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How I lowered our car insurance by $400

White and orange van on the side of the road during daytime.jpg

Back in January, I saved $500 by moving our home insurance policy over to Nationwide. Out of these $500, $106 came from the discount we got from bundling our home and car insurance.

I didn’t know much about car insurance before this. I’d gotten the insurance through Progressive back in 2018 when I flew out of my parent’s nest and became an “adult” and hadn’t switched since.

Sure, shopping around for car insurance was on my TODO list. But time passed, the policy kept auto-renewing, and I never got around to it.

The massive increase in our home insurance premium was the rude but necessary kick in the pants I needed to finally look into our car insurance.

And I’m glad I did. I learned a lot about how car insurance works, saved some money, and wrote two posts for the blog. Wins all around.

So without further ado, I present my three-part play, How I Lowered Our Car Insurance By $400.

Part 1: Our insurance with Progressive

At the start of 2023, we were with Progressive. The policy was slated to run from January 16 to July 16 and the premium was $719, or around $120 a month.

Here’s what our policy looked like:

CoverageLimits of LiabilityPremium
Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability$30,007 each person, $60,007 each accident, $25,007 each accident$479
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury$30,007 each person, $60,007 each accident$22
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property DamageNo coverage$0
Medical PaymentsNo coverage$0
Personal Injury ProtectionNo coverage$0
Rental ReimbursementNo coverage$0
Roadside AssistanceNo coverage$0
Custom Parts and/or Equipment valueNo coverage$0
Loan/Lease PayoffNo coverage$0
Deductible: Comprehensive$499$66
Deductible: Collision$499$150
Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority Fee$2

*Note: For an overview of what each of these coverages are, see this post.

As you can see, the bulk of the car insurance premium comes from the bodily injury liability coverage followed by the property damage liability coverage. These coverages pay for the other person’s injuries and car damages if you’re ever at fault in an accident.

Comprehensive and collision, the next most expensive coverages, cover the cost of replacing your car in the case of an accident. Personal injury protection and medical payments, which we declined, cover your medical costs resulting from an accident.

In this policy, we had the minimum coverage allowed in Texas, which is 30/60/251—that is, $30,000 per person injured in an accident, with a cap of $60,000 for all injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. We declined all other coverages and set our deductibles to $500.

At this point, I was getting fed up with Progressive as our insurance had been getting more and more expensive. We had paid $545 in the first half of 2022 when we moved to Texas and $648 in the second half.

The jump to $719 was an 11% increase after the 19% increase during the previous renewal.2 😡

Part 2: Getting a quote from Nationwide

Towards the end of January, after switching our home insurance, I called Nationwide to get a car insurance quote as bundling these policies would save us $106 on our home insurance.

I went through a variety of options with the Nationwide rep, such as their SmartRide—an app that measures driving behavior to give discounts—and SmartMiles—pay-per-mile insurance—programs, and ended up deciding on SmartMiles since we don’t use our car much except for doing groceries and going to parks on the weekends.

Here’s what the policy looked like:

CoverageLimits of LiabilityPremium
Bodily Injury Liability$30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident$151.71
Property Damage Liability$25,00 per accident$82.70
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury$30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident$16.31
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage$25,00 per accident$8.83
Personal Injury Protection$2,500$9.03
Medical PaymentsNo coverage$0
Rental ReimbursementDeclined - $30 per day, $900 accident$0
Custom Equipment$3,000 - Included$0
Extended Non-OwnedNo coverage$0
GAP CoverageNo coverage$0
New Car Replacement PlusNo coverage$0
Deductible: Comprehensive$500$90.15
Deductible: Collision$500$152.42
Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority Fee$2

Whoa, Nelly! That’s over $200 in savings for the six-month policy compared to Progressive.

This quote assumed 2,5343 miles driven over the six months, or around 420 per month, and was broken down between a base payment of $389.53 and a mileage premium of $121.62.

This means each mile driven would cost us $0.048.4 If we drove less than the estimated 2,534 miles, our final payment would be even lower; if we drove more, it’d be higher.

The policy covered both my wife and myself and included in the quote were discounts for bundling home and auto5, paperless policy, accident free driver, and automatic payments.

In addition to the savings, though, this policy had better coverage than what we were getting with Progressive.

While our bodily injury and property damage liability coverage stayed at 30/60/25, we would now be getting uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage liability coverage as well as personal injury protection. Our deductibles, meanwhile, stayed at $500.

In case you’re curious, the rental reimbursement coverage, which we declined, would have cost an extra $7 a month.

Part 3: Switching to Nationwide

I thought over the quote for a couple of days and called back on February 2nd to make the switch.

On the phone, I told the Nationwide rep about the quote I’d gotten. He re-ran the numbers and did me one better:

CoverageLimits of LiabilityPremium
Bodily Injury Liability$250,000 per person, $250,000 per accident$172.29
Property Damage Liability$100,00 per accident$75
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury$250,000 per person, $250,000 per accident$35.23
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage$100,00 per accident$10.97
Personal Injury Protection$2,500$7.65
Medical PaymentsNo coverage$0
Rental ReimbursementDeclined - $30 per day, $900 accident$0
Custom Equipment$3,000 - Included$0
Extended Non-OwnedNo coverage$0
GAP CoverageNo coverage$0
New Car Replacement PlusNo coverage$0
Deductible: Comprehensive$500$80.10
Deductible: Collision$500$132.89
Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority Fee$2

For only an extra $3, we could increase our coverage to the maximum of 250/500/100!

This quote assumed the same 2,534 miles as before and had the same cost per mile of $0.048.

I’m not sure why the previous rep didn’t mention this, but I jumped on this quote and got the policy started that day, then called Progressive to cancel my existing policy.

A couple weeks later, Progressive deposited $52.48 into my bank account for the unused portion of the monthly premium.


So there we are. Over the course of a couple of days, I lowered our car insurance from $719 to $516.13, while greatly improving our coverage.

Combined with the $500 I saved on our home insurance, that’s $9006 that I’ve saved this year!

My tips:

  1. Understand your car insurance; make sure you know what each coverage is for and how it affects your policy premium. This post should help you.
  2. Get a few quotes from different companies and see how they compare. I did this for our home insurance but not for the car insurance as I already knew I wanted to get the bundling discount from having both my home and car insurance with Nationwide.
  3. Bundle your home and car insurance, if you can. This can give you some great savings on both policies.
  4. Ask all the questions you need to the insurance rep. What’s the cost of this coverage? How does removing or lowering it change my premium? How does changing the deductible affect the premium? How much will it cost to increase my coverage?

    I think it also makes sense to call multiple times and talk to a few different reps. Different reps might be more knowledgeable or more willing to help. The second Nationwide rep I called was able to get us much better coverage for almost the same price. I wouldn’t have thought of asking about this.

Dealing with insurance—as almost all “adulthood” tasks, e.g., filing and paying taxes, renewing one’s driver’s license and car registration, or managing one’s finances—is tiresome and often frustrating. But the savings can be worth the hassle.

I hope this post was useful—let the savings begin!


  1. These limits vary by state and range from 10/20/10 in Florida to 50/100/25 in Maine.

  2. ($719 - $648) / $648 x 100 = 10.96% and ($648 - $545) / $545 x 100 = 18.9%.

  3. The SmartMiles program includes a road trip exception. With this exception, only the first 250 miles count on a single day, so every mile over 250 for that day is free.

  4. $121.62 / 2,534 = $0.0478

  5. This was great because we double-dipped on the bundling discount—we got a discount on our home insurance for bundling our car insurance and a discount on our car insurance for bundling our home insurance.

  6. $200 saved on the six-month car insurance is $400 per year, plus the $500 saved on home insurance.