Having to pay for overpriced car insurance can empty your personal savings and force you to make sacrifices. Comparison shopping is a smart way to reduce premiums and put more money in your pocket.
Big companies like GEICO, Farmers Insurance and State Farm continually hit you with advertising and it is difficult to ignore the flying pigs and cute green geckos and do the work needed to find the best deal.
It’s a great practice to shop coverage around once or twice a year because rates trend upward over time. Despite the fact that you may have had the lowest rates a year ago other companies may now be cheaper. So forget anything you know (or think you know) about car insurance because you’re going to get a crash course in the fastest way to find lower rates on car insurance.
If you currently have a car insurance policy, you should be able to lower your premiums substantially using this information. Choosing the best insurance company for you in Clovis is not rocket science. But New Mexico car owners must know how insurance companies sell insurance online and apply this information to your search.
Smart Buyers can Save Money
Consumers need to have an understanding of the different types of things that help determine the rates you pay for car insurance. Knowing what controls the rates you pay allows you to make educated decisions that will entitle you to much lower annual insurance costs.
The following are some of the items companies use to determine prices.
- Rates may be lower depending on your job – Careers like judges, business owners and stock brokers are shown to have the highest rates in part from high stress levels and long work days. On the other hand, professions such as actors, students and retirees pay the least.
- Sex matters – Statistics show that women are safer drivers than men. Now that doesn’t mean women are better drivers. They both cause accidents at a similar rate, but the males tend to have more serious accidents. They also get cited for more serious violations like reckless driving and DUI.
- A clean driving record saves money – Just one speeding ticket may increase your cost by twenty percent. Drivers with clean records get better rates compared to drivers with tickets. Drivers who have flagrant citations such as hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may need to submit a SR-22 form with the DMV in their state in order to keep their license.
- Safer cars cost less to insure – Safer cars get lower rates. The safest vehicles have better occupant injury protection and lower injury rates translates into fewer and smaller insurance claims and thus lower rates.
- What type of vehicle do you drive? – The performance level of the vehicle you are insuring makes a significant difference in the rate you pay. The most favorable rates are generally reserved for low performance passenger vehicles, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
Discounts are available to cut your rates
Companies offering auto insurance don’t necessarily list all available discounts in an easy-to-find place, so we researched both well-publicized and the more hidden savings tricks you should be using.
- One Accident Forgiven – Some insurance companies permit an accident without raising rates as long as you don’t have any claims for a particular time prior to the accident.
- Payment Method – If you pay your bill all at once instead of making monthly payments you could save 5% or more.
- Drivers Ed for Students – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to take driver’s ed class if offered at their school.
- Anti-theft Discount – Vehicles with anti-theft systems are stolen less frequently and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
- Discount for Life Insurance – Some companies give lower rates if you buy life insurance from them.
- Defensive Driving Course – Successfully completing a defensive driving course could save 5% or more and easily recoup the cost of the course.
- Anti-lock Brake System – Vehicles with anti-lock braking systems prevent accidents and will save you 10% or more.
- Good Student – Performing well in school can save 20 to 25%. The discount lasts up to age 25.
- Federal Government Employee – Employees or retirees of the government can earn a discount up to 10% with certain companies.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most discount credits are not given to your bottom line cost. Some only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as comprehensive or collision. Even though it may seem like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, it doesn’t quite work that way.
To choose companies with the best car insurance discounts in Clovis, click here.
Don’t I need to talk to an agent?
A small number of people prefer to talk to a local agent and that is OK! One of the great benefits of comparing insurance prices online is that you can obtain the best rates and still choose a local agent.
Once you complete this short form, your coverage information is transmitted to participating agents in Clovis who will compete for your business. There is no need to drive around as quotes are delivered to your email. It doesn’t get any easier! It’s the lowest rates without the usual hassles of price shopping.
Choosing an provider should depend on more than just the bottom line cost. Any agent should have no problem answering these questions:
- Do clients work directly with the agent or are most inquiries handled by a CSR?
- Will vehicle repairs be made with aftermarket parts or OEM replacement parts?
- Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
- Do they assist clients in filing claims?
- If your car is totalled, how to they determine the replacement cost?
- What insurance companies do they work with?
- Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
- Is vehicle mileage a factor when determining depreciation for repairs?
The type of insurance agent you choose is important
When searching for a reliable agent, there are two types of agencies from which to choose. Agencies in Clovis are categorized either independent (non-captive) or captive.
Captive Insurance Agents
These agents can only write with one company and examples are American Family, State Farm and Allstate. They are unable to give you multiple price quotes so they have no alternatives for high prices. Captives are usually quite knowledgeable in insurance sales which can be an advantage.
Shown below is a short list of captive agencies in Clovis willing to provide rate quotes.
Farmers Insurance Group – 1220 N Prince St – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 763-5630
State Farm Insurance – 301 N Main St – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 762-3334
Farm Bureau Insurance – 1516 N Thornton St – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 762-4729
Allstate Insurance – 501 Commerce Way # 5 – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 762-8373
Independent insurance agents are not required to write business for one company so they have the ability to put coverage with any number of different companies and potentially find a lower price. To move your coverage to a new company, the agent simply finds a different carrier and that require little work on your part.
When searching for an agent, you should always get quotes from several independent insurance agents to ensure the widest selection of prices.
Shown below is a list of independent agencies in Clovis that are able to give price quotes.
Williams Insurance – 1101 N Norris St – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 769-2855
Riley Agency – 109 Commerce Way – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 762-7707
Eddie Pullman Insurance – 1800 Sheffield Dr # E – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 769-2600
Kline Krake and Assoc Agency – 2400 N Main St – Clovis, NM 88101 – (505) 762-7850
For a complete listing of Clovis insurance agents, visit this site.
Upon receiving positive responses to these questions and an acceptable price quote, it’s possible that you found an auto insurance agent that can service your policy.
Misconceptions in car insurance advertisements
Companies like Progressive, Allstate and GEICO constantly bombard you with ads in print and on television. All the ads make an identical promise about savings if you switch your policy. How can each company make the same claim?
All the different companies can use profiling for the type of customer that makes them money. An example of a desirable insured might be over the age of 40, a clean driving record, and chooses high deductibles. Any new insured who fits that profile gets the lowest rates and is almost guaranteed to save quite a bit of money when switching.
Potential insureds who are not a match for these standards will be quoted higher rates and ends up with the customer not buying. Company advertisements say “customers that switch” not “everybody who quotes” save money. That’s why companies can make the claims of big savings. This emphasizes why you absolutely need to compare as many rates as you can. It’s just too difficult to predict which company will give you the biggest savings.
More sites with car insurance information
Additional detailed information is available at the New Mexico Insurance Division website. New Mexico consumers can discover disciplinary actions, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and find a variety of consumer forms.
More effort can pay off
You just learned quite a bit of information on how to lower your car insurance rates. It’s most important to understand that the more rate quotes you have, the better likelihood of reducing your rate. You may be surprised to find that the lowest rates come from an unexpected company. They often have lower prices on specific markets than the large multi-state companies such as GEICO and State Farm.
Cheaper car insurance can be found on the web in addition to many Clovis insurance agents, so compare prices from both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. A few companies do not provide online quoting and usually these regional insurance providers provide coverage only through local independent agents.
While you’re price shopping online, don’t be tempted to sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where someone sacrificed full coverage only to regret at claim time they didn’t have enough coverage. Your strategy should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best price while still protecting your assets.