Comparing can seem difficult if you’ve never compared online price quotes. Don’t worry though because comparing quotes is actually very simple.
If you are paying for car insurance now, you will be able to save some money using this strategy. Finding affordable auto insurance coverage in Dumas is not that difficult. But Arkansas vehicle owners do need to understand the methods companies use to market insurance on the web.
Auto insurance policy discounts
Not many people think insurance is cheap, but you may find discounts that may help make it more affordable. Some discounts will apply at the time of purchase, but a few must be inquired about in order for you to get them.
- Multiple Vehicles – Having all your vehicles on one policy could earn a price break for each car.
- Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts can save 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
- Data Collection Discounts – Insureds who allow their company to monitor when and where they use their vehicle by using a telematics device in their vehicle like In-Drive from State Farm and Progressive’s Snapshot might get better premium rates if they are good drivers.
- Multi-line Discount – Some companies give a discount if you purchase life insurance.
- Early Renewal Discounts – Some auto insurance companies reward drivers for signing up prior to your current policy expiration. This discount can save up to 10%.
Consumers should know that most discount credits are not given to the entire policy premium. A few only apply to individual premiums such as liability, collision or medical payments. Even though it may seem like all the discounts add up to a free policy, companies wouldn’t make money that way. Any qualifying discounts should help reduce the amount you pay for coverage.
Some of the insurance companies that may offer most of these discounts are:
- Mercury Insurance
- Farmers Insurance
- Auto-Owners Insurance
- Liberty Mutual
Check with each company or agent which discounts they offer. Discounts may not be available in Dumas. For a list of companies that offer multiple discounts in Arkansas, click this link.
Auto insurance advertising gotchas
Companies like State Farm and Allstate continually stream ads on TV and radio. They all seem to convey the message that people will save if you change your coverage. How does every auto insurance company charge you less for car insurance? It’s all in the numbers.
Many companies require specific criteria for a prospective insured that will generate a profit. One example of this type of insured might be described as over the age of 50, owns their home, and has great credit. A propective insured that hits that “sweet spot” will get the preferred car insurance rates and have a good chance to save a lot of money.
Drivers who don’t qualify for these standards will be charged higher rates with the end result being business going elsewhere. The ads say “customers who switch” but not “all drivers who get quotes” save that kind of money. That is how companies can truthfully advertise the way they do.
Because of the profiling, you really need to compare price quotes frequently. It is impossible to guess which company will provide the lowest rates.
Auto insurance coverage specifics
Learning about specific coverages of your policy helps when choosing the best coverages and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and coverage can change by endorsement.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage
This gives you protection from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Due to the fact that many Arkansas drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (Arkansas limits are 25/50/25), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is a good idea. Frequently the UM/UIM limits are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.
Comprehensive insurance coverage will pay to fix damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You need to pay your deductible first and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.
Comprehensive can pay for claims like fire damage, falling objects, vandalism and theft. The most a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider dropping full coverage.
Coverage for liability
This can cover injuries or damage you cause to people or other property that is your fault. Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. As an example, you may have policy limits of 50/100/50 which means a limit of $50,000 per injured person, a per accident bodily injury limit of $100,000, and property damage coverage for $50,000. Alternatively, you may have a combined single limit or CSL which provides one coverage limit rather than limiting it on a per person basis.
Liability coverage pays for things like medical expenses, funeral expenses, court costs and loss of income. How much coverage you buy is up to you, but consider buying as much as you can afford. Arkansas state law requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/25,000 but drivers should carry more coverage.
Coverage for medical payments
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage pay for short-term medical expenses for things like nursing services, surgery, prosthetic devices and EMT expenses. They are often used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. It covers all vehicle occupants in addition to if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not available in all states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage
Auto collision coverage
This covers damage to your vehicle from colliding with a stationary object or other vehicle. You have to pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision insurance covers claims like sustaining damage from a pot hole, sideswiping another vehicle and crashing into a building. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider removing coverage from older vehicles. Drivers also have the option to raise the deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Some additional reading
More information can be found on the website for the Arkansas Insurance Department through this link. Consumers can read industry bulletins, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, and read state legal mandates and laws.
The best insurance company isn’t always the cheapest
Consumers who switch companies do it for a variety of reasons including unfair underwriting practices, policy cancellation, being labeled a high risk driver and even lack of trust in their agent. No matter why you want to switch, choosing a new insurance company is not as difficult as it may seem.
When shopping online for auto insurance, it’s a bad idea to reduce needed coverages to save money. There have been many situations where an insured cut comprehensive coverage or liability limits and found out when filing a claim that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. Your focus should be to buy enough coverage for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.
Some auto insurance companies may not offer rates over the internet and many times these small, regional companies prefer to sell through independent insurance agencies. Discount auto insurance can be bought online in addition to many Dumas insurance agents, and you need to price shop both in order to have the best price selection to choose from.