Overpriced car insurance can drain your checking account, especially in this economy. Doing a price comparison is free, only takes a few minutes, and is a good way to reduce premiums and put more money in your pocket. Lots of insurers contend for your hard-earned dollar, and it can be difficult to compare rates to get the cheapest price
If you have a policy now or need new coverage, you will benefit by learning to find better prices and possibly find even better coverage. Choosing the best insurance company for you in Elizabeth is not that difficult. New Jersey vehicle owners just need to understand the proper way to get comparison quotes online.
Compare Quotes for Elizabeth Car Insurance
Getting a cheaper price on insurance doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to spend a few minutes comparing rates provided by online insurance companies. This can be done in several different ways.
- The single most time-saving way to find the lowest comparison rates is to use a rate comparison form like this one (opens in new window). This method saves time by eliminating separate quotation requests for each company you want a rate for. One quote request gets rate comparisons instantly.
- A different way to get quotes online is to manually visit each company’s website and complete a new quote form. For examples sake, let’s assume you want to compare rates from Nationwide, Progressive and Allstate. You would have to spend time on each company’s site to input your insurance information, which is why most consumers use the first method. For a list of links to insurance companies in Elizabeth, click here.
- The least efficient method to get comparison rates is to spend time driving to local Elizabeth insurance agencies. The internet makes this process obsolete unless you have a need for the professional advice of a local Elizabeth agent. However, consumers can get the lowest quotes online but buy from a local insurance agent and we’ll cover that in a bit.
It’s up to you how you get prices quotes, just make absolute certain that you use the exact same coverage information with each company. If you are comparing different values for each quote it’s not possible to find the best deal in Elizabeth.
Lower rates by qualifying for these ten discounts
Car insurance is not cheap, but companies offer discounts to cut the cost considerably. Some trigger automatically when you purchase, but a few need to be specially asked for before they will apply. If they aren’t giving you every credit possible, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Student in College – Youth drivers who attend school more than 100 miles from home and do not have a car may qualify for this discount.
- Air Bag Discount – Factory air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can receive discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Anti-lock Brake Discount – Vehicles with anti-lock braking systems can reduce accidents and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Use Seat Belts – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to use their safety belts could save 15% off your medical payments premium.
- E-sign – A handful of insurance companies may give you up to $50 simply for signing digitally online.
- Own a Home – Owning a home in Elizabeth may earn you a small savings because maintaining a house demonstrates responsibility.
- Discount for Good Grades – A discount for being a good student can save 20 to 25%. This discount can apply until age 25.
- Drivers Ed for Students – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to take driver’s ed class in school.
- Accident Free – Claim-free drivers pay much less compared to accident-prone drivers.
- Theft Prevention System – Anti-theft and alarm systems can help prevent theft and will save you 10% or more.
It’s important to understand that most credits do not apply to your bottom line cost. The majority will only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like liability and collision coverage. So when it seems like it’s possible to get free car insurance, car insurance companies aren’t that generous. But all discounts will reduce your premiums.
To choose providers with the best car insurance discounts in Elizabeth, follow this link.
Do I need a local agent?
A small number of people would prefer to buy from a local agent. Insurance agents can help determine the best coverages and help in the event of a claim. The biggest benefit of getting online price quotes is the fact that you can find better rates and still choose a local agent. Supporting local businesses is definitely important in Elizabeth.
Upon completion of this quick form, your information gets sent to participating agents in Elizabeth who will compete for your coverage. There is no need to leave your computer because quoted prices will be sent to your email. Now that’s easy!
Independent or Captive: It’s your choice
When looking for a reliable agent, you need to know there are two types of agencies that you can select. Agents can either be independent (non-captive) or captive. While both can insure your vehicles, but it’s good to learn how they differ since it may influence buying decisions.
Independent Agents (or Brokers)
Independent insurance agents do not work for one specific company but instead can place your coverage with multiple insurance companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. If your agent finds better pricing, the business is moved internally and you won’t have to switch agencies.
When comparison shopping, it’s recommended you contact multiple independent agents for maximum quote selection.
Listed below is a list of independent agents in Elizabeth that are able to give price quotes.
P and P Agency – 1106 Magnolia Ave – Elizabeth, NJ 07201 – (908) 289-4900
Carlos Ferrer Insurance – 58 3rd St – Elizabeth, NJ 07206 – (908) 289-1666
Chapman Agency – 435 Elizabeth Ave – Elizabeth, NJ 07206 – (908) 354-0918
Omega’s Insurance – 623 Westfield Ave – Elizabeth, NJ 07208 – (908) 355-8765
Hal Rose Agency – 118 Elmora Ave – Elizabeth, NJ 07202 – (908) 354-1000
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive insurance agents have only one company to place business with such as Farmers Insurance or State Farm. They generally cannot place coverage with different providers so always compare other rates. They receive extensive training on the products they sell which can be an advantage.
Deciding on an auto insurance agent needs to be determined by more than just a cheap price. Ask your prospective agent these questions:
- Are they full-time agents?
- Do they regularly work with personal auto policies?
- Do they feel the quoted coverages are adequate?
- Do clients work directly with the agent or are most inquiries handled by a CSR?
- If they are an independent agency, which companies do they recommend?
- What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?
Upon getting answers to your satisfaction to all your questions and a good coverage price, it’s possible that you found a car insurance agent that is a good match to service your policy.
Misconceptions in car insurance advertisements
Consumers can’t ignore all the ads for cheaper car insurance by Progressive, Geico, Allstate and State Farm. All the companies say the same thing of big savings if you move to their company.
How do they all make the same claim? This is how they do it.
Different companies have a certain “appetite” for the driver they prefer to insure. A good example of a desirable insured could be between the ages of 40 and 55, has no tickets, and drives newer vehicles. A customer getting a price quote that hits that “sweet spot” will qualify for the lowest rates and most likely will save when they switch companies.
Potential insureds who don’t qualify for the “perfect” profile will have to pay a more expensive rate which usually ends up with the customer not buying. The ads say “people who switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that much. That’s why companies can advertise the savings.
Because of the profiling, drivers should compare many company’s rates. It’s not possible to predict which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.
Auto insurance coverages
Learning about specific coverages of car insurance aids in choosing the best coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Shown next are the usual coverages available from car insurance companies.
Auto collision coverage
Collision coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. A deductible applies and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision insurance covers claims such as hitting a parking meter, scraping a guard rail, crashing into a building, damaging your car on a curb and colliding with another moving vehicle. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are older. You can also increase the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.
This protects you from damages or injuries you inflict on other’s property or people by causing an accident. It protects YOU from claims by other people, and does not provide coverage for damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.
Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. Your policy might show liability limits of 50/100/50 that translate to a $50,000 limit per person for injuries, $100,000 for the entire accident, and a total limit of $50,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Some companies may use one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which limits claims to one amount rather than limiting it on a per person basis.
Liability can pay for things such as structural damage, loss of income, repair costs for stationary objects and legal defense fees. How much liability coverage do you need? That is up to you, but you should buy higher limits if possible. New Jersey state minimum liability requirements are 15,000/30,000/5,000 but drivers should carry better liability coverage.
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance
This coverage protects you and your vehicle when the “other guys” either have no liability insurance or not enough. This coverage pays for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and also any damage incurred to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers have only the minimum liability required by law (New Jersey limits are 15/30/5), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages should not be overlooked. Normally your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages do not exceed the liability coverage limits.
Insurance for medical payments
Med pay and PIP coverage reimburse you for bills for nursing services, prosthetic devices, doctor visits and chiropractic care. They are used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. Coverage applies to both the driver and occupants in addition to if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision)
This will pay to fix damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first must pay your deductible then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive coverage pays for things such as falling objects, rock chips in glass and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Keep this in mind
When shopping online for car insurance, make sure you don’t buy poor coverage just to save money. There are a lot of situations where drivers have reduced comprehensive coverage or liability limits and learned later they didn’t have enough coverage. The ultimate goal is to get the best coverage possible at a price you can afford.
We just presented many ideas to shop for car insurance online. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may even discover the biggest savings come from a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising. Some small companies may have significantly lower rates on certain market segments than their larger competitors like Progressive or Geico.
Much more information about car insurance in New Jersey can be found on the website for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance found here. New Jersey consumers can file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, read industry bulletins, and read consumer alerts.