Paying for high-priced auto insurance can empty your checking account and force you to prioritize other expenses. Shopping your coverage around is a smart way to help make ends meet.
Many car insurance companies compete to insure your vehicles, and it can be difficult to compare rates and get the definite best rate
It is always a good idea to do rate comparisons at least once a year because rates are constantly changing. Even if you got the lowest price on your last policy there is a good chance you can find better rates now. Starting right now, forget all the misinformation about auto insurance because it’s time to teach you how to use the internet to find better rates and still maintain coverage.
Save money by taking advantage of these six discounts
Companies that sell car insurance don’t list every discount very well, so we researched both well-publicized and also the lesser-known discounts you could be receiving.
- Save over 55 – Older drivers may be able to get a discount up to 10%.
- Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts can save up to 15% off your PIP or medical payments premium.
- Drivers Education – Have your child successfully complete driver’s ed class in high school.
- Claim Free – Good drivers with no accidents pay less as compared to bad drivers.
- Pay Upfront and Save – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of paying each month you could save 5% or more.
- Theft Prevention System – Anti-theft and alarm systems can help prevent theft and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
Consumers should know that some credits don’t apply to the entire cost. Some only apply to specific coverage prices like comprehensive or collision. Just because it seems like all the discounts add up to a free policy, you won’t be that lucky.
For a list of insurers who offer auto insurance discounts in North Dakota, follow this link.
Do drivers who switch really save $477 a year?
Companies like State Farm and Allstate consistently run television and radio advertisements. All the ads make an identical promise that you’ll save big if you change your policy. How does each company make almost identical claims?
All companies can use profiling for the driver they prefer to insure. For example, a driver they prefer could be a mature driver, owns a home, and drives newer vehicles. A customer getting a price quote who matches those parameters will qualify for the lowest rates and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.
Potential insureds who don’t measure up to this ideal profile must pay a higher premium and this can result in business going elsewhere. The ads say “customers who switch” not “people who quote” save money. That’s why insurance companies can make the claims of big savings. This illustrates why you should get as many quotes as possible. It’s impossible to know which company will have the lowest rates.
Auto insurance coverage breakdown
Learning about specific coverages of auto insurance can help you determine which coverages you need and the correct deductibles and limits. The coverage terms in a policy can be ambiguous and coverage can change by endorsement. Listed below are the usual coverages found on the average auto insurance policy.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage provides protection when the “other guys” either have no liability insurance or not enough. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants and also any damage incurred to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (which is 25/50/25), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea.
Liability car insurance
This provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property by causing an accident. Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. Your policy might show liability limits of 50/100/50 that translate to $50,000 bodily injury coverage, a limit of $100,000 in injury protection per accident, and a total limit of $50,000 for damage to vehicles and property.
Liability coverage protects against claims such as structural damage, bail bonds, loss of income and repair costs for stationary objects. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is up to you, but you should buy as much as you can afford. North Dakota state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/25,000 but drivers should carry more liability than the minimum.
Comprehensive insurance pays for damage from a wide range of events other than collision. A deductible will apply then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive insurance covers things such as vandalism, falling objects, hail damage and rock chips in glass. The maximum payout you’ll receive from a claim is the cash value of the vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Coverage for medical payments
Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP reimburse you for bills for rehabilitation expenses, hospital visits and prosthetic devices. The coverages can be utilized in addition to your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to all vehicle occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage
Auto collision coverage
Collision coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle resulting from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision coverage protects against things such as driving through your garage door, scraping a guard rail, sideswiping another vehicle, damaging your car on a curb and colliding with a tree. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. Drivers also have the option to raise the deductible to bring the cost down.
Even more information can be read at the North Dakota Insurance Department website. Visitors are able to view agent and company licensing information, read industry bulletins, and find out industry alerts.
Cost effective auto insurance is attainable on the web as well as from independent agents in Valley City, and you should compare price quotes from both so you have a total pricing picture. Some companies don’t offer you the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these regional insurance providers sell through independent agents.
We’ve covered quite a bit of information on how to get a better price on auto insurance. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers could even find that the biggest savings come from a lesser-known regional company. Smaller companies can often insure niche markets at a lower cost than their larger competitors like Progressive and GEICO.