9 Must-Know Tips When Looking for the Best Deal on Rapid City Car Insurance

Shopping for cheap Rapid City car insurance over the internet can seem to be somewhat difficult for consumers not familiar with comparing rates online. With so many choices of insurers to choose from, how can anyone have a chance to compare the different rates to find the lowest rates?

Locating affordable coverage in Rapid City is simple if you know the tricks. In a nutshell, anyone who is required by state law to have car insurance stands a good chance to be able to reduce their rates. Although South Dakota consumers do need to understand how insurance companies market on the web because it can help you find the best coverage.

Vehicle Insurance Comparison

To find the best car insurance prices, there are several ways to compare rate quotes from different in Rapid Cityinsurance companies. The best way to compare insurance prices consists of obtaining rate quotes online. This can be accomplished in several different ways.

  1. The first (and easiest) way consumers can make multiple comparisons is to use a rate comparison form (click to open form in new window). This method eliminates the need for a different quote to each individual car insurance company. In just a few minutes this one form compares rates from multiple low-cost companies.It’s the quickest way to get rates.
  2. A less efficient way to get quotes online is to take the time to go to the website for each individual company and complete a new quote form. For examples sake, we’ll pretend you want to compare rates from Farmers, Geico and Travelers. To find out each rate you need to go to every website and enter your policy data, which is why most consumers use the first method. For a handy list of car insurance company links in Rapid City, click here.
  3. The most time-consuming way of getting rate comparisons is to spend time driving to insurance agents’ offices. Buying insurance online has reduced the need for local agents unless you have a need for the professional advice that only a license agent can provide. You can, however, comparison shop online and still use a local agent and we’ll touch on that later.

It’s up to you how you get prices quotes, just make sure you use identical coverages for each price quote. If the quotes have differing limits you can’t possibly find the best deal in Rapid City. Quoting even small variations in insurance coverages can make a big difference in price. And when comparing car insurance rates, know that comparing more company’s prices will increase your chances of finding a better price.

Are you getting all your discounts?

The cost of insuring your cars can be expensive, but discounts can save money and there are some available that you may not know about. Some discounts apply automatically when you complete an application, but lesser-known reductions have to be specially asked for before being credited.

  • Seat Belt Usage – Using a seat belt and requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts can save up to 15% off your PIP or medical payments premium.
  • Military Discounts – Having a family member in the military can result in better rates.
  • Multiple Vehicles – Having multiple vehicles with the same company could earn a price break for each car.
  • New Vehicle Savings – Adding a new car to your policy can save up to 30% because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
  • Sign Early and Save – Some insurance companies reward drivers for buying a policy prior to your current policy expiration. It can save you around 10%.
  • Own a Home – Being a homeowner may earn you a small savings because of the fact that having a home requires personal responsibility.
  • Theft Prevention System – Vehicles with anti-theft systems can help prevent theft and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.

It’s important to understand that some of the credits will not apply to your bottom line cost. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as collision or personal injury protection. Just because it seems like all those discounts means the company will pay you, companies wouldn’t make money that way. Any amount of discount will help reduce your premiums.

To see a list of insurers offering car insurance discounts in South Dakota, click here to view.

How insurance companies determine rates

It’s important that you understand the different types of things that come into play when calculating your car insurance rates. Knowing what impacts premium levels allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with big savings.

  • Lower rates with optional equipment – Driving a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can save you a little every year. Anti-theft features such as LoJack tracking devices, vehicle tamper alarm systems or GM’s OnStar system all hinder your car from being stolen.
  • Younger drivers pay higher rates – Young drivers in South Dakota are known to be more careless behind the wheel so they pay higher car insurance rates. Having to add a youthful driver onto a policy can break the bank. Older drivers are viewed as being more responsible, tend to file fewer claims and get fewer tickets.
  • Discounts for married couples – Getting married can get you a discount on your policy. It usually means you are more mature and responsible and statistics show married drivers get in fewer accidents.
  • Pleasure use saves money – The more miles you rack up on your car each year the more you’ll pay to insure your vehicle. Most insurance companies rate vehicles determined by how the vehicle is used. Vehicles left parked in the garage receive lower rates as compared to vehicles used primarily for driving to work. Make sure your car insurance policy shows how each vehicle is driven, because improper ratings can cost you money.
  • How many coverages with the same company – Most insurers will award you with lower prices to policyholders who buy several policies from them. It’s known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can amount to five, ten or even twenty percent. Even though this discount sounds good, it’s in your best interest to compare other company rates to ensure the best deal. You may still be able to find better rates by buying insurance from more than one company.
  • Safe vehicles cost less to insure – Safer cars are cheaper to insure. The safest vehicles have better occupant injury protection and lower injury rates translates into fewer and smaller insurance claims passed on to you as lower rates.
  • Your job and insurance rates – Occupations like lawyers, executives and accountants tend to have higher rates than average because of high stress and lots of time spent at work. On the flip side, jobs such as farmers, athletes and retirees receive lower rates.
  • Keep rates low by being claim-free – Companies in South Dakota award discounts to people who do not rely on their insurance for small claims. If you tend to file frequent claims, you can expect either higher rates or even cancellation. Insurance coverage is designed for the large, substantial claims.

Won’t my local insurance agent miss me?

Some consumers just want to buy from a licensed agent and there is nothing wrong with that. The best thing about price shopping on the web is you may find the lowest rates but also keep your business local. Buying from small agencies is important particularly in Rapid City.

To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this quick form, the coverage information is emailed to insurance agents in Rapid City who will give you bids for your coverage. You won’t need to leave your house because quoted prices will be sent to the email address you provide. It doesn’t get any easier! It’s the lowest rates AND an agent nearby.

Do you need an independent or captive insurance agent?

When looking for local Rapid City agents, you must know there are a couple types of agencies that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agents are either captive or independent (non-captive).South Dakota insurance prices

Independent Agents

Independent agencies are not locked into one company but rather can write business with multiple insurance companies depending on which coverage is best. If you are not satisfied with one company, your agent can switch companies and you don’t have to find a new agent. When comparison shopping, it’s a good idea to include price quotes from at least one independent agent for maximum quote selection.Many can place coverage with lesser-known insurance companies which can save you money.

The following is a list of independent agencies in Rapid City who can help you get price quotes.

  • Wausau Insurance Co – 2400 W Main St – Rapid City, SD 57702 – (605) 343-1139
  • Lewis Agency – 2906 W Omaha St # 2 – Rapid City, SD 57702 – (605) 342-3585
  • Patrick Baduik Insurance – 1107 Mount Rushmore Rd – Rapid City, SD 57701 – (605) 341-5922
  • Myron Hofer Agency – 2400 W Main St # H – Rapid City, SD 57702 – (605) 342-7803
  • Barbo Agency – 916 Main St # 101 – Rapid City, SD 57701 – (605) 342-6004
Captive Insurance Agents

Captive insurance agents are contracted to one company like Farmers Insurance, American Family, State Farm and Allstate. These agents are not able to give you multiple price quotes so it’s a take it or leave it situation. They are usually quite knowledgeable on the products they sell and that can be a competitive advantage. Some people will only buy from captive agents mostly because of high brand loyalty and strong financial ratings.

Below is a short list of captive agents in Rapid City that are able to give comparison quotes.

  • American Family Insurance – 821 Jackson Blvd # 2 – Rapid City, SD 57702 – (605) 342-1311
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 2433 W Chicago St – Rapid City, SD 57702 – (605) 341-7600
  • Allstate Insurance – 822 Main St – Rapid City, SD 57701 – (605) 343-3144
  • State Farm Insurance – 2403 N Maple Ave – Rapid City, SD 57701 – (605) 737-5400
  • Shelter Insurance – 508 7th St – Rapid City, SD 57701 – (605) 342-3133
  • Farmers Insurance Group – 343 Quincy St # 103 – Rapid City, SD 57701 – (605) 394-9394

To view a full list of captive agents in Rapid City, visit this link.

Choosing an insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just the price. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Who is covered by the car insurance policy?
  • Do they regularly work with personal auto policies?
  • What insurance companies do they recommend if they are an independent agent?
  • Are they able to influence company decisions when a claim is filed?
  • What insurance company do they write the most business with?
  • Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
  • How long has their agency been in business in Rapid City?

After getting positive responses in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you may have just found a car insurance agent that meets your needs to provide car insurance coverage.

More information is located on the South Dakota Division of Insurance website located here. Consumers can file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and find disaster information.

Also read more on Wikipedia and see this list of insurance agents in Rapid City.

Can switching companies really save?

Companies like Progressive, Allstate and Geico regularly use ads on TV and radio. All the ads make the same claim about savings if you move to their company. How does each company make almost identical claims?

All companies have a preferred profile for the right customer that makes them money. For instance, a profitable customer could possibly be between 30 and 50, is a homeowner, and has great credit. A propective insured who matches those parameters receives the best rates and therefore will cut their rates substantially.

South Dakota insurance prices

Potential customers who do not match these standards will have to pay higher rates and ends up with business going elsewhere. The ad wording is “drivers who switch” not “people who quote” save money. This is how companies can truthfully make those claims.

Because of the profiling, you absolutely need to get as many comparisons as possible. It is impossible to predict which company will provide you with the cheapest rates.

In the end, you save

As you prepare to switch companies, don’t be tempted to buy less coverage just to save a little money. In too many instances, drivers have reduced collision coverage only to find out that it was a big error on their part. Your strategy should be to find the BEST coverage at the best price, not the least amount of coverage.

Discount car insurance can be bought online and also from your neighborhood Rapid City agents, and you need to comparison shop both to have the best rate selection. There are still a few companies who may not provide the ability to get a quote online and many times these small insurance companies only sell through independent insurance agents.

Consumers leave their current company for a variety of reasons including denial of a claim, delays in paying claims, high rates after DUI convictions or delays in responding to claim requests. Regardless of your reason for switching companies, finding a new car insurance company is not as hard as you think.