Car insurance may not be something that you give much thought to—until you need it. In 2017, there were over 127,000 motor vehicle crashes in Arizona. Among these collisions, there were nearly 1,000 fatalities and over 50,000 injuries. The majority of these accidents are preventable. The actions of one or more drivers are the primary cause in over 90% of collisions.
The average cost of auto insurance in Arizona is estimated to be between $1,247 and $1,355. In comparison, the national average is reported to be between $1,365 and $1,425. Insurers calculate auto insurance premiums based on various factors including your location, driving record, credit score, gender, age, and more. The majority of insurers offer different types of discounts. These discounts may be small or potentially save you up to 25% on your car insurance.
Why Do So Many Insurers Offer Discounts?
As this posting will illustrate, there are various discounts available from most carriers. One large reason for this is that drivers are mandated to buy car insurance. There is a tremendous amount of potential business in the market and insurers offer discounts to be more competitive. The chart below shows how many millions of car insurance policies are issued.
Number of Insured Drivers: Neighboring State Comparison
Asking for Available Discounts as Existing Policy Expires
If you have an existing policy you may be able to obtain a discount and remain insured with the same company. Contact them to see what types of discounts they currently offer. The result may be beneficial because you will save money and they will retain an existing customer. Often the insurer does not offer discounts in their advertisements, but they may still be available. This is particularly a good option if you are very satisfied with this company.
Discounts to Offset Rising Premiums
According to ABC15 News in Phoenix, auto insurance rates in Arizona rose by almost 30% from 2014 to 2018. Janet Ruiz, with the Western Insurance Information Institute, explained that some increases are the result of new forms of technology being added to vehicles. Features such as rear cameras and heated seats are common in new vehicles. Insurers recognize that these advancements lead to higher costs for replacement parts following an accident. Ruiz says that prices may stabilize as the new advanced safety features begin to reduce the volume and severity of crashes. In the meantime, consumers are encouraged to determine what potential discounts they may qualify for to reduce insurance price increases
Memberships and Affiliations
One of the most widely promoted auto insurance discounts is those for current or retired military members. There are potential discounts available based on your employer, such as if you are a federal employee. Those in professional organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce may be eligible for discounted rates. Group-related discounts may be available to members of AAA or a fraternal or alumni association that you are involved in.
Another type of discount that is similar because it applies to a group of individuals is those geared for seniors. For example, The Hartford has special discounted policies specifically for seniors. These are often marketed together with AARP and they also offer coverage for golf carts.
Multi-Policy or Bundling Policies
Car insurance companies may offer other types of insurance that can be “bundled.” Examples include renters insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, etc. In addition to multi-policy discounts, there are multi-car discounts, such as those from Progressive that average a 10% savings. Some people find that having the same carrier for multiple types of coverage makes it easier to manage, such as having a single login to view policy details and make payments.
In business, demographics are sets of characteristics that statistically identify populations and segments of the marketplace. One type of discount that insurers commonly offer is marketed as “senior” or “retiree” discounts. Often, these discounts are geared towards those over the age of 55 or 65. Another commonly seen discount applies to homeowners. Those who own a house or condo may find offers that provide some savings. Some insurance companies offer discounts to those who bundle their auto and homeowners insurance policies, as long as the policies are with the same company.
Students may receive discounts as well. Those in high school or college may qualify for “good student” discounts as long as they maintain good grades. Many insurers think students with higher grade point averages are more responsible and are less likely to be involved in accidents. Qualifying for these academic discounts may be based on grade point averages or other academic thresholds. Insurance companies may seek to attract young drivers who could potentially develop into loyal, long-term customers.
Legacy or Loyalty Discounts
A loyal discount may be an option for young drivers that still reside at home. You would simply need to be added to your parents existing policy. In this scenario, both you and your parents may be able to obtain reduced auto insurance premiums. This discount may help to offset the often higher car insurance rates younger drivers encounter.
Discounts based on loyalty are increasingly common, as insurers obviously want to maintain long-term customers. Some of these discounts are available in a short time, such as only one-year. Consult with your insurance agent for details.
Good Driving History
Maintaining a “clean” driving record with no recent traffic violations or accidents is one of the keys to getting lower rates. For example, those with multiple tickets for speeding are likely to see rate increases. In Arizona, the Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicles Division keeps a record of points that have been assessed against you. For example, a speeding violation is a three-point violation. More severe offenses such as driving under the influence of alcohol are eight-point violations.
Vehicle Safety Features
Some insurers will offer discounts when your vehicle has certain security or safety features. There are various anti-theft devices that significantly reduce the likelihood that your vehicle will be stolen. Keep in mind that insurers are likely to be aware of the vehicles that are most commonly targeted by thieves.
Today’s vehicles are increasingly equipped with advanced safety technology. Some of these features are likely to be included as standard equipment such as anti-lock brakes and airbags. Many newer vehicles are equipped with various sensors that are capable of notifying drivers. For example, when another vehicle is traveling in your “blind spot” or if you are approaching an object that could result in a collision.
Progressive Snapshot Program
Progressive Insurance recently implemented a new Snapshot program. It is a new form of “usage-based” insurance that considers how safely you drive. The program has a mobile “plug-in” app that assesses your driving behavior in real-time. Initially, those who enroll receive a participation discount that serves as an incentive to join. Further details are available by visiting their website or consulting with your insurance agent.
How Independent Agents Offer Affordably Priced Policies
There are a host of potential benefits that insurance customers may recognize from using an independent agent including:
- Unlike a captive agent, who represents a specific insurance carrier, an independent agent is able to offer policies from various carriers
- Your agent will assess your individual needs and find a policy that is best suited for you at a competitive price
- They will keep abreast on potential discount opportunities that may provide significant savings
- You receive personal service and support from a local professional
Arizona Auto Insurance Agency
The Gebhardt Insurance Group in Casa Grande has been a trusted independent local insurance agency for many years. Our team of insurance professionals can assist you with automobile insurance; in addition to insurance for your home, life, business, and more. We encourage you to contact us today at (520) 836-3244.