It goes without saying that the best way to keep insurance premiums low is to avoid accidents and tickets. In setting prices, insurance companies constantly seek statistical patterns for groups of people who file more or fewer claims on their auto policies. These agencies also offer rewards to customers who are, statistically, safer drivers or for the type of work they do.

Here are some common auto insurance discounts. See if you or your family members qualify for any of them:

Teachers— Many insurance agencies offer discounts ranging from 15% to 35% to teachers. For example. Horace Mann Insurance offers discounts to those with a membership to an education association.

Young drivers —Premiums tend to be high for drivers younger than age 25, but any beginning driver who takes a driver training course qualifies for a discount of up to 15%. Check also to see if a Good Student discount may apply. If a high-school or college student meets certain standards—usually a B average or better—the discount can range from 15% to 25%.

Older drivers —Anyone age 55 or older who voluntarily takes a defensive driving course qualifies for an auto insurance discount. These discounts range from 5% to 20%. The courses are sponsored by many state governments and by organizations like AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). Barring accidents or tickets, insurance rates for seniors normally would not rise until they reach age 75.

Military families—GEICO and other companies give discounts of up to 15% for anyone on active military duty, retired from the military, or who is a member of the National Guard or Reserves. In addition, GEICO offers an Emergency Deployment Discount to military members who are deployed into imminent danger areas. They will suspend or reduce your coverage if you put your vehicle in storage while you’re away, then resume coverage when you return.

Discounts for everyone—Whatever your age, you can cut your auto insurance costs by carrying other insurance policies with the same company. On average, you can save 15%. Add on a personal liability umbrella policy and your auto insurance costs could decrease even more.

If you’re buying a new car, consider the insurance cost. Many insurers rate each make and model and give you a lower rate if that car gets in accidents less often or costs less to repair at body shops.

Perhaps the best thing you can do to cut your auto insurance rates is to improve your credit rating. A better credit rating will enable you to get lower interest rates—and therefore lower monthly payments—on mortgages and auto loans. Talk to the professionals at Coosa Valley Credit Union for advice about improving your credit score. Stop by or give us a call today.