Driving Less? Driving Better? Trends That Can Lower Your Insurance

Today, car insurance companies compete with each other by offering programs that can lower your rates. They offer discounts on coverage for safe driving records, straight-A students, military service, and car insurance when working from home.

If you’re telecommuting, homeschooling, or shopping via delivery — or all three — let your car insurance company know. They probably have low mileage discounts. If you’re looking for even deeper discounts, ask if your insurer uses telematics, which is a way to lower rates if you’re a good driver.

There are so many ways to reduce your premiums. Here are our top tips to help lower your auto insurance rates.

Driving Less

COVID-19 changed the way people lived, worked, and drove. Car insurance providers understand people are driving less and typically will reduce monthly premiums, or in some cases, offer refunds to policyholders who are driving less due to remote work, online schooling, sheltering in place, quarantine orders, and other COVID-related reasons.

Trends That Can Lower Your Insurance

 Apart from COVID, you may be driving less and not realize it. It’s a good habit to check your mileage when you get your annual oil change. You can compare year to year, and if you’re driving less, let your provider know and ask about lower rates.


Telematics is the trend that insurers hope by the next decade becomes the standard way to determine rates. It’s a way insurers can lower rates if you’re a good driver.

What is telematics?

Telematics car insurance, also known as usage-based insurance (UBI), is a type of auto insurance that tracks mileage and driving behaviors. The technology uses telecommunications and informatics (data science) to monitor driving through an in-vehicle GPS device and onboard diagnostics.

What does telematics do?

Through telematics technology and data collection, insurance companies can offer rates based on specific driving habits. The technology records and measures driving operations. The data collection allows companies to calculate a driver score based on driving patterns. Telematics help providers tailor car insurance rates to specific driving habits.

How does telematics work?

Telematics works through mobile applications on your phone or plug-in devices installed in your vehicle. These technologies record the driver’s speed, braking, signaling, swerving, turning, and other driving habits. The information system records real-time data on your automobile’s mileage, fuel, GPS location, and engine diagnostics. 

Is telematics a good thing?

The use of telematics is rapidly growing. It’s a win for the auto insurance industry because they get valuable driver information that helps them assess their claim risk. It’s a win for the driver, who sees lower insurance rates. It’s a win for the public because there are more safe drivers on the road.

Safe Driving

Car insurance costs are directly tied to driver risk. The riskier your driving behavior, the more expensive your rates will be. Obviously, better drivers will have lower rates.

Safe Driver Discounts

All drivers can lower their car insurance costs by driving safely. Almost all insurance companies offer safe driver programs through telematic car insurance.

Even without telematics, providers have access to your official driving record kept with the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state your car is registered in. If you have a good driving history with no records of accidents or tickets within the past three years, you should be able to negotiate a cheaper rate.

Improve Driving Record

Motorists with a history of car accidents or speeding tickets often pay high car insurance rates. But, there are ways to improve your driving record so you can enjoy safe driving discounts.

Safe Driving Classes

Driving improves through safe driving classes. So whether it’s a driving class for teen driver permits or driving classes required as a condition of a moving violation conviction, proof of attendance can lower rates.

Enroll in Telematics

We already discussed how motorists could benefit from telematics by lowering premiums based on their good driver scores. Drivers also improve their skills and habits because they are more mindful of their driving. Also, personal driving data is available at their fingertips on the app. Some devices give instant feedback on skills to improve, like taking corners or merging speeds.

As technology advances, so do the ways in which we are able to protect ourselves while driving. The latest advancement is the dashboard mounted camera for car. This new device helps give drivers peace of mind and an extra layer of protection when out on the road.
The camera itself is designed to be mounted onto a car’s dashboard and it records video footage from in front of the vehicle – allowing drivers to have access to evidence if something goes wrong while they are driving. This device can be incredibly useful in cases of accidents, as it gives drivers hard evidence that can be used both for insurance purposes and for legal proceedings should this be necessary.

In addition, these cameras also have other features such as motion sensing sensors and night vision capabilities – making them great at capturing anything that happens on the roads, even during periods of darkness or bad visibility.

Good Grades

Here’s another reason to be proud of that report card. If you or someone in your family is a student, look into student car insurance discounts based on good grades. Teen and young adult drivers who have taken safe driver training may also be able to get discounts in some cases. 

Off to college without the car? Take advantage of student-away discounts offered by lots of carriers. Students can also ask for lower rates if they live over 100 miles away from their vehicle and only use the car when they return home for holidays or vacations.

Also, did you know that rates tend to decrease as the education level increases? Some estimate up to a 4 percent savings for motorists with postgraduate degrees. However, medical professionals can be seen as riskier drivers due to job-related stress and long working hours.

Military Service

Not only do all major insurance companies offer car insurance discounts for military service members, but there are also insurance companies that exclusively ensure members of the military.

Military Car Insurance Requirements

To get military car insurance discounts, you need to have a military affiliation. To be eligible, active, or veteran affiliation with either the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Reserves is required.

Trends That Can Lower Your Insurance

That said, spouses, children, and widows of service members generally qualify as well. Divorced spouses of military members qualify so long as they don’t remarry.

Students attending a military academy or enrolled in college on an ROTC scholarship should also qualify for military discounts and other student benefits.

Active Duty

There are basic discounts for military service policyholders on active duty. Active-duty service members can also save on car insurance if they park or store their vehicles on an armed forces base. Living on a military base or storing your car on one can lower rates because of the reduced risk of theft or damage on a secure and restricted base.


Insurance providers will lower your car insurance premiums during military deployment. Long-term deployment can lead to big-time savings on car insurance costs.

You won’t be driving, so there’s no risk of an accident. If your car is securely parked in long-term storage, it won’t be driven, which significantly reduces the risk of damage. Some companies offer storage protection plans to cover your car while you’re away. 

Affinity Groups

Many insurance providers give affinity discounts to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Affinity discounts are price breaks offered based on membership to particular groups like the military, veterans, alumni associations, honor societies, sororities and fraternities, professional associations, and other special interest groups. 

Other Policy and Payment Discounts

As you can see, there are lots of ways to lower your insurance. Don’t forget these easy discounts for things most people already do:

  • Automatic payments. If you make electronic payments from your bank account rather than credit card payments, your insurer passes the savings from the lack of processing fees on to you at lower rates.
  • Bundling. Your rate drops when you purchase multiple policies, like auto, homeowners, renters, life, and other insurance, from the same insurance company.
  • E-sign. Most insurance companies offer discounts for buying car insurance online.
  • Full payment. Sometimes there’s a discount if you pay your annual insurance in one lump sum. 

Lauren Blair is a lawyer and writer for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She has over 25 years of experience in litigation and has arbitrated car accident claims.

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