Feel like you’re a prisoner to an underperforming, overpriced car insurance policy? Trust us, there are many Windham consumers feeling the pinch from expensive car insurance. You have multiple auto insurance companies to pick from, and though it is a good thing to be able to choose, it can be more difficult to find a good deal.
You need to compare rates quite often due to the fact that insurance rates are variable and change quite frequently. If you had the lowest rates a year ago you may be paying too much now. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about car insurance because you’re about to learn the tricks you need to know to properly buy coverages while reducing your premium.
Vehicle Insurance Comparison
There are multiple methods you can shop for car insurance but there is one way that is more efficient than others. You could waste time talking to agents in Windham, or you could use online quotes to accomplish the same thing much quicker.
Most of the best insurance companies participate in a marketplace where prospective buyers complete one form, and each company can give them a price. This eliminates the need for quote requests to each individual car insurance company.
To fill out one form to compare multiple rates now click here (opens in new window).
The only downside to using this type of form is that you can’t choose the companies you want to price. If you would rather choose from a list of companies for rate comparison, we have assembled a list of the cheapest car insurance companies in Maine. Click to view list.
Which method you use is up to you, but compare identical coverage limits and deductibles for every quote you compare. If you are comparing different deductibles it will be next to impossible to determine which rate is truly the best in Windham.
Do car insurance companies bend the truth?
Consumers can’t get away from ads for the lowest price auto insurance from the likes of Geico, State Farm and Progressive. All the companies say the same thing that you’ll save big if you move your coverage to them.
But how can every company make the same claim? This is how they do it.
Insurance companies have a preferred profile for the right customer they prefer to insure. For example, a driver they prefer might be between the ages of 40 and 55, has no tickets, and chooses high deductibles. Any new insured who matches those parameters gets the lowest rates and is almost guaranteed to save when switching.
Drivers who fall outside the requirements will be charged more money and ends up with business going elsewhere. The ad wording is “customers that switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that much. That’s the way companies can advertise the way they do.
That is why it’s extremely important to get as many quotes as possible. It’s not possible to predict which insurance companies will give you the biggest savings.
Lots of discounts mean lots of savings
The cost of insuring your cars can be expensive, but there are discounts available that can drop the cost substantially. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied when you quote, but some must be requested specifically in order for you to get them. If you don’t get every credit you deserve, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Government Employees – Active or retired federal employment may qualify you for a discount with select insurance companies.
- Multiple Cars – Having all your vehicles on one policy qualifies for this discount.
- Save with a New Car – Adding a new car to your policy can be considerably cheaper because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
- No Accidents – Drivers who don’t have accidents can save substantially when compared with frequent claim filers.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Vehicles with anti-theft systems are stolen less frequently and will save you 10% or more.
Keep in mind that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire policy premium. Most only cut the price of certain insurance coverages like liability and collision coverage. So even though it sounds like all the discounts add up to a free policy, it doesn’t quite work that way. But any discount will cut your overall premium however.
For a list of companies who offer car insurance discounts in Windham, click here.
But don’t I need an insurance agent?
Some people would prefer to buy from a local agent and there is nothing wrong with that. Good agents can answer important questions and help file insurance claims. One of the great benefits of getting online price quotes is the fact that you can find the best rates but still work with a licensed agent. And supporting local insurance agencies is important especially in Windham.
To find an agent, once you fill out this simple form, the quote information is emailed to local insurance agents who will give you bids to get your business. There is no need to leave your house because quoted prices will be sent immediately to your email address. Now that’s easy!
To contact a specific insurance agent in Windham, please go to this site.
Picking an insurer shouldn’t rely on just the premium amount. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:
- What insurance companies do they recommend if they are an independent agent?
- Are they full-time agents?
- Which insurance companies are they affiliated with?
- Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
- Can they give you a list of client referrals?
- How long has their agency been open in Windham?
- Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
Upon getting satisfactory answers as well as a affordable price, you’ve probably found an insurer that meets your needs to provide car insurance coverage.
Car insurance policy coverages
Learning about specific coverages of a car insurance policy helps when choosing which coverages you need and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be impossible to understand and reading a policy is terribly boring. Shown next are the usual coverages offered by car insurance companies.
Liability insurance provides protection from damage that occurs to people or other property. It protects you from claims by other people, and doesn’t cover damage to your own property or vehicle.
Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You might see limits of 100/300/100 which means $100,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a limit of $300,000 in injury protection per accident, and property damage coverage for $100,000. 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 repair costs for stationary objects, repair bills for other people’s vehicles, pain and suffering and medical expenses. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is a decision to put some thought into, but buy as high a limit as you can afford. Maine requires drivers to carry at least 50,000/100,000/25,000 but you should think about purchasing more coverage.
Comprehensive auto coverage
This coverage pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first must pay your deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.
Comprehensive coverage protects against claims like vandalism, rock chips in glass, hail damage, damage from a tornado or hurricane and theft. The most your car insurance company will pay is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.
Medical payments and PIP coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage kick in for short-term medical expenses for things like surgery, EMT expenses, prosthetic devices, dental work and nursing services. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. Medical payments and PIP cover both the driver and occupants and will also cover being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP coverage is not available in all states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage
This coverage provides protection from other motorists when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. Covered losses include injuries to you and your family and damage to your vehicle.
Due to the fact that many Maine drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (Maine limits are 50/100/25), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage should not be overlooked. Normally these limits are similar to your liability insurance amounts.
Collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle from colliding with another car or object. A deductible applies and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision insurance covers claims like hitting a mailbox, crashing into a building, sustaining damage from a pot hole and driving through your garage door. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are older. You can also increase the deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Smart shoppers get results
You just learned some good ideas how to compare car insurance prices online. It’s most important to understand that the more rate comparisons you have, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. Drivers may discover the lowest priced car insurance comes from the smaller companies. Some small companies may cover specific market segments cheaper than their larger competitors like Progressive and Geico.
As you restructure your insurance plan, it’s not a good idea to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. In many cases, an insured dropped full coverage and found out when filing a claim they didn’t purchase enough coverage. The proper strategy is to get the best coverage possible at a price you can afford, not the least amount of coverage.
More information is located on the website for the Maine Bureau of Insurance located here. Visitors are able to read enforcement actions against agents and companies, read consumer alerts, and report car insurance fraud.