I wonder if anyone knows what I’m talking about :P

  8. Kavatar says:

    Do you get bonus discounts if the hoops are on fire?

  9. jvanbrecht says:

    With the car I drive.. there is no such thing as a discount or cheap rate :P (I have a C63).. My wifes insurance just dropped by $500 a year for switching from a E35 to a Jeep Grand Cherokee..

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      The insurance on my BMW M3 ($350k liablity, full coverage, $1k deductible) is only $800/yr. My wife’s mini van is $600. I could get it cheaper but I have been really happy with my insurer.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        A lot of it also depends on where you live. There is no such thing as cheap insurance in West Virginia.

  10. CosmosHuman says:

    So far I haven’t been able to teach Cosmo to drive, that really dogs me!

  11. denros says:

    I gave progressive’s snapshot program a whirl recently… plugged it in and forgot about it until they sent me a check for $20 (10% of my 6 month premium). It’s a pretty decent program.

    • pgr says:

      Are you nuts for signing up for that program!!! Don’t you realize that if you ever do have an accident they will use use all the data from that to nail you to the wall! It’s NOT to protect you it’s to protect them.

      $40 rebate a year is hardly worth the legal ramifications you could face with that thing connected in your car.

      Plus, their ads really suck big time ;(

  12. Chmeeee says:

    I love how all the ads for insurance companies love to tout how the average person who switches saves $347 or some other random number like that. Well of course, nobody is switching if it will cost them more, so all the people who got high quotes from them just didn’t switch. Geico gave me a quote that was TRIPLE State Farm for the same coverage. I know other people who got the exact opposite situation.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Yep…21st Century wanted like $500 more than what I pay Allstate. People like me must be how they give others those discounts!

  13. SkokieGuy says:

    I think people are way to focused on the rate.

    The point of insurance is to protect you in case of an accident.

    How easily are claims paid?
    Do you have to use their adjustor or claim center, or can you use a shop of your choice?
    Can you insist on OEM parts?
    How aggressive are they in going after a third party to recoup the cost of claim?
    How much will rates go up if you have a claim?
    Will you be dropped if you have a claim?

    People can brag all they want about how much less they pay, but unless you’ve had to USE your insurance and are comfortable with the experience, the price of the premium is only one small piece of the decision on who to insure with.

    • Vermont2US says:

      +1 Totally agree. I might be able to save some money on auto insurance, but my insurer has been very prompt in paying on claims, let’s me use whatever repair shop I want, and hasn’t raised my rates after having an accident (we’ve had two accidents in the past 20 years, so I guess we’re better than average?). Plus, it’s through a local agency and I can talk to a customer rep within a minute when I call, they know my account, and they even offer up ideas on how to save on my premiums or get better coverage. It’s worth it to me to pay a little more when I don’t get hassled about coverage whenever something happens and I have a real live local person to talk to.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        Think about how the medical insurance industry screws the insured.

        I am willing to pay more than the cheapest possible rate to know that I’m not going to have to sue to get the coverage I’ve paid for.

    • KyBash says:

      +1 also! All big insurance companies have virtually the same admin costs per policy, so the only way one can be significantly cheaper is if they don’t pay out as much on claims as their competitors.

    • Rob says:

      I totally agree.

      I am right now in the middle of an accident claim with my insurance company (another driver ran a red light and took out my right front fender last week).

      From the claims adjuster to the claims investigator all have called daily with updates. All the pertinent information concerning my claim are available online (damage photos, police report, repair estimates, etc) when I log into their web site under my policy number/password. Any issues are handled promptly (my car rental had to be extended so the insurance adjuster had to authorize the extension payment).

      It has been hard trying to stop myself from micromanaging like I had to do over ten years ago with a claim from a different insurance company.

  14. wackydan says:

    We’ve been with State Farm forever. They kind of piss me off that they only write 6 month policies.

    We have two vehicles with them, but they refused to put my motorcycle under the same umbrella policy… and wanted $800 more than progressive… so progressive insures the bike.

    Might be time to shop around.

    • mbz32190 says:

      The 6 month policy thing is a huge part of it. You may get a quote for a price several dollars cheaper than your current policy, but after 6 months, watch out! You may be better off just sticking to your current policy unless you really feel like getting a zillion insurance quotes every 6 months.

    • nybiker says:

      GEICO has been writing 6-month policies for years. Well, at least for me they have. Of course, that gives them time to jack things up sooner rather than later. Maybe next year I will see what I can do to improve on their pricing.
      Who writes 12-month policies for autos?

  15. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I don’t own a dog car.

  16. maxhobbs says:

    I’m kind of screwed here, I live on the beach and it is near impossible to get a new insurance policy for a home (even if you have an existing policy).

    And the way most insurers do it here, you have to have a bundle package of a home plus one car or a boat or motorcycle or something, i.e. if you only carry home insurance you are likely to get dropped and then you are screwed finding new insurance.

    What this means is it is near impossible to shop around for car insurance without finding someone that will take on everything.

    Yes, it is a racket.

  17. shthar says:

    That’s what you get for buying a dog car in the first place.

  18. icntdrv says:

    So based on the picture, my family can buy two identical cars, and then get away with only insuring one. AWESOME!

  19. ned4spd8874 says:

    I’m in Michigan and they linked me to a course for $39. Plus if I want proof that I passed, it’s another $7.95 for a grand total of $46.95. Hmm…got a little bit of bait and switch going on here. I’ll have to talk to my insurance guy to see how much I would save by doing this to see if it’s worth it.

  20. Broke_Daddy says:

    My insurance company decided that it would cost twice as much to rebuild my house than it is worth. To that they tacked on a 2-3% general increase in the state (MO, probably because of Joplin), and a small increase in my truck and car.
    I checked Geico and numerous other places. Ended up with USAA. Fantastic rates, twice the home coverage for less than I was paying another company, and a rebate on my car insurance for having both types of policies, a credit card and a checking account with them. I’m a real fan of theirs now.

    • tbail25 says:

      Just an FYI, reconstruction costs are not the same as “what my house is worth.” I work in insurance, and this is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

  21. Rick Sphinx says:

    FYI on accidents. If it’s not your fault, you should sue the other driver, other drivers insurance (if other driver uninsured, and you have un-insured insurance, sue your own insurance company). Sue for Diminished Value of the vehicle. Even though the car has been repaired, it’s not worth as much now. I was involved in a hit-and-run. We ended up getting up with the commonweaths attorney, and asking for restitution for the diminished value of the car. Got $4000. Keep in mind I’m not ahead, my car is worth that much less when I trade it in, or sell it. The value is determined at the time of the accident. Too many people get into accidents, get the car fixed; then when it’s time to sell it, they are hit with “this cars been in an accident, It’s only worth X amount of money. You will need to spend some money on an appraisal for diminished value, but use a local certified appraiser, not an on-line one. You need one who will physically look at the car and take pictures. Just add this cost to your suit. (about $300) It’s your money, fight for it. I’ve been stiffed in two accidents, and swore I would not be again, if you hit me, you will pay for ALL my out of pocket money.
    I also would steer clear of the Progressive “big brother” watch dog device. I can work for you, and against you. I don’t need anymore controls in my life. In bad accidents, all cars have ‘black boxes’ now anyway.