Police officers support their communities by enforcing laws and responding to emergency calls. It’s not unusual for an officer to put their life on the line to honor their oath and to combat crime.
As a thank you to officers all around the country, many auto insurance carriers offer members of law enforcement special rate discounts. Considering that officers make an average of $56,810 nationwide, discounts in all shapes and forms are welcomed and needed.
Before you start to shop for insurance at a local agency or online, you need to know a lot more about car insurance and how rates differ for law enforcement officers.
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It’s your professional duty to protect and serve the public but it’s also your personal duty to protect your finances for your family. Here’s a guide to help you do that:
Why does occupation matter to car insurance carriers?
When you’re deciding what you want to do when you grow up, the last thing on your mind is how that decision will affect your insurance rates.
Little do many people know, your occupation and your educational attainment both impact your car insurance rates in most states. While there are a few states where occupation is off limits for purposes of rating an insurance policy, it’s up for grabs as a rating factor most places.
No matter how indirect it may be, there is a relation between your occupation and your driving behaviors. This relation is valid even when you don’t drive your personal vehicle for work purposes whatsoever.
Since some professionals have a higher accident risk than others, insurers must account for the risk by charging more.
Why do officers pay less for insurance?
There are high-risk and low-risk occupations as well as some that fall somewhere in-between. You’d think that working a desk job would automatically qualify you for a low-risk, low-cost rate, but that’s not always the case.
Some white collar professionals who have highly stressful jobs are classified as bad drivers. Business owners and real estate brokers are two examples of this.
While you are on the road a lot and you’re exposure to the risk of accidents is high, when you’re a law enforcement officer you’ll enjoy a low-risk first responder auto rate. It has to do with how your choice of profession will have a direct impact on your driving skill and behaviors.
Your risk of accidents is only high when you’re on-duty and during that time you’re protected by the department’s insurance.
Therefore, only your risks of having an accident while you’re driving for personal reasons will be considered. Here are some reasons why officers are among the drivers in a low-risk group:
- Police officers are considered stable and detail-oriented, which makes them better drivers
- As a whole, officers have better driving records and accident records than people in other professions
- Law enforcement personnel is trained how to drive in high-speed situations so they are deemed more experienced and skilled than the average driver
- Officers use squad cars more than personal cars so they have less opportunity to get into accidents
- First responders see the consequences of speeding and driving recklessly daily so they are more likely to make responsible choices behind the wheel
Officers With Degrees Pay Even Less
Most precincts have their own employment requirements based on what’s been set in the jurisdiction.
While a college degree in criminal justice or another related area is always desirable, post-secondary education typically isn’t required. You do, however, need a diploma and you must be able to pass the police academy.
If you’ve studied for a degree and then decided to pursue a position in law enforcement, completing a degree program could work to your advantage.
Insurance carriers give drivers who have earned a degree a better rating. The higher the level of educational attainment, the lower your risk of having an auto accident. You’re also less likely to file a claim if you do have a loss, statistically speaking.
You Could Pay Less Because You Drive Less
Your occupation can affect your rates because of how it changes your driving behaviors. One of the other personal factors that are used to assess your rates is vehicle usage.
Some of the factors considered in your car insurance premium are:
- how often you drive your cars
- how long your commute is
- how many miles you drive
Your spouse could affect the usage ratings on a different household car, but your rate on the car that you drive primarily should be low because of usage.
Since police officers often drive their squad cars to and from their homes and the station, they don’t have to pay a commuter rate. This lack of commute will also reduce how much mileage they put on their cars annually which translates into a low-mileage discount.
Don’t Forget to Look For Other Discounts
You can find discounts on your auto insurance through several different carriers just for working in public service. Some carriers offer bigger discounts to professionals in a field like law enforcement.
As you’re shopping around for discounts, you should also be shopping for other savings. Here are some discounts you could have applied:
- Good Student
- Good Driver
- Student Away at School
- Mature Driver Training
- Anti-theft Discount
- Affiliation Discount
You need just as much protection as the next person when it comes to auto insurance. Your duty is to protect and serve and your insurer’s duty should be the same.
You have to take time out of your busy schedule to find a carrier that deserves your business. Don’t take the first policy that you’re offered in a time crunch. Use our online rate comparison tool and then you’ll find the best deal on coverage limits and low-cost premiums.