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Remote workers: Are there any methods for saving on car insurance based on how little you drive?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

Well after the pandemic ends, I'll continue working from home without a commute. We still need the car for groceries and occasional trips, but just don't drive all that often.

I'm not very insurance-savvy, anybody have any input on this situation?

Discussion

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They ask for mileage per year when they quote you, but I'm not sure how much that impacts the cost. I think your best bet is to shop around with different companies. You can get easily a quote online and register right away for that price. To get a lower rate as your car gets older, you might have switch companies again, they won't willingly lower it. If you do end up switching and are still in NYS, you will have to get a photo inspection done for your car within a certain time of switching insurance companies (but it is free of charge).

 

I learned the hard way that cars that aren't driven enough are also more prone to break. There's a sweet spot of usage. Drive it too much - say hundreds of thousands of miles over its lifetime -
and it'll break down more, you'll need to replace parts, and even whole systems like the engine. Drive it too little - thousands of miles in a year in my case, or over short distances - and you have a certain other set of problems. You get oil consumption, or rust sets in certain parts, etc.

The last part is totally counterintuitive, and insurers might take it into account as well!

 

Allstate offers an app to monitor your actual driving statistics like speed, braking habits, milage, location etc and they will essentially prorate your plan based on usage. If you are under the bell curve that sets their pricing, they’ll pay you in exchange for your data. Idk what other institutions offer this, but I assume major carriers are most likely.

 

A couple of other carriers here in the US do this too, and at least one (I forget which) has started offering to prorate premiums specifically based on actual mileage on top of the driving habits stuff they were already doing.

The downside of course is that you need either a car that supports talking directly to the app, or additional hardware (in the form of a BLE-enabled ODB-II data logger).

 

Some insurance companies have programs where they send you a plug for your diagnostics port of your car. This measures how fast you drive, how hard you brake, etc.

Since the pandemic, they started counting miles and changes for miles used.

Personally I have had my insurance company for 15 plus years and won’t switch. My rate can’t get lower in my mind.

But I think I saw a billboard that said progressive did that thing I talked about.

 

Assuming you're using a reputable insurer, getting a lower rate due to not driving much usually requires only a phone call or filling out a web-form. Sadly, most insurance companies don't really seem to offer much of a reduction once you drop below 5,0000 or 6,000mi/yr.

With respect to the various companies that might require you to install a driving habits monitor... Yeah, "no thanks". That's a skosh too big brother-y for comfort to be worth the savings offered.

 

I use MetroMile! It charges you a base rate and then each mile you drive is charged at a very minimal rate. I like it a lot.

This is likely the most privileged thing anyone could say, but I am not really into owning a car despite having one. As such, I drove my car a maximum of 4 times per month even before the pandemic and with a commute.

With MetroMile, I spend under $60/month on average.

 

Root insurance does telematics based pricing (how safe your driving is) which has good prices, I think I saved around 20% compared to an already really low progressive price. I also heard the other day about companies that do exactly what you're looking for, forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/p.... Not very many companies are doing this but wouldn't hurt to get some quotes.

 

In the UK you can specify whether or not your car will be used for "Social & Domestic" OR "Social, Domestic & Commuting".

The amount differs ever so slightly in my 10+ years of driving, but I would imagine the base rate they all use will increase when they learn less people are commuting, because they're greedy.

 

That being said, I'm not sure on the formula here, and why it matters. Maybe it's an old way of calculating mileage, which means you're on the road more, and therefor more susceptible to an accident.

There's absolutely no way they'd be able to prove you were commuting at the time of any accident.

 

Simple debugging: get rid of the car.

Sudo apt-get install Bicycle, Electric Unicycle
or Motorcyle

Sudo apt-get install Ride sharing, move to a different place or use Uber/other -app

New lifestyle installed successfully

 

I wish. My partner really likes car ownership. I've never been much of a car person, didn't even get my license until last year. (Part of the reason our insurance is high is that I'm a new driver)

 

Where I'm from you actually have to pay for the whole year, you could do it in 3 or 4 payments but it is still for the whole year.

Best way to save on car insurance is not having a car :D

 
 

Your annual mileage per year affects your insurance costs. Just call him and tell them it's lower, but honestly, they might not update it until your annual renewal.

 

Think there a way to distinguish between others whose mileage might only be temporarily lower because of the pandemic? Or am I overthinking it?