I doubt anyone is fond of buying auto insurance, especially knowing the cost is too high. You have multiple car insurance companies to insure vehicles with, and although it’s nice to have multiple companies, it can be more difficult to find the best rates.
You should make it a habit to quote other rates quite often because auto insurance rates go up and down regularly. Even if you think you had the lowest rate at your last renewal you can probably find a better price now. Forget all the misinformation about auto insurance because you’re about to find out the best way to reduce your cost while improving coverage.
The purpose of this article is to teach you the most effective way to quote insurance and some money-saving tips. If you are paying for car insurance now, you should be able to reduce your rates substantially using this strategy. Although Virginia consumers must know the methods companies use to price insurance differently because it can help you find the best coverage.
There are a lot of ways you can shop for auto insurance but some are more efficient than others. You can waste a few hours (or days) discussing policy coverages with agents in Smithfield, or you can stay home and use the internet to achieve your goal.
Many insurance companies enroll in a system where insurance shoppers submit their information once, and each company returns a competitive quote determined by their information. This system prevents you from having to do quotation requests to every company. To enter your information into the quoting system, click here to start a free quote.
The one disadvantage to using this type of form is that consumers can’t choose which carriers to get pricing from. If you prefer to choose specific providers to receive pricing from, we have a listing of companies who write auto insurance in Virginia. Click to view list.
Take whichever approach you prefer, but be sure you’re using nearly identical coverages and limits for each comparison quote. If you compare mixed coverages it will be impossible to make a fair comparison in Smithfield. Having just a slight variation in insurance coverages can mean a large discrepancy in price. It’s important to know that obtaining a wide range of quotes provides better odds of finding more affordable rates. Not every company allows you to get online quotes, so you need to compare prices on coverage from those companies, too.
Cheaper rates by taking advantage of these five discounts
Auto insurance is expensive, but you may be missing some discounts that could help you make your next renewal payment. Some discounts will apply when you complete an application, but less common discounts must be requested specifically in order for you to get them.
- Senior Discount – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you can possibly qualify for better auto insurance rates.
- Professional Organizations – Joining qualifying employment or professional organizations could qualify you for a break on your next renewal.
- Good Student Discount – Being a good student may save you up to 25%. Earning this discount can benefit you well after school through age 25.
- Sign Online – Some of the larger companies will give you a small discount for buying your policy on the web.
- Student in College – Kids living away from home attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle can receive lower rates.
A little note about advertised discounts, most credits do not apply to the entire policy premium. Most only cut the price of certain insurance coverages like physical damage coverage or medical payments. Even though it may seem like all those discounts means the company will pay you, companies don’t profit that way.
If you would like to view insurers that have a full spectrum of discounts in Virginia, click here.
Auto insurance coverages explained
Learning about specific coverages of your policy can help you determine the right coverages for your vehicles. Policy terminology can be difficult to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Below you’ll find typical coverages found on the average auto insurance policy.
Liability car insurance – Liability insurance protects you from damage or injury you incur to people or other property in an accident. It protects YOU against other people’s claims. Liability doesn’t cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.
It consists of three limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You commonly see liability limits of 100/300/100 that translate to a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, $300,000 for the entire accident, and a limit of $100,000 paid for damaged property. Occasionally you may see one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which provides one coverage limit and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.
Liability coverage pays for things such as court costs, medical expenses and repair bills for other people’s vehicles. How much liability coverage do you need? That is your choice, but you should buy as high a limit as you can afford. Virginia requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/20,000 but drivers should carry more coverage.
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance – This coverage gives you protection when the “other guys” are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. Covered claims include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as damage to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (25/50/20 in Virginia), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is very important. Frequently your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages are similar to your liability insurance amounts.
Insurance for medical payments – Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP reimburse you for immediate expenses for ambulance fees, X-ray expenses and funeral costs. The coverages can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. Medical payments and PIP cover you and your occupants as well as any family member struck as a pedestrian. PIP is not an option in every state and may carry a deductible
Collision coverages – This coverage covers damage to your vehicle from colliding with another car or object. A deductible applies and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision coverage pays for claims like backing into a parked car, colliding with a tree, rolling your car and crashing into a building. This coverage can be expensive, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from lower value vehicles. Drivers also have the option to raise the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision) – Comprehensive insurance coverage covers damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive can pay for claims like hitting a bird, hail damage and falling objects. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Learn more today
Additional information can be found on the found here. Virginia consumers can read consumer alerts, view a list of available companies, find a variety of consumer forms, and find out industry alerts.
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