Have you had enough of paying out the nose each month for car insurance? You are in the same boat as many other drivers in Oregon. Popular companies such as Allstate and Progressive all promote huge savings with ads and it is difficult to sift through the bull and find the best price available.
If you are insured now or need new coverage, you can use these techniques to find better prices while maintaining coverages. Buying car insurance in Hermiston is not rocket science. Oregon consumers just need to know the most efficient way to shop their coverage around online.
Discounts can save BIG
Car insurance companies don’t always publicize all available discounts very clearly, so we break down both the well known and the more hidden ways to save on car insurance. If you’re not getting every credit you deserve, you are paying more than you should be.
- Government Employees – Simply working for the federal government can save as much as 8% with a few car insurance companies.
- Defensive Driver – Completing a course in driver safety could possibly earn you a 5% discount if your company offers it.
- No Claims – Drivers with accident-free driving histories pay less as compared to drivers who are more careless.
- Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Requiring all passengers to buckle their seat belts could cut 10% or more off your medical payments premium.
- Life Insurance Discount – Larger companies have lower rates if you buy life insurance from them.
- Distant Student – Children who attend school more than 100 miles from home and do not have a car may be able to be covered for less.
- Multiple Policy Discount – When you combine your home and auto insurance with one company you may save at least 10% off all policies.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most discounts do not apply the the whole policy. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. So even though they make it sound like all the discounts add up to a free policy, you won’t be that lucky.
To see a list of insurance companies who offer car insurance discounts in Hermiston, click here.
Will just any policy work for me?
When choosing the right insurance coverage, there is no “perfect” insurance plan. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. Here are some questions about coverages that could help you determine if your insurance needs could use an agent’s help.
- Do I really need UM/UIM coverage?
- Do I need added coverage for expensive stereo equipment?
- Do I get a pro-rated refund if I cancel my policy early?
- How much liability coverage do I need in Oregon?
- How high should my uninsured/underinsured coverage be in Oregon?
- Is my custom paint covered by insurance?
- What can I do if my company denied a claim?
- Am I covered when using my vehicle for business?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but a few of them apply, then you may want to think about talking to an agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form or click here for a list of car insurance companies in your area. It only takes a few minutes and can help protect your family.
Do drivers who switch really save?
Consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for car insurance savings from companies such as State Farm and Allstate. They all seem to make the same claim that you can save if you change your policy.
But how can every company make the same claim? It’s all in the numbers.
Insurance companies have a preferred profile for the driver that earns them a profit. A good example of a profitable customer might be profiled as between 30 and 50, has no tickets, and has great credit. Any new insured who meets those qualifications is entitled to the best price and therefore will cut their rates substantially.
Potential insureds who don’t meet this ideal profile must pay a more expensive rate and this can result in business going elsewhere. The ads say “customers that switch” not “people who quote” save that much. That’s why insurance companies can confidently advertise the way they do. This illustrates why drivers should compare as many rates as you can. It’s impossible to know which insurance companies will give you the biggest savings.
More tips and info about car insurance can be read at the Oregon Insurance Division website. Consumers can read industry bulletins, find disaster information, and report car insurance fraud.
Specifics of your car insurance policy
Having a good grasp of a car insurance policy can help you determine the right coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be ambiguous and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Shown next are typical coverage types available from car insurance companies.
Liability car insurance – Liability insurance will cover damage or injury you incur to other’s property or people that is your fault. Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. As an example, you may have limits of 25/50/25 which stand for $25,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $25,000.
Liability can pay for claims like pain and suffering, court costs, repair bills for other people’s vehicles, repair costs for stationary objects and structural damage. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a personal decision, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as high a limit as you can afford. Oregon state law requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/20,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy better liability coverage.
Collision – Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another car or object. You first must pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision insurance covers claims such as damaging your car on a curb, driving through your garage door and sideswiping another vehicle. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also choose a higher deductible to bring the cost down.
Medical expense insurance – Med pay and PIP coverage reimburse you for bills like dental work, hospital visits, funeral costs and prosthetic devices. The coverages can be used in conjunction with a health insurance plan or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover both the driver and occupants and will also cover if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage
Comprehensive (Other than Collision) – This coverage will pay to fix damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.
Comprehensive can pay for claims such as fire damage, a tree branch falling on your vehicle, theft and hail damage. The maximum payout you’ll receive from a claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider dropping full coverage.
Protection from uninsured/underinsured drivers – Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when other motorists are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. This coverage pays for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and damage to your vehicle.
Due to the fact that many Oregon drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (which is 25/50/20), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is very important.
One last thing
As you restructure your insurance plan, it’s a bad idea to buy less coverage just to save a little money. There are too many instances where someone sacrificed collision coverage only to discover later that it was a big mistake. The ultimate goal is to buy enough coverage at the best price while not skimping on critical coverages.
In this article, we presented many ideas to reduce car insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more providers you compare, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. Consumers could even find that the biggest savings come from the least-expected company. Some small companies may only write in your state and offer lower rates than their larger competitors like Progressive and GEICO.