Tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul to insure your vehicles every month? Your situation is no different than many other drivers in Nebraska.
You have multiple auto insurance companies to purchase coverage from, and although it’s a good thing to have multiple companies, too many choices makes it more difficult to compare rates and find the lowest cost car insurance.
Do you qualify for a discount?
Insuring your fleet can be pricey, buy you may qualify for discounts that you may not even be aware of. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied at the time of quoting, but some must be specifically requested before you get the savings.
- Lower Rates for Military – Being deployed with a military unit could mean lower rates.
- Early Switch Discount – Select companies give a discount for signing up prior to your current policy expiring. It’s a savings of about 10%.
- Bundle and Save – When you have multiple policies with the same insurance company you may earn 10% to 20% off each policy.
- Resident Student – Any of your kids who attend school more than 100 miles from home and don’t have a car may be able to be covered for less.
- Multiple Cars – Insuring all your vehicles with the same company could earn a price break for each car.
- Drivers Ed for Students – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to enroll in driver’s education if offered at their school.
- Driver Safety – Taking a course in driver safety could cut 5% off your bill if your company offers it.
- Passive Restraint Discount – Cars that have air bags or automatic seat belts can qualify for discounts of up to 25% or more.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire policy premium. Most only apply to specific coverage prices like comp or med pay. Just because you may think all the discounts add up to a free policy, car insurance companies aren’t that generous. But any discount will reduce the cost of coverage.
Coverages available on your policy
Having a good grasp of car insurance can help you determine the best coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The coverage terms in a policy can be ambiguous and coverage can change by endorsement. Shown next are typical coverage types found on the average car insurance policy.
Comprehensive auto coverage
This pays to fix your vehicle from damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You need to pay your deductible first then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive coverage protects against claims like rock chips in glass, vandalism, hitting a bird, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and hail damage. The maximum payout your car insurance company will pay is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider removing comprehensive coverage.
UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage
Your UM/UIM coverage gives you protection when other motorists do not carry enough liability coverage. This coverage pays for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as damage to your vehicle.
Since many Nebraska drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (25/50/25), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea. Most of the time these coverages are set the same as your liablity limits.
Medical payments and PIP coverage
Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance pay for short-term medical expenses such as prosthetic devices, dental work, nursing services and surgery. The coverages can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if there is no health insurance coverage. It covers both the driver and occupants and will also cover any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not available in all states but can be used in place of medical payments coverage
This coverage will cover damages or injuries you inflict on other people or property that is your fault. This insurance protects YOU from legal claims by others. It does not cover your injuries or vehicle damage.
Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. As an example, you may have values of 100/300/100 that means you have $100,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $300,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery. Another option is one number which is a combined single limit which limits claims to one amount without having the split limit caps.
Liability coverage protects against things such as attorney fees, medical expenses, legal defense fees, court costs and structural damage. How much coverage you buy is your choice, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as much as you can afford. Nebraska requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/25,000 but you should consider buying higher limits.
This coverage covers damage to your vehicle caused by collision with an object or car. You first must pay a deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.
Collision coverage pays for things like colliding with a tree, scraping a guard rail, sustaining damage from a pot hole and driving through your garage door. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are older. Another option is to choose a higher deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
Much more information about car insurance in Nebraska can be found on the website for the Nebraska Department of Insurance located here. Visitors are able to find disaster information, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and read consumer alerts.
One last thing about your coverage
Cheap car insurance is possible online and also from your neighborhood Alliance agents, and you should compare price quotes from both to have the best chance of lowering rates. Some car insurance companies may not provide you the ability to get quotes online and usually these smaller companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
We just presented many tips how you can lower your car insurance rates. The key thing to remember is the more companies you get rates for, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may be surprised to find that the lowest rates come from a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising. They may only write in your state and offer lower rates compared to the large companies like Allstate, GEICO and Progressive.
When trying to cut insurance costs, don’t be tempted to sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many cases, consumers will sacrifice liability limits or collision coverage and learned later that it was a big mistake. Your goal should be to buy the best coverage you can find at a price you can afford, not the least amount of coverage.