Commuting Distance Can Change Your Car Insurance Premiums

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Discounts based on distance traveled annually vary by insurer and state. Nevertheless be sure to inform your insurer if your driving habits change, like - a different commute, work from home, retirement etc.

Most insurance providers believe that long on-road time increases your probability of being involved in an accident. This is not to say that insurance companies think every driver is unsafe. However, traveling longer distances increases your exposure to reckless driving, which result in collisions or other damages.

Inform your insurer if your driving habits change, such as if you’re taking a different route or working from home or have retired. Most insurers will not change your premiums for one-off long trips.

If you are a driver who has to spend a lot of time on the road once in a while, consider carpooling for these rare instances as this will bring down your rates significantly.

Raising your deductible amount is another way of reducing your auto insurance rate. If you are a heavy commuter and incur a price surcharge for it, this may work for you. However, it is not the smartest option because a regular road-user has a higher probability of being involved in an accident. With an already high probability of an auto accident, it is not sensible to increase your deductible amount just to lower your rates. It is better to ask your insurer for other commute-based discounts available to you.

By and large, if you travel less than 2,000 miles annually or less than 3-miles on a one-way trip, you are considered a pleasure commuter. Price surcharges are directed at drivers who drive up to 20 miles on a one-way trip or up to 15,000 miles annually. If you drive more than that, generally there is no additional hike in premiums. Between these two extremes though discounts are available on various criteria.

Allstate offers the biggest discount of 34% in the state of Maryland. In Kentucky and  West Virginia, it offers a discounts of up to 31%. In Colorado, however, it offers a very low discount rate of up to 3%.

The following table shows the discount rates offered by major companies by state for commuting distance and how they affect  the average premium.

StateAverage PremiumProviderAverage Discount PercentageAverage Premium after Discount
State Farm 4%$5,500
Kentucky$3,770State Farm 3%$3,657
Allstate Corp.31%$2,601
California$3,678State Farm7%$3,421
Liberty Mutual5%$2,926
State Farm 6%$2,895
Allstate Corp.34%$2,033
Utah$788State Farm 4%$756
Allstate Corp.4%$756
North Dakota$630State Farm 3%$611
American Family 12%$554

Find a comprehensive analysis of all the ways to you can save on your car insurance, here.

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