Car Insurance Affinity Discounts and Occupational Discounts Explained

By Desiree Baughman
Desiree maintains insurance licensure in 46 states, and by combining years of experience as a writer and insurance professional, she delivers information consumers can easily relate to and understand. A graduate of Sweet Briar College with a diverse writing portfolio, she regularly serves as an expert source and commentator for respected outlets like CBS Money, Bankrate, and Ragan.com.

Car Insurance Affinity Discounts and Occupational Discounts Explained

If you belong to an organization such as AARP, or to certain credit unions or banks, you’ve likely received flyers in your mailbox before saying you’re eligible for exclusive discounts with certain insurers just for being a member. For example, AARP is affiliated with insurers like The Hartford, Foremost Insurance, New York Life Insurance, and Real Legacy Assurance Company. And Nationwide Insurance offers discounts to members of a variety of credit unions, such as Truliant Federal Credit Union, American Heritage Federal Credit Union, and others.

So you’re a member of a credit union, auto club or other social organization, but you’re not sure whether your membership qualifies you for one of those special ‘affinity discounts’? There’s a good chance it does. Of the ten largest insurers in the nation, half now offer affinity discounts. Specifically, members of the following groups are often eligible for affinity discounts:

  • Members of professional organizations and vocational groups
  • Members of auto clubs, such as AAA
  • Members of certain credit unions
  • Members of alumni associations or graduates of certain colleges and universities
  • Employees of certain companies
  • Members of labor and other unions

And how much can an affinity discount save you, anyway? Most offer 3 to 7% savings on average, although discounts can be as high as 20% in some cases. Sometimes affinity discounts are more robust than a flat percentage reduction. For example, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) also offers grants for union members to use towards driver improvement courses. Affiliated insurers also offer AFGE members the ability to defer premium payments during long strikes.

Occupational Discounts

Your very occupation can earn you discounts with certain insurers. Occupational discounts for car insurance are typically offered to those in professions deemed “low-risk” by insurers. Low-risk in this context doesn’t mean you’re less likely to fall off of scaffolding. Instead, insurers know that people in certain professions are less likely to engage in risky driving behaviors and therefore make fewer claims, making them low-risk drivers. There isn’t a universal list of occupations which qualify, but some common low-risk professionals eligible for car insurance discounts include:

  • Engineers
  • Scientists
  • Educators
  • Nurses and other healthcare professionals
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Aviation industry professionals
  • Emergency first responders, such as police, firefighters and EMS personnel

For some ‘occupations’, just holding the degree is enough to qualify for the occupational discount, even if you’re not currently employed in that field.

In the End, You’ll Just Have to Ask

Whether you’re after an occupational discount or an affinity discount, keep the following in mind:

  • The availability of specific organizational, company or occupational discounts varies widely between insurers. The only way to know is to call and ask.
  • When shopping for insurance, many insurers may not ask if you qualify for an affinity or occupational discount, so be sure to raise the issue yourself while getting a quote.
  • Even when an affinity or occupational discount is available generally, it doesn’t guarantee that it will be available to you individually. Sometimes you might not qualify for certain discounts due to personal factors. Again, the only way to know is to ask.

Many of us are used to tossing those mail inserts directly into the trash, but if you’re overlooking opportunities to save on insurance with affinity and occupational discounts, you might literally be throwing away money.