Which States Save the Most on Car Insurance Working Remotely?
Remote work has multiple benefits for companies and employees. However, many people who are working from home have not yet cashed in on a big potential savings - cheaper car insurance because they no longer drive to the office.
Working remotely may already be saving you money on gas and parking, but unless you've updated your car insurance since you started working from home, you may still be missing out on a big chunk of savings.
SmartFinancial.com did a state-by-state study to see which states have the best potential for savings for remote workers. This included the extent to which commuting to work has declined since the start of the pandemic, the percentage of workers in each state who drive to work and the average cost of auto insurance in each state.
Even if you don't live in one of those 10 states, SmartFinancial's study shows that you can still save on auto insurance if you're working from home. If your insurance company gave you a rebate during the pandemic, a one-time discount doesn't go nearly far enough now that it looks like remote work is here to stay for many Americans. Maybe it's time for you to act and claim more savings!
Remote Work Is Here To Stay
According to consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics, from 2005 to 2019 regular telecommuting grew 11 times faster than the traditional workforce. A typical US company can save an estimated $11,000 a year for each employee who telecommutes just half the time.
The threat of COVID began and has dragged on for over two years with a succession of variants giving the virus ongoing staying power. Those hastily-improvised ways of working from home have now become routine procedure.
Now that millions of employees have tried working from home, many don't want to go back to commuting every day. Many companies are also learning that remote staffing serves their needs, so it's fair to say that remote working may be here to stay.
How Does Remote Work Affect Car Insurance?
The cost of insurance is based on risk. The bigger the risk, the more insurance will cost. By not commuting to work - or even just commuting fewer days per week - you may be cutting your risk of an accident in two important ways:
By driving less. When you apply for car insurance, the insurer will generally want to get a sense of how much you drive. Your insurance rate is based in part on that amount of driving. If you're driving less than you did when you got your car insurance policy, you deserve a cheaper rate.
By avoiding congested areas. Auto insurance rates are not just based on how much you drive, but also where you drive. Many businesses are located in high-traffic areas. These areas pose a greater risk of accidents. Avoid those risky areas by not commuting, and you might be in line for a lower insurance premium.
Top 10 States for Saving on Car Insurance Premiums
To see where remote workers can save the most money, SmartFinancial.com ranked all 50 states plus the District of Columbia based on three factors:
The percentage of workers who drive themselves to work, according to US Census data.
The decline in workplace visits since the start of the pandemic, based on Google's Community Mobility Reports.
The average cost of car insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
States Where Remote Workers Save the Most
New Jersey. With the sixth-highest average car insurance rates in the United States, it costs a lot to drive in New Jersey. However, with commuting to work down 28.57% since the pandemic began, the state's drivers should be in line to start cutting those bills.
Rhode Island. This is another high-cost state for car insurance, ranking seventh nationally. With trips to work down by 24.86% since the pandemic began, many commuters should now look for lower insurance rates.
Louisiana. With the highest average car insurance rates in the nation, Louisiana drivers could certainly use a break. The state also ranks in the top ten for percentage of employees who drove themselves to work before the pandemic began. This means the state's 20.29% decline in trips to work since then should create some savings on insurance rates.
Maryland. Insurance costs are higher than average in Maryland, but with a 28% drop in commuting to work due to the pandemic, a lot of drivers should be able to lower those costs.
Massachusetts. This is another state with higher insurance costs than most. With a 29.86% decline (fourth largest) in trips to work since the pandemic began, insurance rates should be due to come down.
Michigan. Drivers in this state pay the second-highest vehicle insurance costs in the nation. While it hasn't seen one of the biggest declines in commuting traffic since before COVID, a 20% drop in that traffic should be enough to save many consumers some money on car insurance.
Florida. A 21.29% drop in trips to work compared to pre-pandemic levels is about middle of the pack, but with the fourth-highest car insurance costs in the nation, Floridians should have plenty of potential to save now.
California. Only the District of Columbia has seen a greater drop-off in trips to work than California's 31.14% decline. That should create savings opportunities for many drivers.
Delaware. With insurance costs in Delaware among the ten highest nationally, a 22.57% decline in commuter traffic should create savings for many consumers.
Nevada. This is another state that ranks in the top ten for the price of car insurance. A 24.14% decline in trips to work should bring some of those rates down.
Ways Remote Workers Can Save on Car Insurance
If you're driving less and think you deserve to pay less for car insurance, there are a few ways you can do it:
Shop for a new policy based on your current volume of driving. Especially if you've cut down on or eliminated commuting to work, your insurance rates should be lower now.
If you are driving a lot less these days, check out pay-per-mile insurance. That can be a way of making sure you pay based on how much you actually use your car.
If you feel you've greatly cut down your accident risk because you don't drive to work as often, consider raising your deductible on collision coverage to lower your premium.
Car Insurance Savings for Remote Workers FAQs
Do car insurance rates drop automatically when I work from home?
No. Your insurance company won't know your habits have changed unless you have them take a fresh look at your policy. Also, your current insurance company might not offer the cheapest rate for your new volume of driving.
Should I apply for a discount on auto insurance if I'm only remote working temporarily?
Since you're probably billed for insurance every six months, think of that as a rule of thumb. If there's a likelihood you'll continue working from home for the next six months, it is worth applying for a lower rate.
Does pay-per-mile insurance make sense for me?
Keep track of how much you drive for a couple weeks. Then use that figure to compare quotes for both pay-per-mile and conventional insurance to see which represents the better deal for your usage.
Save Money on Car Insurance if You Are Driving Less
Even if you don't live in one of the states that save the most due to remote work, you might be able to save on car insurance if you're commuting less or not at all. Why not find out how much you can save each month or year? It doesn't cost you anything to check.
Instead of calling several insurance companies and waiting on a quote, let SmartFinancial compare quotes from 200+ car insurance companies to find you the best and cheapest policy. Just enter your zip code below and answer a few questions to get started on your free quotes!
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