No one enjoys paying for auto insurance, in particular when the cost is too high. You have multiple auto insurance companies to choose from, and although it’s nice to be able to choose, it makes it harder to get the best deal.
Shopping for affordable coverage in Ruidoso is simple if you know the tricks. If you have a policy now or need new coverage, you can use these tips to reduce the price you pay while maintaining coverages. New Mexico vehicle owners just need to learn the proper way to compare rates on the web.
Are you getting all your discounts?
Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, but there are discounts available that you may not know about. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied at the time of purchase, but a few need to be manually applied before you get the savings. If you’re not getting every credit available, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Student Driver Training – Require your teen driver to successfully complete driver’s ed class in school.
- Homeowners Discount – Owning a home in Ruidoso may earn you a small savings because maintaining a house demonstrates responsibility.
- New Vehicle Savings – Buying coverage on a new vehicle is cheaper because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
- Discount for Good Grades – Getting good grades can get you a discount of up to 25%. The discount lasts well after school through age 25.
- Auto/Home Discount – If you have multiple policies with one insurance company you may save 10% to 20% off each policy.
- Multiple Vehicles – Insuring multiple vehicles with the same company could earn a price break for each car.
- Early Signing – Some insurance companies reward drivers for signing up before your current policy expires. This can save 10% or more.
- Accident Forgiveness – A few companies will allow you to have one accident before hitting you with a surcharge so long as you haven’t had any claims for a certain period of time.
- Defensive Driver – Taking a driver safety course could save 5% or more and easily recoup the cost of the course.
- Federal Government Employee – Being employed by or retired from a federal job can earn a discount up to 10% with a few auto insurance companies.
As a disclaimer on discounts, some of the credits will not apply to your bottom line cost. Most only reduce individual premiums such as collision or personal injury protection. So even though it sounds like it’s possible to get free car insurance, companies wouldn’t make money that way. But all discounts will reduce the amount you have to pay.
When might I need an agent?
When it comes to choosing the best auto insurance coverage, there really is no perfect coverage plan. Every situation is different so your insurance should reflect that Here are some questions about coverages that might help in determining whether you will benefit from professional help.
- Do I need medical payments coverage since I have good health insurance?
- Can I pay claims out-of-pocket if I buy high deductibles?
- What discounts do I qualify for?
- Does my liability insurance cover pulling a trailer or camper?
- Who is covered by my policy?
- Does my insurance cover my expensive audio equipment?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions then you might want to talk to an insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, complete this form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It’s fast, free and can help protect your family.
Can switching companies really save?
Consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for the lowest price auto insurance by State Farm and Allstate. All the companies make an identical promise about savings after switching to their company.
But how can every company make the same claim?
All companies have a certain “appetite” for the type of driver that is profitable for them. For example, a profitable customer could be over the age of 50, has no driving citations, and has great credit. A customer getting a price quote who matches those parameters will qualify for the lowest rates and as a result will probably save quite a bit of money when switching.
Drivers who fall outside these standards must pay a more expensive rate which usually ends up with business not being written. The ads say “people who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that kind of money. That’s the way companies can state the savings.
This illustrates why it is so important to get quotes from several different companies. It’s just too difficult to predict the company that will fit your personal profile best.
Car insurance coverage information
Learning about specific coverages of auto insurance can be of help when determining which coverages you need at the best deductibles and correct limits. The terms used in a policy can be confusing and reading a policy is terribly boring. These are the usual coverages found on the average auto insurance policy.
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance
Your UM/UIM coverage provides protection from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered claims include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits (25/50/10), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea. Most of the time these limits are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.
Liability auto insurance
Liability coverage can cover damage that occurs to people or other property in an accident. It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. As an example, you may have policy limits of 25/50/25 which stand for a limit of $25,000 per injured person, a per accident bodily injury limit of $50,000, and a limit of $25,000 paid for damaged property. Another option is a combined limit which provides one coverage limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.
Liability can pay for things like attorney fees, bail bonds and repair costs for stationary objects. How much coverage you buy is a personal decision, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as large an amount as possible. New Mexico state law requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/10,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more coverage.
This coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You first must pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision coverage protects against claims like rolling your car, hitting a parking meter, crashing into a building, driving through your garage door and sustaining damage from a pot hole. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider removing coverage from older vehicles. Drivers also have the option to choose a higher deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision)
Comprehensive insurance coverage pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. A deductible will apply then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive can pay for claims like hail damage, damage from a tornado or hurricane, hitting a deer and hitting a bird. The maximum payout a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Insurance for medical payments
Med pay and PIP coverage reimburse you for expenses like rehabilitation expenses, prosthetic devices, nursing services and surgery. They are often utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. They cover not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not an option in every state and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay
Much more information about auto insurance in New Mexico is available on the website for the New Mexico Insurance Division. Click here for link. New Mexico consumers can report car insurance fraud, view agent and company licensing information, and get help finding coverage.
Smart consumers save more
We covered a lot of tips how to get a better price on auto insurance. The most important thing to understand is the more quotes you get, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. Consumers may even find the most savings is with the least-expected company. They may cover specific market segments cheaper than their larger competitors like State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.
Cheap auto insurance is attainable on the web in addition to many Ruidoso insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to have the best chance of lowering rates. There are still a few companies who do not provide online price quotes and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
When trying to cut insurance costs, it’s not a good idea to reduce needed coverages to save money. There are many occasions where someone sacrificed full coverage to discover at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your focus should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at an affordable rate.