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Can Your Career Get You A Discount?

Question: I heard that car insurance companies look at your education level and occupation and that it's possible to get a discount if you have a certain type of job. Is this true?  What types of occupations receive discounts?  I'm trying to decide on a major and thought this would be good to know.

Answer: Yes, people in some careers will get a break on their car insurance rates or an outright discount. Is the discount big enough to switch majors for? Probably not.

If state laws allow, a driver's education and occupation may be considered as car insurance companies weigh rating factors that can help determine your annual premiums. 

The occupations that receive a discount on car insurance are those that have statistically shown to be less  risk to auto insurers --  typically this means the insurance company's records indicate that those working in these types of careers have filed fewer claims than those in other lines of work. (See “ 6 jobs that get car insurance discounts”)

The occupations that we typically see offered an auto discount include:
  • Teachers
  • Engineers
  • Firefighters
  • EMTs (Emergency medical technicians)
  • Police officers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Scientists
  • Military members

If your career won't get you a discount, it's possible that the company you work for, or other affiliations you have, will get you a group discount.  (See “ Discount for beer makers”)

Your occupation may also make a difference in what type of car insurance you need. For example, if you are an artisan who uses your personal vehicle for work purposes, you may need to upgrade to a business-use or commercial auto insurance policy.

Or, if you have a job where you transport goods for money, your personal auto insurance policy's coverages may be voided.  This means if you take a job delivering pizza to help pay for tuition, you would normally need to obtain a commercial policy.

Your level of education can also be taken into account by some insurance providers, possibly shaving your final premium.  A master's or doctoral degree may help bring down your car insurance rates even if your specific job type doesn't.

Insurance policy guidelines and discounts vary greatly from one insurance company to the next, so when shopping for car insurance ask what all discounts are available.  While the career path you end up on may not come with an occupation discount, you may still be eligible for plenty of others.  (See “ A guide to car insurance discounts”)

For instance, right now while in college you may be eligible to receive a good student discount that will reduce your auto insurance premium if you get good grades.  Or your parents may be able to get a discount on their rates if you are away at school. (See “ Discounts for young drivers”)

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