Shifting Commuter Habits Can Cut Insurance Costs; Reducing Driving to Curb Gas Crunch Could Also Reduce Your Insurance Bill

With gasoline prices creeping past $3 per gallon in some areas, California commuters may turn to public transportation to ease the gas crunch. But they may not realize that making a habit of public transportation may also save them money on their auto insurance.

By reducing the number of miles driven each week, commuters could reduce their auto insurance premiums.

Auto insurance premiums rely on a number of factors — from a driver’s safety record to the type of car being insured. The car’s annual mileage is one of several critical factors in determining how much a car owner spends on insurance, and some insurance companies offer discounts to motorists who drive fewer than a predetermined number of miles each year.

“As commuters turn to public transit to reduce their household fuel bills, they should report reduced annual automobile mileage to their insurer or insurance agent,” said Candysse Miller, executive director of the Insurance Information Network of California. “While the insurance savings may not completely offset the impact of skyrocketing gasoline prices on your household budget, the combined benefit of reduced fuel, maintenance and insurance costs could make public transportation a budgetary bonus for many commuters.”

The effects of reducing automobile mileage on insurance premiums will vary depending on the driver’s personal circumstances and by company.

Reducing annual mileage is one of several ways a driver can cut their auto insurance costs. To read a copy of the brochure, “Nine Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs,” visit the IINC Web site at or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to “Auto Insurance” c/o IINC, 900 Wilshire Blvd. #1414, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

EDITORS NOTE: IINC, a non-profit, non-lobbying insurance communications association, has spokespeople available in both Northern and Southern California.