Purchasing the lowest cost Clearwater auto insurance on the web is rather challenging for consumers new to online price comaprisons. With a ridiculous number of insurers available, how can anyone effectively compare the different rates to find the lowest price?
Comparison of Auto Insurance in Clearwater, Florida
Finding a lower price on insurance can be quick and easy. The only thing you need to do is spend a few minutes on the computer comparing price quotes provided by online insurance companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in a couple of different ways.
Probably the best way to find the lowest comparison rates would be an industry-wide quote request form click to view form in new window. This method prevents you from having to do multiple quote forms to each individual auto insurance company. A single, simple form will return price quotes direct from many companies. Recommended for those who want to invest the least amount of time.
A different way to compare rate quotes consists of visiting each company’s website to request a price quote. For sake of this example, let’s assume you want comparison quotes from Auto-Owners, Progressive and American Family. To get rate quotes you would need to visit each site and enter your information, and that’s why the first method is more popular. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Clearwater, click here.
The least recommended way of comparing rate quotes is driving around to insurance agents’ offices. The internet eliminates the need for an insurance agent unless you want the professional guidance of a local Clearwater agent. Drivers can comparison shop online but still have the advice of a local agent. We’ll cover that shortly.
However you get your quotes, make sure you use identical coverage limits and deductibles with each company. If you have different values for each quote it will be impossible to determine which rate is truly the best in Clearwater.
Do drivers who switch really save?
Florida consumers can’t get away from ads for car insurance savings from the likes of Progressive, Allstate and GEICO. All the ads make the same claim about savings if you change your coverage to them.
How do they all make almost identical claims? This is how they do it.
Insurance companies have a certain “appetite” for the type of driver that is profitable for them. For instance, a desirable insured could possibly be a mature driver, a clean driving record, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. A driver who fits that profile will get very good rates and as a result will probably save a lot of money.
Drivers who don’t meet these standards will have to pay a more expensive rate which usually ends up with business not being written. Company advertisements say “customers that switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much. That’s the way insurance companies can confidently make the claims of big savings.
Because of the profiling, you absolutely need to get a wide range of price quotes. It is impossible to predict which insurance companies will give you the biggest savings.
Policy discounts you shouldn’t miss
Car insurance is not cheap, but you may find discounts that can drop the cost substantially. Most are applied when you purchase, but a few must be inquired about before you will receive the discount. If they aren’t giving you every credit possible, you’re paying more than you need to.
- Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Factory air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can get savings up to 30%.
- Life Insurance – Larger companies have better rates if you take out a life insurance policy as well.
- Clubs and Organizations – Affiliation with certain professional organizations could qualify you for a break when buying auto insurance.
- Discount for Good Grades – A discount for being a good student can earn a discount of 20% or more. The good student discount can last up until you turn 25.
- Multiple Cars – Buying coverage for all your vehicles with the same company can get a discount on all vehicles.
- Drive Less and Save – Low mileage vehicles can qualify you for discounted rates on garaged vehicles.
- No Claims – Good drivers with no accidents can save substantially when compared with bad drivers.
- Driver’s Ed – Have your child complete a driver education course in high school.
- Lower Rates for Military – Having a family member in the military may qualify for rate reductions.
- Use Seat Belts – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to use a seat belt can save up to 15% off your medical payments premium.
It’s important to understand that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the overall cost of the policy. Most only reduce individual premiums such as collision or personal injury protection. So even though it sounds like adding up those discounts means a free policy, it doesn’t quite work that way. Any amount of discount will bring down your overall premium however.
To choose insurance companies with the best auto insurance discounts in Florida, click here.
Quote online but still have a local agent
Some people prefer to talk to a local agent and there is nothing wrong with that. Licensed agents can help determine the best coverages and help you file claims. The best thing about getting online price quotes is the fact that you can find better rates but still work with a licensed agent. Supporting small agencies is especially important in Clearwater.
Once you complete this quick form, the quote information is transmitted to participating agents in Clearwater who will give you bids to get your business. You don’t have to leave your house because quoted prices will be sent to the email address you provide. It doesn’t get any easier!
Captive or Independent: There is a difference
When looking for a reputable insurance agent or broker, there are a couple of different agency structures from which to choose. Insurance agencies in Clearwater are categorized either captive or independent (non-captive). Either one can insure your vehicles, but it’s worth mentioning the differences since it may influence the type of agent you choose
Independent Agencies or Brokers
These agents are not employed by any specific company but instead can place your coverage with multiple insurance companies depending on which coverage is best. To transfer your coverage to a different company, your agent can switch companies without you having to go to a different agency.<img class="alignright" style="padding-top:15px;" src="https://www.carinsurancediy.com/wp-content/uploads/ci175-70.jpg" alt="Florida auto insurance“/>
When shopping rates, we recommend you include price quotes from several independent insurance agents for the best price selection. Many write coverage with smaller companies which may provide better rates.
Below is a short list of independent agents in Clearwater that can give you price quotes.
- LA Plante Agency – 2715 State Road 580 – Clearwater, FL 33761 – (727) 796-8566
- Independent Agency Svc LLC – 2536 Countryside Blvd # 6 – Clearwater, FL 33763 – (727) 726-0726
- Prudential Insurance Co – 2655 Mccormick Dr – Clearwater, FL 33759 – (727) 712-0511
- Craig Duncan Insurance Inc – 2745 State Road 580 # 101 – Clearwater, FL 33761 – (727) 725-3668
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive agents are contracted to one company and some examples include Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Farmers Insurance or State Farm. These agents are not able to place coverage with different providers so they have no alternatives for high prices. Captive agents are trained well on their products and sales techniques and that can be a competitive advantage. Some people will only choose to use a captive agent partially due to the prominence of the brand and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.
The following are Clearwater captive insurance agencies that are able to give rate quotes.
- State Farm Insurance – 25881 Us Highway 19 N – Clearwater, FL 33763 – (727) 797-0400
- Allstate Insurance – 17755 Us Highway 19 N – Clearwater, FL 33764 – (727) 530-5248
To view a full list of captive insurance agents in Clearwater, visit this site.
Deciding on an auto insurance agent requires more thought than just the premium amount. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:
- Do they carry Errors and Omissions coverage?
- Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- How are they compensated?
- Will your rates increase after a single accident?
- How often do they review policy coverages?
- Are they full-time agents?
- Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
- Is their price quote a firm figure or are their hidden costs?
Upon receiving good answers to your questions in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you have narrowed it down to an insurance agency that meets your needs to service your policy.
Auto insurance coverage breakdown
Understanding the coverages of your policy helps when choosing appropriate coverage for your vehicles. Auto insurance terms can be ambiguous and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording.
Medical expense coverage
Med pay and PIP coverage kick in for immediate expenses such as pain medications, prosthetic devices and EMT expenses. They can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. It covers all vehicle occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP coverage is not universally available and may carry a deductible
Comprehensive insurance coverage pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.
Comprehensive can pay for things like fire damage, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and falling objects. The highest amount your auto insurance company will pay is the market value of your vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider dropping full coverage.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage
This coverage protects you and your vehicle from other motorists when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. This coverage pays for hospital bills for your injuries and also any damage incurred to your vehicle.
Since many Florida drivers have only the minimum liability required by law (Florida limits are 10/20/10), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family. Normally your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages do not exceed the liability coverage limits.
This will pay to fix damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision coverage pays for things such as driving through your garage door, scraping a guard rail and crashing into a ditch. This coverage can be expensive, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Another option is to raise the deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Liability insurance will cover damages or injuries you inflict on people or other property in an accident. It protects you against claims from other people. It does not cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.
It consists of three limits, per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. Your policy might show limits of 100/300/100 which stand for $100,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $300,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $100,000. Alternatively, you may have one number which is a combined single limit which limits claims to one amount with no separate limits for injury or property damage.
Liability coverage pays for things such as loss of income, funeral expenses, repair costs for stationary objects and structural damage. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is up to you, but you should buy as much as you can afford. Florida state law requires minimum liability limits of 10,000/20,000/10,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more coverage.
In the end, you save
Drivers who switch companies do it for a number of reasons such as delays in responding to claim requests, denial of a claim, high prices or even high rates after DUI convictions. Regardless of your reason for switching companies, switching auto insurance companies can be easy and end up saving you some money.
Throughout this article, we presented a lot of tips how to compare auto insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. Drivers may discover the most savings is with a smaller regional carrier.
As you shop your coverage around, it’s very important that you do not buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. There have been many situations where an accident victim reduced physical damage coverage only to find out that it was a big error on their part. Your focus should be to find the BEST coverage for the lowest price while not skimping on critical coverages.
Additional auto insurance information can be read on the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website found here. Florida consumers can read consumer alerts, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and find disaster information.
These articles may also be worth reading.