Auto insurance premiums are far from static. They are fluid entities that can go up or down depending on factors that can fall both in or outside a driver's realm of control.
They also tend to be marked by milestones. As the blurbs below demonstrate, reaching these moments of significance will likely result in an auto insurance discount. Individually they may not be substantial, but over time they add up!
Drivers ed completion
It costs around a few hundred dollars and may feel redundant to new drivers who feel like they know the road rules well enough already, but drivers education is justified by the return on investment it provides for insurance. However many hundreds of dollars one spends on drivers ed, it's fairly likely that the entire sum will be earned back through insurance discounts within one to two years. So suck it up, sit in class for a few sessions, pay attention, and reap the benefits later on.
Does strong academic performance have to translate into safe driving habits? No, not necessarily. Do school smarts make it more likely? Absolutely.
For this reason, lots of insurers offer 'good student discounts' through which drivers can be rewarded for their achievements in school. Often the threshold will be no higher than having honour roll-level grades, so it's well worth it for any scholarly driver to check what it is.
Sometimes drivers can reach a milestone by simply living. Thanks to long-held beliefs about driver demographics, 25 is the age at which most insurers choose to give their clients a massive price cut on premiums.
This doesn't mean that the 25th birthday discount is unconditional. A risky driver will still be penalized accordingly, even if he or she is making the jump from 24 to 25. But in the majority of cases, turning 25 is a welcome relief for drivers paying for an insurance policy.
Remember how we discussed good grades as being an indicator that someone is likely to have safe driving habits? Well, it's the same thing for marriage—just to a much higher degree.
Getting married signifies that someone is at a stage in his or her life where commitment to a partner will motivate that person to behave responsibly and avoid risk that could leave the other person hanging. Sure, pretty much every driver is committed to self-preservation on the road, but married people at least have a tangible motive for being extra careful.
Having a child
Having a child lowers the risk profile of a married (or unmarried) person even further. It behooves an even greater degree of responsibility on a driver's part when a baby is along for the ride in a car seat. So as purchases build up and make the cost of having children a massively expensive one, just remember that auto insurance is one arena in which a child is actually a financial benefit.
Buying a home
Okay, the sole act of buying a home probably won't net drivers an auto insurance discount, but bundling home insurance with auto insurance probably will. Insurers incentivize bundling since it ensures that a client won't be taking that extra business elsewhere. And if the policy terms are satisfactory, then it becomes a mutually beneficial deal, and a good way to take advantage of the homebuying milestone.
Parking in a garage
This isn't exactly everyone's idea of a 'milestone,' but the distinction between parking on the street every day and parking in a garage (or perhaps just a reserved spot in an outdoor lot) is a worthwhile one to insurers. So when the boss comes around to bestow a new company parking spot, a driver's next move should be to get in touch with insurance and ask for a discount.
Every now and then companies choose to reward loyalty. Any driver who has been with an insurer for an extended period of time—one year, five years, 10 years, etc.—may qualify for a loyalty discount. It may not kick in automatically, so policyholders should be sure to keep an eye out for when it activates.
Safe driving checkpoint
This is another time-based milestone. Similar to how insurers handle loyalty, they may choose to reward a certain number of years of accident- and violation-free driving. With the recent introduction of telematics technology, a safe driving discount could also based on the results of performance tracking.
Since retired drivers typically drive less, the likelihood of them getting into accidents is notably less as well. Though premiums may end up increasing again in old age—or driving privileges be revoked altogether—there is a window in which being an older drivers could benefit from retirement.