While many American workers are still working from home, and many may continue until the summer of next year, they are also driving less without their daily commutes.
"COVID-19 has impacted almost every facet of our lives, including the amount of miles we put on our cars,” said Nestor Solari, co-founder and CEO of Sigo, a mobile-first auto insurance brokerage. “With many people now working from home, getting groceries and other goods delivered, and generally spending more time relaxing at home, there are significantly fewer people driving."
But that doesn’t mean you should cancel your car insurance coverage Solari said. If caught driving without coverage — against the law in most states — could mean paying 57% more because of fines and penalties, according to a recent report from insurance comparison tool, Insurify.
Still, there are a few ways to save money on your insurance, now that you’re logging fewer miles.
“You just have to know where to look and what questions to ask," Solari said. Here are his recommendations.
Ask about high deductible options
Insurance companies typically offer different rates based on your deductible, the amount you have to pay out of pocket first before the insurer kicks in. A higher deductible usually means your auto insurance premium will be lower.
For example, increasing your deductible $1,000 from $500 can save you more than 10% on your auto insurance rate, according to Solari. But make sure when you make a claim, you can afford to pay up to the deductible — by using your emergency savings, for example.
Modify your coverage options
One of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of your premium is by modifying your coverage options. Is there coverage you have never used before? Are there people registered on your policy who don’t drive your car at all?
Insurance companies typically prefer that everyone who lives with you also be covered by insurance. But if you have people who don’t drive your car — especially high-risk drivers like teenagers — you can exclude them from your policy, Solari said.
Other modifications include: Lowering the third-party bodily injury limits or removing comprehensive, collision, underinsured motorist, other optional coverages.
Look for discounts
Insurance companies provide many discounts — you just have to find them! Some discounts depend on the insurer or where you live. Insurers may offer a range of discounts for seemingly simple things like:
Your driving: Some states offer a discount for drivers with an accident-free driving record, while some insurers give you a break when you sign up for telematics since you're driving less.
Payment: You could get a discount if you pay your six-month premium upfront, set your payments to autopay, or sign up for paperless payments.
Bundling: You can save money by insuring multiple cars under the same policy, multiple drivers under the same policy, or bundling your car and home policies.
Who you are: There are often discounts for students, alumni, professional associations, military etc.
If you're still unhappy with your provider, it pays to shop around for cheaper insurance, Solari said.
Read more information and tips in our Cars section