I‘ve had my car insurance through Nationwide for nearly 30 years. While my rates have always been great because of multiple discounts, that all changed when our children started driving. With four cars and two teenagers, we were paying about $500 a month! And that’s even with three cars that are seven to 10 years old.
We compared auto insurance rates, but nobody could do better than our premiums with Nationwide. But what ended up saving us a fortune was Nationwide’s Vanishing Deductible.
Nationwide’s Vanishing Deductible
When I first saw the commercials for the vanishing deductible, I thought it was a bit of a gimmick. Under the program, Nationwide will lower your deductible by $100 for each year of safe driving. And you get $100 off your deductible immediately upon signing up for the program. The most you can reduce your deductible by is $500, and terms of the program do vary from state to state.
Normally, there is a cost to this program. But in my case, my premiums actually went down. Here’s what happened.
How the Vanishing Deductible Lowered Our Premiums
When we added our teenagers to our policy along with two additional cars, our premiums went through the roof. We’re talking from about $1,500 a year to more than $5,000. And that’s with two cars worth next to nothing.
We had two cars, and it was time to buy a new car. I got a used Toyota Camry Hybrid. Since both our children now drive, we decided to keep your minivan with 140,000 miles on it. It’s not worth much anyway. And then a family member gave us a 2004 Mercury Sable with more than 170,000 miles. It was “free,” but we had to put a new transmission in it that cost $3,200. And that’s how we ended up with an outrageous insurance premium.
So the first step in lowering our premiums was to get the good student discount. With Nationwide, teenage drives must have a 3.0 GPA or better to qualify. Fortunately, both of our children met the mark, which saved us about $600 a year.
And then our insurance agent had a surprise for us. If you have good grade students, good credit policyholder, high liability coverages and multiple polices, the vanishing deductible actually lowers your premium.
In our case, we save about $240 every six months with a lower deductible. Talk about a painless way to save money. From what I understand from our agent, my premiums went down because of the various discounts and multiple policies (e.g, auto, homeowners, and umbrella insurance). So not everybody will see lower premiums. But if you have Nationwide auto insurance, it’s worth calling your agent to see if you can lower your premium with the vanishing deductible endorsement.
Published or updated February 21, 2012.