The Best Type of Car Insurance to Get if You Commute Long Distances

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When you drive a long commute, your chances of having an accident increase, especially if you drive during rush hour when there are more cars on the road. Because of this, the number of miles you drive on a regular basis can affect your monthly insurance premiums.
In order to avoid paying higher premiums, you should consider the insurance company you use carefully and take steps to reduce the number of miles you drive in your car on an annual basis.

The Different Tiers of Mileage

While the actual amount that a long commute costs you varies by insurance company or state, many companies use tiers to differentiate between various distances. These tiers range from pleasure driving at three miles or less to long commutes of 20 or more miles per month.
Miles and the Effect on Car Insurance Premiums Per Month
Amount Driven Tier Monthly Cost
Three miles or less None Does not affect insurance premium. Considered pleasure driving.
Four to nine miles First-tier Usually costs a few dollars extra.
10 to 14 miles Second-tier Can add an additional $5 to your premium.
15 to 19 miles Third-tier Adds up to an additional $8 to your premium.
20 miles or more Fourth-tier Can cost up to $10 a month extra. Represents the highest tier. Any miles past this do not cost anything extra.

Options to Reduce Car Insurance Premiums for Long Commutes

Short of getting a job closer to home, you have a few options when it comes to reducing the number of miles you regularly drive. Some options for reducing the car insurance premium that results from a long commute include:
  • Increasing your deductible: Raising your deductible lowers your insurance premium. The following information highlights the percentage difference per year, according to the state, between a deductible of $500 and $1,000.
Percentage Price Difference Between Paying a Deductible of $500 and $1,000 Per Year
State Percentage Difference in Savings
Massachusetts 19.3%
South Dakota 14.3%
Kansas 13.4%
Wyoming 13.1%
Iowa 13.0%
North Dakota 12.4%
Wisconsin 12.1%
Nebraska 12.0%
Minnesota 12.0%
West Virginia 11.8%
Washington D.C. 11.6%
Indiana 11.4%
Ohio 11.4%
New Hampshire 11.2%
Montana 11.1%
Pennsylvania 11.0%
Missouri 10.9%
Illinois 10.8%
Oklahoma 10.8%
Hawaii 10.3%
California 10.3%
Maine 10.2%
Texas 10.2%
Arkansas 10.1%
Georgia 10.0%
Vermont 9.6%
Alabama 9.3%
Mississippi 9.3%
Idaho 9.1%
New York 9.1%
Tennessee 9.0%
Virginia 9.0%
Oregon 8.8%
Alaska 8.7%
Maryland 8.7%
Rhode Island 8.7%
Colorado 8.4%
Arizona 8.1%
Delaware 7.8%
South Carolina 7.8%
Kentucky 7.7%
New Mexico 7.4%
Utah 7.4%
Connecticut 7.4%
Washington 7.3%
New Jeresy 6.9%
Nevada 6.4%
North Carolina 6.4%
Louisiana 5.9%
Florida 4.7%
Michigan 3.9%
  • Driving less often outside of work: Cutting your driving time outside of work represents a good way to reduce the number of miles you drive. This might not work, though, since car insurance companies tend to look at the overall length of a trip as opposed to the actual number of miles driven overall. Check with your agent to see if your insurance company gives any leeway, especially if you only commute a long distance occasionally.
  • Carpooling: Carpooling also represents a way to cut the total distance you drive on a regular basis, which should reduce your premiums. If you carpool enough, you might even qualify for low-mileage discounts, which typically kick in at around 5,000 miles annually, though individual car insurance company limits could be higher.

The Best Type of Car Insurance for Commute

A car insurance company that uses an annual mileage rate as opposed to a company that uses a one-way commute distance formula represents better car insurance to have if you commute long distances. You can make efforts to control your annual mileage, thus lowering your premiums, but for the most part your commuting distance stays the same.
A long commute can drive your insurance rates up. Luckily, you can take some steps to reduce the number of miles you drive to help lower the cost.

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