Tired of being strong-armed to pay your car insurance bill each month? You are no different than millions of other consumers. Having so many companies to choose from, it is hard for the average consumer to locate the best insurer.
It’s smart to compare prices once or twice a year due to the fact that insurance rates change regularly. Even if you got the best price on your last policy you can probably find a better price now. So forget all the misinformation about auto insurance because we’re going to show you how to use online quotes to lower your annual insurance bill.
Shopping for cheaper protection in Austin is simple if you know the tricks. If you have insurance now or need a new policy, you can use this information to get lower rates while maximizing coverage. Texas vehicle owners only need to know the best way to shop for auto insurance over the internet.
Save money by taking advantage of these six discounts
Insuring your vehicles can cost a lot, but companies offer discounts that can drop the cost substantially. A few discounts will automatically apply when you complete an application, but less common discounts must be specially asked for prior to getting the savings. If you’re not getting every credit available, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Cars that have factory anti-theft systems help deter theft and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Distant Student – Kids in college living away from home attending college without a vehicle on campus can be insured at a reduced rate.
- Save with a New Car – Adding a new car to your policy can save up to 30% since new cars are generally safer.
- Club Memberships – Being a member of a civic or occupational organization could trigger savings on your policy.
- Low Mileage – Driving fewer miles could qualify for lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.
- Multiple Cars – Insuring all your vehicles with the same company can get a discount on all vehicles.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given to your bottom line cost. Most cut the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. So even though they make it sound like all those discounts means the company will pay you, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous. But all discounts will bring down the amount you have to pay.
How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Cost in Austin, TX
Lowering your auto insurance rates doesn’t have to be difficult. The only requirement is to take the time comparing rates provided by online insurance companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in just a few minutes using one of these methods.
Probably the best way consumers can make multiple comparisons is an all-inclusive rate comparison click to view form in new window. This form eliminates the need for separate quotes to each individual auto insurance company. One form gets you coverage quotes from many national carriers.
A less efficient way to get comparison quotes is to take the time to go to the website for each individual company to complete their respective quote request forms. For sake of this example, let’s say you want to compare Farmers, 21st Century and Allstate. To get rate quotes you would need to visit each site to enter your coverage information, and that’s why the first method is more popular. To view a list of companies in Austin, click here.
It’s up to you which method you use, but be sure to compare exactly the same coverage information with each company. If your comparisons have different deductibles it’s impossible to make an equal comparison in Austin.
Auto insurance 101
Learning about specific coverages of a auto insurance policy can help you determine the best coverages and proper limits and deductibles. Policy terminology can be difficult to understand and reading a policy is terribly boring. Shown next are the usual coverages available from auto insurance companies.
Medical expense coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage kick in for immediate expenses for hospital visits, pain medications, nursing services, X-ray expenses and chiropractic care. They are often used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. Coverage applies to you and your occupants as well as being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP coverage is not universally available and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay
Uninsured or underinsured coverage
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage provides protection from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. This coverage pays for hospital bills for your injuries as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Since many Texas drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (which is 30/60/25), their limits can quickly be used up. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family. Usually these limits are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You need to pay your deductible first then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage pays for claims like damage from flooding, rock chips in glass, damage from getting keyed, damage from a tornado or hurricane and fire damage. The maximum payout a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Coverage for collisions
Collision coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision insurance covers claims such as backing into a parked car, damaging your car on a curb, hitting a mailbox and hitting a parking meter. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from older vehicles. You can also raise the deductible to bring the cost down.
Liability car insurance
This provides protection from damage or injury you incur to people or other property in an accident. It consists of three limits, per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You commonly see liability limits of 50/100/50 which stand for $50,000 bodily injury coverage, a limit of $100,000 in injury protection per accident, and a total limit of $50,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Another option is a combined single limit or CSL that pays claims from the same limit without having the split limit caps.
Liability insurance covers claims like bail bonds, funeral expenses and structural damage. How much coverage you buy is up to you, but consider buying as much as you can afford. Texas state law requires minimum liability limits of 30,000/60,000/25,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more coverage.
As you prepare to switch companies, make sure you don’t buy poor coverage just to save money. There are too many instances where someone sacrificed full coverage and found out when filing a claim that the savings was not a smart move. The proper strategy is to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best price, not the least amount of coverage.
Lower-priced auto insurance can be found both online in addition to many Austin insurance agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both to have the best selection. A few companies do not provide online quoting and these regional insurance providers work with independent agents.
Much more information about auto insurance in Texas can be found on the website for the Texas Department of Insurance. Click here for link. Texas consumers can learn about specific coverages, get help finding coverage, and discover disciplinary actions.