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Never let yourself catch feelings—for your insurance company, that is. Auto insurance companies want you to believe that the two of you are together, building a partnership that benefits both of you. They’ll send you cute emails and even offer you loyalty discounts if you stick with them for a certain period of time or buy multiple policies.
But just because you’re being rewarded for loyalty doesn’t mean you’re getting the best premium. Car insurance companies sometimes use loyalty discounts to mask rate hikes, and the longer you’re with one company, the more they’ll take you for granted. Keep your insurance company honest by using Insurify’s free car insurance quote comparison tool.
Loyalty discounts come in the form of loyalty programs and bundles.
Some insurance companies raise your premiums if they’re convinced you won’t switch insurance companies, and loyalty discounts can obscure increases in your car insurance rates.
Instead of relying on discounts for loyalty, shop around for car insurance.
Are loyalty discounts worth sticking with the same insurance company?
While it’s true loyalty discounts can help you score modest savings on your car insurance companies, the best way to score the lowest rates is to compare car insurance quotes and switch policies.
When it comes to auto insurance, there are two main discounts intended to reward customer loyalty.
Loyalty Program Discounts
The first type of discount offers insurance customers marginal savings for staying with a given insurance provider for a certain period of time, usually more than six months. Loyal customers can expect to save 10 percent or less on their insurance premiums.
Bundles, also called multi-policy discounts, are a very common type of auto insurance discount. When your insurance provider also sells life insurance, renters or homeowners insurance, or a different kind of policy, they’ll give you at least 5 percent off your premium. When you have multiple homes or cars, or a big family, this can definitely add up.
The Unfortunate Myth of Loyalty Discounts
Even if you fall in love with your insurance company and feel like you’ve built a trusting relationship, the depressing math of loyalty discounts means that you can’t count on them alone to keep your auto insurance premium low. Insurance companies will still raise your rates over time for a variety of reasons.
Insurance companies raise rates often. This doesn’t always mean you’re being taken advantage of. But the reality of the car insurance market is that loyalty discounts rarely add up to enough savings to justify you staying no matter what. Not to mention that insurance companies often have incentives waiting for new customers.
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Beware: Price Optimization
Here’s one reason in particular that loyalty discounts can go wrong for drivers.
Price optimization is a premium-setting technique whereby insurance companies try to guess the highest premium you’ll pay without leaving your current insurer. The longer you’ve been faithful, the algorithm thinks, the less likely you are to leave, even if your rates go up steadily. So they charge higher premiums to some longtime policyholders.
Some insurance companies use price optimization, though it’s banned in some states. Whether or not they’re doing the math behind your back to charge you the highest price possible, loyalty discounts just don’t sweeten the deal enough to make it worth your while to stay with your current insurer because of loyalty alone.
Car Insurance Companies with Customer Loyalty Discounts
Here’s a rundown of what to expect in terms of loyalty discounts from the largest insurance companies around.
One of the largest insurance companies around, State Farm provides discounts for multiple policies, and they sell a broad range of insurance products, such as home insurance and life insurance. Auto insurance policyholders can also get a discount for insuring multiple cars.
USAA is only for active or retired military members and their families, but if you pass membership down the generations, you can get a loyalty discount of 10 percent. You might even qualify for additional loyalty discounts on top of that. Bundling and multi-car discounts are also available.
Ohio-based Progressive Insurance advertises bundling discounts that can lower your car insurance premiums by around 4 percent when combined with any number of Progressive insurance policies, along with markdowns of around 5 percent per car for multiple car insurance policies.
Some perks, like accident forgiveness, only become available discounts after you’ve been a loyal customer. Progressive also offers continuous insurance discounts if you’ve had insurance coverage for an extended period of time, no matter who your insurance provider was.
That gecko looks friendly. But GEICO doesn’t give rewards for sticking around beyond the traditional multi-car discount and bundling, though you’ll be able to bundle with GEICO’s numerous insurance products.
Allstate has your typical multi-car and bundling available discounts, and it’ll lower your deductible every six months you go without a car accident.
Since by now you’re hopefully wary of loyalty-based ways to lower your car insurance premiums, let’s go over a few other great ways to lower your car insurance premiums.
Your car’s attributes can earn you all sorts of discounts. If it has updated safety features, like antilock brakes and airbags, along with anti-theft equipment, you can often qualify for a car insurance discount. Allstate also offers a discount if you buy a new car and are the first owner.
Policyholders can beef up their driving skills and earn discounts for taking a defensive driving course. In general, safe drivers with a clean driving record and long driving history will get great rates. For younger drivers who will get high rates based on their age, student discounts are usually available to full-time students earning a B average or better.
How to Know If Your Discounts Are Saving You Money
Insurance companies will raise your rates if you don’t show them you’re willing to shop around. So the best way to know if you’re getting the rate you deserve is to search far and wide for quotes from other insurance companies. If that sounds like a lot of work, you’ll love Insurify, a free car insurance comparison website that gives you a real slate of quotes to compare.
Frequently Asked Questions
My car insurance company gives me a loyalty discount. That’s a good thing, right?
Customer loyalty discounts are common in the insurance industry. But for policyholders, there’s no big benefit to keeping up a long-term romance with your car insurance company. Car insurance discounts are nice, but what really matters is the amount you’re paying for your total premium, and if you can find a better one elsewhere, you ought to switch.
If I’m a loyal customer, why would car insurance companies want to raise my rates?
Auto insurance companies will try to win you over with car insurance discounts praising your loyalty, but sometimes, they’ll raise your rates in the same breath. And if they use a technique called price optimization, they’ll charge you more for being a loyal customer just because they think you won’t leave. Talk about manipulative!
Which insurance companies offer loyalty discounts?
Practically every major insurance company offers loyalty-based car insurance discounts. These usually take the form of multi-car discounts and bundling opportunities when you buy multiple insurance products.
How do I know if I should change insurance companies?
The insurance industry is a numbers game. The best way to know if you’re getting the best premium is to look around and see what other auto insurance companies will offer you instead. When it comes to your auto insurance policy, your loyalty should be with the company that will give you great insurance coverage at the best rates.
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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.
Charlie Mitchell is a journalist, researcher, and writer specializing in personal finance subjects. He holds a degree from Middlebury College. His work can be found in Vox, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and other publications. Charlie uses his expertise in home, renters, and auto insurance subjects to help inform people to make better financial decisions. Connect with Charlie on LinkedIn.