Did you fall for a flashy sales pitch and buy an overpriced auto insurance policy? Believe me when I say there are many people just like you.
Lots of auto insurance companies contend for your hard-earned dollar, so it’s not easy to compare every insurer and uncover the absolute lowest cost out there.
Consumers should take time to compare rates occasionally because insurance rates change regularly. Even if you got the lowest rates a year ago you can probably find a better price now. So just block out anything you think you know about auto insurance because you’re going to get a crash course in one of the best ways to save on auto insurance.
If you currently have a car insurance policy, you should be able to cut costs considerably using this information. Finding the best rates in Huntsville is not rocket science. Although Alabama vehicle owners can benefit by having an understanding of the way insurance companies compete online because it can help you find the best coverage.
Compare Auto Insurance Today
When shopping for auto insurance there are multiple ways of comparing rates from auto insurance companies in your area. The easiest way by far to find the lowest rates involves getting comparison quotes online. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in just a few minutes using one of these methods.
- The first (and easiest) way to get quotes for comparison is an all-inclusive rate comparison (click to open form in new window). This method prevents you from having to do separate quotation requests to each individual auto insurance company. Just one form will get you price quotes from all major companies.
- A slightly less efficient method to compare rate quotes is to manually visit each company website and fill out their own quote form. For sake of this example, let’s assume you want rates from USAA, Allstate and American Family. To find out each rate you need to take the time to go to each site and enter your information, and that’s why the first method is more popular. For a list of links to insurance companies in Huntsville, click here.
Which method you use is up to you, but be sure to compare exactly the same information with each company. If each company quotes different values for each quote it’s impossible to truly determine the lowest rate in Huntsville. Slightly different coverages may cause a big price difference. And when comparison shopping, having more price comparisons provides better odds of finding a lower rate.
Buyer beware of auto insurance advertising tricks
Companies like State Farm, Allstate and Geico regularly use television and radio advertisements. All the ads make the same claim that you can save if you move to their company. How can each company say the same thing? This is how they do it.
All companies have a preferred profile for the driver that makes them money. For example, a desirable insured might be profiled as between 25 and 40, insures multiple vehicles, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. A customer getting a price quote that hits that “sweet spot” is entitled to the best price and is almost guaranteed to save when switching.
Drivers who do not match the requirements will be quoted a more expensive rate which leads to business going elsewhere. The ads say “drivers who switch” not “people who quote” save that much money. That’s the way insurance companies can confidently make those claims.
This emphasizes why drivers must get as many quotes as possible. You cannot predict which auto insurance company will provide you with the cheapest rates.
Take these 5 discounts and save
Insuring your vehicles can cost a lot, but there are discounts available that you may not know about. Certain discounts will be triggered automatically at the time of quoting, but a few must be asked about in order for you to get them.
- Anti-lock Brake System – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles are safer to drive and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- Federal Employees – Employees or retirees of the government can earn a discount up to 10% with select insurance companies.
- Auto/Life Discount – Some companies give a discount if you purchase life insurance.
- Payment Method – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time rather than paying monthly you may reduce your total bill.
- Bundle and Save – If you insure your home and vehicles with one company you could get a discount of 10% to 20% off each policy.
Keep in mind that most of the big mark downs will not be given the the whole policy. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as liability and collision coverage. So when the math indicates you can get free auto insurance, companies don’t profit that way. Any qualifying discounts will bring down the amount you have to pay.
For a list of providers with discount auto insurance rates in Alabama, click this link.
Much more information about auto insurance in Alabama is located on the website for the Alabama Department of Insurance through this link. Alabama drivers can find out industry alerts, read state legal mandates and laws, get help finding coverage, and discover disciplinary actions.
Auto insurance coverage considerations
Knowing the specifics of your auto insurance policy can be of help when determining appropriate coverage and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. These are typical coverages offered by auto insurance companies.
Coverage for liability – This can cover damage that occurs to people or other property that is your fault. Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. As an example, you may have liability limits of 25/50/25 that translate to $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $50,000, and a total limit of $25,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Some companies may use a combined limit which provides one coverage limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.
Liability coverage protects against things like funeral expenses, medical expenses and emergency aid. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as much as you can afford. Alabama state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/25,000 but drivers should carry more coverage.
Comprehensive protection – 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 protects against things like damage from flooding, damage from getting keyed, hitting a deer, fire damage and hail damage. The maximum payout you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage – Your UM/UIM coverage provides protection from other drivers when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. This coverage pays for hospital bills for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits (25/50/25), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage should not be overlooked. Most of the time these limits are similar to your liability insurance amounts.
Collision coverages – Collision coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage resulting from a collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. A deductible applies and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision coverage pays for claims like rolling your car, damaging your car on a curb, backing into a parked car, sideswiping another vehicle and colliding with a tree. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Another option is to increase the deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Medical expense coverage – Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance provide coverage for immediate expenses like rehabilitation expenses, prosthetic devices, ambulance fees and pain medications. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover all vehicle occupants as well as any family member struck as a pedestrian. PIP is not universally available but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
And the best car insurance company is…
Throughout this article, we presented quite a bit of information on how to save on auto insurance. The key concept to understand is the more rate comparisons you have, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. Consumers may even find the best prices are with an unexpected company. Smaller companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates compared to the large companies like Allstate, Geico and Progressive.
The cheapest auto insurance is available on the web and with local Huntsville insurance agents, so you should compare both so you have a total pricing picture. Some auto insurance companies do not offer the ability to get a quote online and many times these regional insurance providers only sell through independent insurance agents.
When buying insurance coverage, don’t be tempted to reduce coverage to reduce premium. There are many occasions where an insured cut liability limits or collision coverage only to regret at claim time that their decision to reduce coverage ended up costing them more. Your aim should be to get the best coverage possible at a price you can afford.