8 Guaranteed Tips to Lower Car Insurance Costs in Spencer, IA

Are you confused by the sheer number of car insurance companies in Spencer? Many other consumers are too. You have so many options that it can be more work than you anticipated to find the best price.

Discounts can save BIG

Companies that sell car insurance don’t always advertise every discount in a way that’s easy to find, so here is a list both the well known and the harder-to-find discounts you could be receiving.

  • Senior Citizens – If you’re over the age of 55, you may qualify for better car insurance rates.
  • E-sign – A few companies may give you up to $50 for buying a policy and signing up over the internet.
  • Drivers Ed for Students – Cut your cost by having your teen driver complete a driver education course in school.
  • Organization Discounts – Affiliation with a civic or occupational organization is a good way to get lower rates on your policy.
  • Good Students Pay Less – A discount for being a good student can get you a discount of up to 25%. This discount can apply up until you turn 25.
  • Seat Belt Usage – Using a seat belt and requiring all passengers to use a seat belt could cut 10% or more off your medical payments premium.
  • Safety Course Discount – Taking part in a driver safety course could save 5% or more if you qualify.
  • Anti-theft System – Anti-theft and alarm systems help deter theft and earn discounts up to 10%.

It’s important to note that many deductions do not apply to all coverage premiums. The majority will only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like liability and collision coverage. So when the math indicates you would end up receiving a 100% discount, companies don’t profit that way.

To choose insurance companies who offer car insurance discounts in Spencer, click this link.

But I want to work with a local agent

Certain consumers would rather talk to a local agent and that is a personal choice. The biggest benefit of comparing rates online is you can get lower rates but also keep your business local.

To find an agent, once you fill out this simple form, your insurance coverage information is emailed to insurance agents in Spencer who will compete to get your business. There is no reason to even leave your home since price quotes are sent to your email. It’s the lowest rates AND an agent nearby.

Choosing an insurer needs to be determined by more than just a low price. These are valid questions to ask:

  • Is their price quote a firm figure or are their hidden costs?
  • What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
  • Do they assist clients in filing claims?
  • Do they feel the quoted coverages are adequate?
  • Which members of your family are coverage by the policy?
  • How many years of experience in personal lines insurance coverages do they have?

Captive agents vs. Independent agents

When looking for a good insurance agency, you need to know there are two different agency structures to choose from. Insurance agencies in Spencer are classified as either captive or independent (non-captive).

Agency Captives

Captive insurance agents are contracted to one company and some examples include AAA, Allstate, State Farm, Farmers Insurance or Liberty Mutual. They usually cannot compare other company’s rates so keep that in mind. These agents receive extensive training in insurance sales which helps them compete with independent agents. Some consumers prefer to purchase coverage from captives primarily because of the prominence of the brand and solid financial strength.

Shown below is a short list of captive agents in Spencer that are able to give price quote information.

  • State Farm Insurance – 521 S Grand Ave – Spencer, IA 51301 – (712) 262-1567
  • American Family Insurance – 928 S Grand Ave – Spencer, IA 51301 – (712) 262-8900
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 1204 W 18th St – Spencer, IA 51301 – (712) 262-5708
Independent Agencies or Brokers

Independent insurance agents are not locked into one company but rather can write business with many different companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. If you are not satisfied with one company, the agent simply finds a different carrier and that require little work on your part. When shopping rates, it’s a good idea to contact multiple independent agents for the best price selection.Many can place coverage with lesser-known insurance companies which can save you money.

Below are Spencer independent agents willing to provide rate quotes.

  • Hallett Associates Insurance – 20 W 6th St # 9 – Spencer, IA 51301 – (712) 262-3346
  • Clay Mutual Insurance Assn – 515 S Grand Ave – Spencer, IA 51301 – (712) 262-2240

To view a full list of insurance agents in Spencer, simply jump to this page.

Once you have reasonable responses for all questions you ask as well as a affordable price, chances are good that you have found a car insurance agent that will service your policy. But keep in mind policyholders can terminate your policy at any time so don’t think you’re contractually obligated to a specific agent with no way to switch.

Do drivers who switch really save?

Car insurance companies such as Allstate, GEICO and Progressive consistently run ads on TV and radio. They all seem to make the same claim of big savings if you change your policy. How can each company say the same thing? It’s all in the numbers.

Insurance companies can use profiling for the type of driver they prefer to insure. An example of a driver they prefer could be over the age of 50, has no prior claims, and drives newer vehicles. Any new insured who fits that profile will get very good rates and is almost guaranteed to cut their rates substantially.

Potential insureds who fall outside the requirements will have to pay higher rates which usually ends up with business going elsewhere. Company advertisements say “customers who switch” not “people who quote” save that much money. That’s why insurance companies can confidently advertise the savings. Because of the profiling, it’s extremely important to compare many company’s rates. It is impossible to predict which car insurance company will have the lowest rates.

Read more about Iowa car insurance

Additional detailed information is available at the Iowa Insurance Division website. Consumers can find disaster information, discover disciplinary actions, and view a list of available companies.

Auto insurance coverages

Having a good grasp of car insurance can help you determine which coverages you need for your vehicles. The coverage terms in a policy can be impossible to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy.

Comprehensive coverages – This coverage pays for damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

Comprehensive coverage protects against things such as rock chips in glass, theft and hitting a bird. The maximum payout 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 dropping full coverage.

Liability car insurance – Liability insurance protects you from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property. Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You might see limits of 25/50/25 that translate to $25,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, $50,000 for the entire accident, and property damage coverage for $25,000.

Liability can pay for claims such as repair costs for stationary objects, funeral expenses and attorney fees. How much liability should you purchase? That is your choice, but buy as high a limit as you can afford. Iowa state minimum liability requirements are 20,000/40,000/15,000 but drivers should carry more liability than the minimum.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage – This provides protection when other motorists are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. Covered losses include hospital bills for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits (20/40/15 in Iowa), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family.

Collision coverage – Collision insurance will pay to fix damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You have to pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision can pay for things like colliding with a tree, driving through your garage door and damaging your car on a curb. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so you might think about dropping it from older vehicles. It’s also possible to raise the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Coverage for medical payments – Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP provide coverage for expenses such as doctor visits, dental work and hospital visits. The coverages can be utilized in addition to your health insurance plan or if you do not have health coverage. It covers all vehicle occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. PIP is not an option in every state but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Final considerations

We just presented some good ideas how to shop for car insurance online. It’s most important to understand that the more providers you compare, the better your comparison will be. Drivers may discover the best price on car insurance is with an unexpected company.

When you buy insurance online, don’t be tempted to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. In many cases, an insured cut liability coverage limits and discovered at claim time that it was a big error on their part. The ultimate goal is to buy enough coverage at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.

Cheap car insurance is definitely available online as well as from independent agents in Spencer, so compare prices from both in order to have the best chance of saving money. There are still a few companies who don’t offer online price quotes and usually these small insurance companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.