5 ways Oregon drivers can get the most out of their car insurance


MARCH, 2019

By, John Haslem 

3 minute read

1. Married Couples or Domestic Partnership

Are you in a relationship with a significant other that you live with? It blows my mind how many times I meet couples who keep their car insurance separate. Legally, if you are married and live under the same roof you should both be listed as “named insureds” on your car insurance policy. However, this often slips through the cracks because people move and get new vehicles which lead to forgetting to make sure that they are both listed.

Many carriers honor discounts for being “married,” or in a “domestic relationship.” Insurance data over the years show that drivers who are not married tend to engage in riskier driving behavior leading to more accidents. A parent with a child in their vehicle will HOPEFULLY drive more responsibly on the road. This allows insurers to offer better pricing to married parents.

The point is: I understand if you are just in a relationship wanting to keep bills separate. However, it’s not as complicated as you would think to combine your car insurance if you share one car or have multiple vehicles with your partner (multi-car discount too). If you break up, then you can simply get separate policies.


2. Telematics & Mobile driving apps


Here is my telematics report for my car insurance with Nationwide.

Telematics tracking is increasingly becoming more popular with insurance marketing. You’ve probably heard of Progressive’s “Snapshot” program or Allstate’s “Drive Wise” program. The hype is real with these programs! Simply you opt in for your company to send you a device or download their mobile app to participate.

This is the closest way to get the most unique accurate rate to your driving style and vehicle. These programs monitor your driving habits for a few months for activities such as quick acceleration, hard braking, after midnight driving, and time spent in bumper to bumper traffic. Look, everyone thinks they are a good driver, so prove it with telematics! Some companies offer up to 40% discounts at renewal if you are driving safely! Here is a screenshot of my report from last week (I didn’t drive much since I carpool with Alex). On pace for a 35% discount at renewal. Not bad.

“The hype is real with these programs!”

3. Mileage Verification

Did you know when you take your vehicle in for routine service or maintenance the shop is recording your mileage? This is so they can send your mileage to the state DMV and to insurance companies. Some states require you to send in your odometer reading every year to your car insurance company like in California.

The point of this is to make sure you are being rated to a ballpark estimate of your annual mileage driven. The more miles you drive, the more likely an accident…you get it. However, the data can often be wrong, and you could, in fact, berated for too many miles. Many times, people service their own vehicles so that mileage never gets reported. Also, let’s say you used to have a long commute, but now you moved and are much closer to work. You are driving less, so make sure to have your mileage checked.

The solution: If you are driving less than you believe you are being rated for, then check with your insurance company. Send them a picture of your odometer to verify it. A good way to know is to look and see if you are getting a low-mileage discount on your policy. Typically, car insurance companies offer this if you drive 8000 miles or less a year. 

2016 Mazda CX-5 Blind spot detection

4. Smart Technology in your vehicle

Do you drive a new vehicle? Automatic braking, lane sensors, anti-theft devices, rear view cameras, auto locking, and many more!

As vehicle technology has improved, so has the safety of the vehicles. Vehicles made within the last 5 to 7 years now have safety technology built into them. Some carriers offer discounts for new technology such as lane sensors, automatic brakes, rear view cameras, anti-theft devices, etc. Ask your company if these discounts are applied to your policy. Also if you modify an older car with new technology this can apply as well!

5. Education level & “affinity” discounts

Does your insurance company know you have a college education, trade skill, or post graduate degree? If not, you are leaving savings on the table. Inform your company of your highest education to take advantage of this immediately. 

Being part of a membership or an association can provide you with extra savings. Check with any local or national groups you are apart of. Many employers also have access to affinity discounts as well. Check with your management. 

Universities typically have partnerships with car insurance companies to offer an “alumni” discount. At Iscential Northwest Insurance we often see many of our carriers offer affinity discounts through specific banks or credit unions. If you are curious to learn what carriers offer discounts for your employer, association, membership, please let us know!

Thank you for reading!


About the author

John Haslem is a risk manager and independent insurance broker for Iscential Inc. John co-operates a local branch in Beaverton, OR known as Iscential Northwest Insurance. John graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a degree in Business. He spends much of his time with community based organizations and networking with other professionals in the greater Portland area! 

Connect with John today!

Iscential Northwest Insurance

10700 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy #565

Beaverton, OR 97005


[email protected]


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