Firefighters, both professional and volunteer, put their lives on the line every time they respond to a call. Sometimes they must use their own vehicles to get to the firehouse before they can answer a call, and sometimes they must drive their own vehicles to the fires, accidents, and other emergencies. It is important for the health and safety of everyone that firefighters are ready and able to get to where they need to be in a safe and timely manner. It is also important that the vehicles that they drive are adequately covered in the case of an accident on or off the job.
Thankfully, there are some ways to get some discounts on auto insurance for these brave people that are risking life and limb to rescue people and property and them out of harm’s way.
Start Looking for Discounts the Smart Way
The first way to get a discount is to use a professional association. A firefighter’s association or union can be a great way to find discounts on not only auto insurance but other services as well. Another way is to ask specific insurance carriers if they offer professional discounts of any kind. Many do offer discounts that can dramatically lower the premiums, but these must be asked for specifically. Some limit the discount to professional firefighters, while others will apply the discount to volunteers as well.
- Ask if you have to have a certain number of years on the job to qualify for these discounts.
- There may be restrictions based on the number of hours that you work as well, especially if you have volunteer status.
Look for the Right Companies
The second way is to look for profession-specific insurance. There are some companies that will only cover certain professions. In this case, you would simply search for “firefighters’ auto insurance” and then compare the policies and plans that are offered there. Some of these might be limited in terms of areas of coverage or types of policies, so always do your due diligence before committing.
- While the company may call itself “Fireman’s Auto” or something similar, they will typically be underwritten by a larger insurance company. Find that information by asking who the coverage is through especially if you have had bad luck in the past with a specific company.
- Discount insurance may mean bare bones coverage—consider how many of the perks and benefits that you currently have that you would like to keep, and then start shopping from there. You might also be considering some upgrades, so always review every policy for what you want and need right now.
Dealing with Agents
The next way is to ask specific agents if there is anything they can do for you in terms of lowering your premium. Some will work extra hard to find the right policies and discounts for you. Remember, it is still important to pay attention to the terms and coverage of the policy before you buy because cheaper is not always better when it comes to insurance.
- The agent’s name may be on the outside of the building, but they cannot “write” the insurance. They only sell the products they have available to them depending on what companies they are contracted to sell for. Don’t let them trick you into thinking they are doing you special favors.
The Importance of Getting Every Possible Discount
Always remember that you can also bundle professional discounts with other types of savings, such as good driver, multiple vehicle, or driver discounts and bundled discounts when you insure your home and your auto through the same place. Once you find the right level of coverage, then each discount that you can qualify for will help that much more in the long run. Most people forget that firefighters have to not only be able to get to the firehouse but have lives of their own that they need to handle. Your valuable service should be rewarded with excellent but affordable auto insurance.
Coverage Plus Service
Of course, a cheap price may not be the best value if you are not getting good coverage. State minimum insurance is just that—the minimum. If your car is relatively new or an expensive model, you might be better off buying the more thorough coverage even though it does cost more overall. Other things to consider:
- Deductibles will also change the premium rate. A higher deductible will lower your overall cost. That means that you will pay a higher amount in the event of a covered loss. A lower deductible sounds appealing but will cost you more up front.
- Not all coverage is alike. Always do a side-by-side comparison of at least two policies before you buy to make sure that you are getting the best coverage for your money.
- Additional services such as lockout, flat tire, or towing will increase your insurance costs but might be valuable in certain situations. However, if you are a firefighter, it is unlikely that you would not be able to change your own tire or get into your vehicle if you are locked out.
- Rental car is another possible tack-on service that can change your rates. If you do not have access to a second car while yours is being repaired, this might be worth considering.
Service is a very important consideration as well. If you are not getting good service before you even buy a policy, what kind of service will you get after they already have you? Don’t sacrifice good service to save a few dollars, because poor service at the time of sale typically means poor service when you need the insurance the most—at the time of a claim. Your insurance should be the total package of good service, good coverage, and good price.