Chuks Nwaodua has an advanced degree in the sciences and loves to play chess, travel, research, and write on various topics of interest, especially on the eFor-Real platform. Chuks has taught at the university level, authored scientific journals, and has been featured on platforms like U.S. News &  Worlds Reports and Yahoo! News.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2021

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It is widely known that a teacher’s salary is not the greatest in the world. Because of this, the idea of having a personal car is worrisome to some teachers, especially due to maintenance costs, insurance, and taxes that come with a car. Teachers spend more hours during the school year working than they’re paid for at many schools, and they don’t get paid during the summer months. So they have to find a summer job to pay housing, car, and other bills. All of these can make owning a car a bit expensive.

Regardless, most people have a car because for many reasons, including the convenience, a personal car provides, the ability to reach particular areas that are not accessible with the use of public transportation, privacy, and the safety features that owning a car provides. This can vary between cities. If you live in Manhattan, it may not make sense to have a car. If you live in rural Georgia, it’s essential.

All of these are indeed compelling reasons for one to want to own a car. But can a teacher find the appropriate auto insurance for their salary? This is the main focus of this post, including the factors that affect auto insurance rates.

Auto insurance may be confusing if one doesn’t know how or where to look for it, especially since there are no quick guidelines for calculating a discount on auto insurance.

However, many auto insurance companies will assign a base rate, and also make discounts available to most professions, including teachers. Some companies even classify teachers as “heroes” or otherwise put them in a special class to receive greater discounts or extra coverage. Companies like California Casualty even offer different payment plans to account for the summer months when teachers may not have regular hours.

What Car Insurance Discounts Apply to Teachers?

These insurance companies will often have some discounts for teachers after assessing the teacher’s risk level. Of course, some discounts may not be applied to all teachers as several variables go into considering what auto insurance discounts should be given. Some of these discount factors are:

  • Multi-Vehicle Discount: This is a discount that covers more than one vehicle. An agent can suggest the best way to list the vehicles on a plan that will positively impact and lower the insurance rate.
  • Multiple Policy Discount: Having mixed insurance policies such as life, auto, and home insurance under the same insurance company could offer one great discounts.
  • Teenage Drivers that are Limited: Teenage driving should be limited to the less expensive car to avoid high insurance rates. An experienced insurance agent can make additional recommendations.
  • Liability-Only Coverage: Under a liability-only policy, older vehicles that are not worth replacing can be operated. The cost of repairing certain vehicles would be higher than the vehicle’s worth, so it could be reasonable to cover just the liability.
  • Low-Mileage Discount: Rarely driven cars would be less expensive to insure as the chance of damage is minimized. Consumption data must be given to the agent to maximize this discount.
  • Coverage while on School Grounds: Some companies like California Casualty and Liberty Mutual now offer extra deductible-free coverage when teachers are parked on school grounds. This includes when you have an after hours school event scheduled.
  • Increased Deductible: When a higher deductible is feasible and within the household budget, increase the deductible charged on each policy.
  • Upfront Payment: If you pay your whole premium up front, you could save on administrative and other costs.
  • Maintain Good Credit: Some Insurance companies conduct credit reports while estimating the annual premium. Insurance companies tend to reward individuals with good credit scores.
  • Clear Driving History: The yearly insurance premium will be increased for all moving violations. But safe driving will bring lower rates over time. Some dangerous driving practices like speeding give rise to the insurance company’s risk of loss.
  • Accident Forgiveness: Especially if you’ve been accident-free for 5 years or more, you could qualify for accident forgiveness. This would mean your premium would not increase because of one claim.

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What Factors Affect Car Insurance Rates?

Auto insurance rates vary considerably among registered insurers. The risk is assessed differently by each insurance company, and the company’s formula is used to calculate what the price should be. But regardless, generally, the following factors may influence the calculated price:

  • The style of the car: Some vehicle models attract lower policy rates. Others tend to have a more expensive insurance policy. The vehicle model can be an indicator of how it’s going to be driven, what it’s going to be used for, and how much risk it presents. For example, because the driver is more likely to take risks and drive faster, a sports car would receive higher insurance rates. Pickup drivers also use pickups to carry almost anything under the sun, making it more susceptible to injury and property damage, which may increase the insurance policy rate. A four-door sedan is a car type with a lower insurance rate, which is very great for educators, but it may come with a higher purchase cost.
  • The price of the vehicle: A car with a higher price indicates a higher replacement cost during an insurance request. So the cost of repairing the vehicle and its parts could impact the insurance rates.
  • Safety features of the vehicles: Cars with safety features like automatic seatbelts, crash bars, roll bars, and airbags can also reduce the insurance rate. This is because cars with such features will lower the damage it and the users will suffer during a collision.
  • Vehicles with an Anti-Theft Device: Cars with a factory-installed security system will reduce the risk of theft to the car compared to vehicles that do not have one and often receive lower rates.

Other factors that affect insurance rates are your location, your level of education, marital status, gender, and occupation among others.

How Can Teachers Find Cheap Car Insurance?

But some teachers may not be interested in the above information as all they want is just how to find cheap auto insurance. So how does a teacher go about finding a cheap policy?

  1. Asking insurance companies about their discounts for teachers is the easiest way. When the insurance company provides teacher-related benefits, they will need proof that you are an educator. Horace Mann, Esurance, Geico, California Casualty, Plymouth Rock New Jersey, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers are some of the insurance companies that offer a good discount for teachers.
  2. Discounts depend on the insurance company and, as such, these companies can make concessions to specific schools or colleges, communities, and organizations, giving them a unique discount program. The savings can be applied to a teacher who is an active member of any of the related groups. It is recommended that you ask around your workplace or your friends for information regarding the available auto insurance discounts.
  3. Comparing rates from different insurance companies is also not a bad idea. You can speak with multiple agents from different insurance companies, or use neutral auto insurance comparison websites to have an idea of what would best suit you while saving you money.
  4. You can also lookup local insurance companies as they may offer better discounts than big brand names.

A couple of other methods of keeping your auto insurance premiums low include:

  • Keep a good driving record because the insurer can measure the insurance risk from your driving record.
  • Maintain consistency in coverage for auto insurance because a coverage gap may hinder one from getting the cheapest car insurance rates.
  • Raise the deductible. Set a higher price for your comprehensive and collision deductibles.
  • Pay the full insurance rate for 6 months. This can save you a substantial amount on your policy.