Car Insurance Discounts by Occupation

Scroll down for the answers to some FAQs on car insurance discounts based on various occupations.

We all know that factors affecting your car insurance premium rates include your age, your gender, your credit score, your driving history, and the state, city, and zip code in which you live, but it may surprise you to learn that your job, not to mention your membership in certain organizations, can also have an affect on your car insurance premium rates.

Even if you don’t use your car for business purposes (except when commuting to and from work), it is a fairly well known fact that people who work at certain low stress occupations get hefty price reductions on car insurance premiums. Conversely, people who are employed in risky or high stress professions get stuck with higher car insurance premium costs. Your occupation is definitely one of the factors considered by underwriters when they calculate car insurance discounts into your premium rates.

That’s why how you describe your occupation can make an important difference in your car insurance policy premium costs. This article includes some examples of how you can tweak your “job title” to be allowed an occupational discount. All in all, there are many thousand occupations out there, and many different ways to describe each one.

What is an occupation?

An occupation is any activity that occupies your mind and takes up a fair amount of your time, whether or not it pays any actual money. An occupation is not limited to a paying job, but can also be a hobby, a learning experience, or even just helping another human being. “Student” always makes the lists of occupations. Even “Unemployed” counts as an occupation on most “job” lists. Your car insurance company may even give car insurance discounts for holding degrees in certain occupations, whether or not you are currently employed in that field.

An occupation is basically any endeavor that requires your concentration on a regular basis. Everyone needs an occupation of some kind.

What do occupations have to do with car insurance?

People who pursue certain occupations are seen by auto insurance underwriters as more careful (or less careful) drivers than people of other occupations. However, it’s not just a matter of superstition: Actual traffic accident statistics have something to do with the underwriter’s decisions.

In many cases, drivers receive car insurance discounts just by working in “low risk” professions, low risk being jobs that are very low stress and involve very little driving. People who work in “high risk” professions can expect hiked up premium rates on car insurance.

What is the purpose of car insurance discounts based on occupation?

Auto insurance companies are forever trying to entice customers in the highly competitive auto insurance market. Car insurance discounts are one way of getting potential customers interested in the services of one company, as opposed to another. Occupational discounts are typically based on traffic accident statistics showing that people in certain professions have fewer accidents and file fewer claims than people in other professions. Car insurance discounts by occupation may also encourage drivers to pursue certain jobs or particular studies.

Can Federal employees get car insurance discounts?

Yes. Federal employees get car insurance discounts because they either are or were employed by the Federal government. Federal employees also have more extreme background checks than most other employees. So they probably have no criminal records and good credit. They are probably also extra careful not to accrue any marks against their driving records. This is why car insurance companies can offer discounts of up to 8 percent for Federal employees.

Federal employees include members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the United States Postal Service (USPS), and the various branches of the U.S. Military, as well as Federal Judges and Prosecutors.

What types of occupations receive car insurance discounts?

Here is a list of 20 occupations that are looked upon favorably by auto insurance underwriters. These occupations are likely to receive car insurance discounts from one company or another, although different car insurance companies offer different occupational discounts. As always, it pays to shop around. In any case, it seems that people in the following professions have a lower frequency of traffic accident claims:

Accountants: Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) can enjoy a break on car insurance premiums. CPAs are meticulous, detail-oriented types who tend to work near home (if not at home). Their jobs have relatively low stress levels.

Actuaries: Actuaries are insurance professionals who decide how much an insurance company will pay out on a claim. Actuaries seem less likely than other employees to file claims on their own behalf.

Architects: Architects have a precise, meticulous nature. They also tend to work near home. The qualities that make an architect are many of the same qualities that make a safe driver.

Auto Mechanics: Mechanics are less likely to file car damage claims, as they tend to be able to take care of most minor problems themselves. This entitles mechanics to occupational car insurance discounts and consistently low rates.

Clergy: Nuns and priests tend to live where they work. Their jobs do not involve a lot of driving, nor is drinking or speeding very popular among them.

Dentists: Health care professionals usually get car insurance discounts. Also, people of high income tend to live in better neighborhoods, and are more likely to repair minor dents and scratches themselves without filing an insurance claim.

Doctors: Medical service professionals always get car insurance discounts. For doctors, the discount can be as high as 15 percent. This may begin to offset the higher premium rates that doctors are typically cursed with.

Educators: Teachers of grades K-12, as well as college professors, are eligible for occupational car insurance discounts from many auto insurance providers. Teachers tend to work in the communities where they live, which cuts down on the driving involved.

Engineers: STEM courses rule! Bust your butt at school to become an engineer. It’s one way to save money on car insurance.

First Responders: These include firefighters, ambulance crews, and police officers. They don’t generally work from 9 to 5, and so they don’t usually have to deal with rush hour traffic. They also tend to live in the same communities where they work. According to accident reports, first responders are at a much lower risk for accidents (when driving their own personal vehicles) than people who are employed at most other professions. That’s why first responders get a 5 to 10 percent discount on auto insurance.

Librarians: Librarians are thought to be cautious, quiet types who work near home.

Military Service Members: Many insurance companies offer military discounts to active and retired military personnel and their families. Part of the reason is that military personnel have reduced chances of getting into accidents and filing claims. In fact, there’s a whole insurance company called USAA, which is dedicated to military personnel.

Nurses: Nursing tends to be a female-dominated profession. This is one reason why nurses get lower rates on car insurance.

Performers: Performers and other artists tend to live in cities, and are inclined to take public transportation rather than drive.

Pilots: A plane operates very much like a street vehicle, despite the lack of rush hour traffic in the sky. Also, pilots are responsible for the safety and well being of others.

Retired People: Retired people stay home more often and drive less often. This makes them part of the low risk crowd.

Scientists: Rock those STEM courses with a special discount on car insurance! Scientists are considered to be very meticulous and detail-oriented, so they pay some of the lowest premiums on auto insurance.

Self Employed Professionals: If you’re self employed and working from home, you probably don’t put too many miles on your vehicle. This may entitle you to a low mileage discount.

Social Workers: Like nursing, this profession is dominated by females, who are known to be slower drivers than males.

Underwriters: What underwriters could possibly resist including themselves on a list of occupational discounts for car insurance?

Key factors in these discounted occupations include low stress levels, responsibility for the safety and well being of other people, meticulous personalities, and/or a tendency to use public transportation.

Basically, anyone who is employed in the automotive industry, the insurance industry, the healthcare industry, the education industry, or any of a number of other industries, can reasonably apply for an occupational discount. Still, you need to be really proactive and ask agents from at least a few insurance companies if your profession allows you a discounted premium rate. Ask about occupational discounts! Also, find out if your education can earn you savings on your policy premiums. The worst they can do is say no.

What types of occupations pay the most for car insurance?

Some of the nation’s highest car insurance premiums go to business owners, chefs, construction workers, entertainers, journalists, judges, lawyers, real estate brokers, and race car drivers.

Key factors of the higher premium rates for these drivers include driving more expensive vehicles, spending more time in their vehicles, a willingness to take risks, and/or  a tendency to show off. All of these people have high stress professions, and tend to take their stresses home with them. They also tend to use their cell phones more often than people who work in many other professions.

Here is a list of about 35 occupations and their corresponding average car insurance premiums, based on a 2006 report. These amounts will certainly be outdated by now, but this should give you some idea of the relative cost of car insurance based on occupational status alone.

OccupationAverage Annual Premium
Scientist $870
Retired Individual $918
Unemployed Individual $934
Pilot / Navigator$966
Disabled Individual$968
Actor / Performer / Artist$971
Librarian / Historian $1,009
College Student $1,029
Civil Servant $1,069
Designer $1,071
Waiter / Bartender / Host $1,071
Engineer (Science)$1,088
Athlete / Sports Science $1,088
Instructor / Teacher$1,099
Animal Trainer / Groomer $1,103
Store Clerk / Cashier $1,106
Computer Science / Math$1,110
Restaurant Chef / Baker $1,115
Machine Operator$1,126
Architect $1,131
Tool Maker$1,131
Marketing / Advertising$1,135
Cleaning / Janitorial $1,136
Mechanic $1,138
Repairs / Maintenance$1,143
Military Officer$1,148
Manufacturer $1,151
Customer Service $1,152
Professor $1,156
Construction Worker$1,160
Clerical Staff$1,191
Nanny / Caretaker$1,194
Business Owner $1,405

How can I get an occupational discount on car insurance?

If your profession does not already call for an occupational car insurance discount, you might consider switching jobs. This is an especially good idea if you don’t enjoy your job.

A less extreme way to cut insurance premium costs is to tweak your job title. For example (based on the above list), if you are an actor, a college student, a freelance professional, or a homemaker, you can legitimately say you are unemployed and get cheaper premium rates. If your occupation is computer science, you can legitimately call yourself a scientist. If you are a designer, call yourself an artist. You get the picture.

Which insurance carriers have the best occupational discounts?

Here are just a few top car insurance companies with generous occupational discounts. Be sure to check out other major carriers as well.

21st Century Insurance, which is owned by the Farmers Insurance Group, offers a group discount to employees and members of certain affiliated companies. For further details, visit

Country Financial Insurance offers a 5 percent discount to first responders, and a 10 percent discount to full time teachers of any grade from K-12. However, Country Financial’s occupation discounts are not available in Alaska, Georgia, or Tennessee. For complete details, visit

Esurance offers a “Preferred Occupation” discount for people who work in (or have a degree in) education, engineering, mathematics, or natural science. For more information, visit

Farmers Insurance has some of the biggest discounts for the longest list of occupations of any auto insurance company. Occupational discounts at Farmers Insurance include 18 percent off your premium rate if you are an engineer, a physician, a dentist, or a veterinarian in the state of California. You can also get 18 percent off if you are a CPA or an educator. A discount of 18 percent is the highest known occupational discount. Farmers Insurance also offers 12 percent discounts to other health care professionals such as nurses and chiropractors, as well as to lawyers, judges, architects, librarians, and pilots. Farmers even has a car insurance discount for drivers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in science or math. For more information, visit

Geico offers a discount of up to 15 percent to active and retired military service members and their families. Geico also offers an affiliation discount of up to 8 percent for employees of any Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. Who knew that someone could get a discount on car insurance for working at See’s Candies? Geico actually offers discounts to members of more than 275 organizations. For full info, visit

Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a “New Graduate” discount for students who have graduated from college. The company also offers a group savings discount if you are employed with any of their more than 14,000 affiliated companies. Liberty Mutual also offers special benefits for teachers in some states, but not in others. For full details, visit

Mercury Insurance offers a discount to anyone who holds at least a bachelor’s degree in science or math. For details and other info, visit

Nationwide Group offers affinity discounts to people who belong to certain groups or organizations, either through employment or by membership. For a list of approved organizations and other info, visit

Travelers Insurance offers occupational discounts to people who belong to certain groups or organizations, either through employment or by membership. For complete details, visit

USAA is an auto insurance company that caters to active and retired military personnel and their families. USAA has one of the best reputations of all insurance companies, but you or someone in your family has to be a current or former military member to join this group. For further information, visit

Types of occupational car insurance discounts and amounts of cost reductions will vary by insurance company and also by state. Not all car insurance companies will offer the same occupational discounts, and occupational discounts are not necessarily available in every state. Check with several insurance carriers to see which (if any) occupational discounts you qualify for.

Using a type of career as a basis for calculating auto insurance premiums may not make a whole lot of sense, but as long as this is the case, we might as well take full advantage of any occupational car insurance discounts we can get.

To learn about insuring vehicles that are actually used for business purposes, see our page on Commercial Auto Insurance.