What Auto Insurance is Best for Infrequent Drivers?
Last Updated on August 20, 2020
If you’re an infrequent driver, then you spend less time on the road than an average driver. That means lower risk, which should mean cheaper insurance.
Some insurance companies offer cheap low mileage car insurance policies. These policies reward drivers who spend less time on the road. Other insurance companies offer usage-based insurance, which works in a similar way.
Which auto insurance policy is best for infrequent drivers? How can you get cheap car insurance as someone who doesn’t drive often? Find out everything you need to know about auto insurance for infrequent drivers today.
Low Mileage Car Insurance
The average American drives 10,000 to 14,000 miles per year. If you drive significantly fewer miles than the average American, then you could save hundreds per year on car insurance.
Many insurers offer low mileage car insurance for drivers who drive fewer than 7,500 miles per year. Depending on your location and your insurer, this low mileage cut-off could vary. Some insurers only give low mileage discounts if you drive fewer than 5,000 miles per year, for example. Other insurers do not give low mileage discounts in certain states.
Consider Usage-Based Insurance
If you are an infrequent driver, then consider usage-based insurance. Some insurers offer usage-based insurance (UBI), which means you only pay for the car insurance you use.
Typically, usage-based insurance tracks your driving behavior and mileage, then awards a rate based on that behavior. If you drive significantly fewer miles per year than the average driver, and your insurer can verify that with a driver tracking system, then you could pay much cheaper rates for car insurance.
Today, insurers refer to usage-based insurance as a number of different names. Some insurers call it telematics insurance because they use a driver tracking program (typically an app) to track your driving habits.
Other insurers call it pay-as-you-go insurance. Others call it usage-based insurance. Some call it weekend insurance, although this term is no longer common among any major insurer.
Each company has its own unique driver tracking system. Here’s an example of each company’s usage-based insurance program:
- Progressive SnapShot
- Esurance DriveSense
- Nationwide SmartRide
- Liberty Mutual RightTrack
- State Farm Drive Safe & Save
- USAA SafePilot
- GEICO DriveEasy
- Allstate Drivewise
- Farmers Signal
- MetLife My Journey
- American Family KnowYourDrive
- Safeco Rewind
- Travelers IntelliDrive
Contact your insurer to ask about telematics programs, custom insurance plans, usage-based insurance, or low mileage car insurance options.
You should also consider companies like Metromile, which sells car insurance based on your specific mileage. Metromile isn’t available in all states, and it’s not the right option for all drivers, although infrequent drivers could save hundreds by switching to Metromile. Other new companies similar to Metromile include Root and Noblr.
Who Should Consider Usage-Based Insurance?
Usage-based insurance is ideal for infrequent drivers. You spend less time on the road than the average driver, so you should pay less for car insurance. With usage-based insurance, you get rewarded for your safer driving behavior.
Drivers who can benefit from usage-based insurance include:
- Employees working from home
- Anyone who drives outside of rush hour
- Stay at home parents
- Someone who takes public transit or bikes to work
- Drivers who only drive on weekends
Many drivers are surprised that usage-based insurance is about more than just the number of miles. Many of the programs above consider other factors. They use a mobile app to track your braking and acceleration, for example.
Others monitor your driving times. Someone who drives at rush hour or in the middle of the night is more likely to get into an accident than someone who drives in the middle of the day.
How Insurers Track Driving Habits
With most insurers, you need to prove your mileage. You can’t simply claim to drive 5,000 miles per year and qualify for a discount. Your insurer needs to verify your approximate annual mileage.
To do this, most insurers require you to install a driver tracking system in your vehicle. Today, that system consists of a mobile app. You download the Progressive SnapShot mobile app to your phone, for example. The app uses your phone’s sensors to track driving behavior. It automatically runs every time you drive your vehicle.
Some insurers install other driver tracking systems in vehicles. You might install a small device in your car’s electrical port, for example.
To qualify for usage-based insurance discounts, you must use the driver tracking system for a fixed length – say 90 to 180 days.
After this time, insurers will view your driving reports to analyze your driving habits. If your insurer finds you to be a safe driver, then you should qualify for lower insurance rates.
Many insurers offer a small discount just for using the app. You might receive an immediate 5% discount for installing the app, for example, even if you’re not a safe or infrequent driver.
If you are a safe driver with fewer miles than average, you could save up to 30% with driver tracking systems.
Lower Coverage or Raise Your Deductible
Some insurers do not offer usage-based insurance. Some drivers don’t qualify for usage-based insurance – even if they drive infrequently. You might work from home, for example, but take a long road trip twice a month. You drive more miles than you realize and cannot qualify for a discount.
Instead of having $200,000 of coverage, for example, you might lower coverage to save money. You’re taking on more risk if you do get into an accident – but it could save you money today.
Or, raise your deductible. If you drive infrequently, then your chances of a car accident are small. You might raise your deductible and absorb the higher risk. Raising your deductible from $500 to $1,500 can lower your premiums.
Some infrequent drivers drop collision and comprehensive coverage altogether. You can lower car insurance by 50% by removing collision and comprehensive coverage. Damage to your own vehicle will not be covered, but you can save hundreds of dollars per year on car insurance. Consider buying a policy that meets minimum liability limits to get the cheapest car insurance possible as an infrequent driver.
Other Discounts for Infrequent Drivers
As an infrequent driver, you may qualify for additional car insurance discounts. Other discounts available to infrequent drivers include:
Work From Home Discounts: Many insurers now offer work-from-home discounts. If you do not commute to work daily, then you could qualify for a work from home discount. This is similar to a low mileage discount, although you may not need to install a driver tracking system to qualify.
Safe Driver Discounts: Infrequent drivers may have no claims, speeding tickets, or other incidents. That means cheaper car insurance rates. Most insurers offer safe driver discounts to drivers with a clean record.
Off Hour Discounts: Do you drive during rush hour? Or do you mostly drive during off-hours? Many insurers give discounts to drivers who drive during the ‘safe’ hours of the day. You may need to install a driver tracking system in your vehicle to qualify.
Best Auto Insurance Companies for Low Mileage Drivers
Certain car insurance companies offer particularly cheap rates to low mileage drivers. Some of the best car insurance companies for low mileage drivers include:
Low mileage car insurance prices vary widely depending on your location and insurance company. Compare quotes online today to find the cheapest car insurance as an infrequent driver.
Final Word – Best Auto Insurance for Infrequent Drivers
Many insurers offer low mileage car insurance discounts. If you drive fewer than 7,500 miles per year, then you could qualify for cheaper insurance rates. You are a less risky driver to insure because you spend less time on the road. That means lower risk for your insurer – and cheaper insurance premiums for you.
Compare car insurance quotes online today to find the best car insurance for infrequent drivers.