Overpriced car insurance can empty your checking account and put a big crunch on your finances. Comparison shopping is free, only takes a few minutes, and is a good way to cut your insurance bill. Many auto insurance companies compete for your business, so it’s not easy to compare every insurer to find the absolute lowest rate possible.
It’s smart to take a look at other company’s rates occasionally because insurance rates trend upward over time. Just because you found the lowest price six months ago there is a good chance you can find better rates now. Block out anything you think you know about car insurance because you’re about to learn how to quote online to find better coverage at a better price.
How to Compare Gaithersburg Car Insurance Rates
Finding a better price on car insurance can be surprisingly simple. You just need to take a few minutes to compare quotes online with multiple companies. This can be accomplished using a couple different methods.
- The fastest way to find the lowest comparison rates would be an industry-wide quote request form like this one (opens in new window). This method saves time by eliminating separate quotes for every car insurance company. Filling out one form gets rate comparisons from multiple low-cost companies.
- A less efficient way to analyze rates is to manually visit each company’s website and fill out their own quote form. For instance, we’ll assume you want to compare GEICO, Esurance and Progressive. To find out each rate you need to visit each site and enter your information, which is why the first method is more popular.
For a handy list of car insurance company links in Gaithersburg, click here.
- The hardest method to compare rates is driving around to and from local Gaithersburg insurance agencies. Buying insurance online has reduced the need for local agents unless you prefer the professional advice of a licensed agent. You can, however, price shop online and get advice from an agent in your area and we’ll talk about that later.
It’s up to you which method you use, but ensure you’re using apples-to-apples coverage information for every company. If you are comparing different limits and deductibles on each one then you won’t be able to determine which rate is truly the best in Gaithersburg.
Gaithersburg Rates are Influenced by These Factors
Consumers need to have an understanding of some of the elements that go into determining your car insurance rates. When you know what positively or negatively determines base rates enables informed choices that will entitle you to big savings.
Listed below are some of the items car insurance companies consider when setting prices.
- Where do you drive? – The more miles you rack up on your car every year the higher your rate. Almost all companies apply a rate based on how the vehicle is used. Vehicles that are left in the garage get more affordable rates than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Verify your car insurance policy shows how each vehicle is driven.
- Keep rates low by being claim-free – If you tend to file frequent claims, you can expect either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Companies in Maryland generally give better rates to insureds who do not rely on their insurance for small claims. Auto insurance is intended for the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
- Liability coverage is peace of mind – Liability insurance will protect you in the event that you are found liable for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. Liability provides legal defense up to the limits shown on your policy. Liability is cheap compared to physical damage coverage, so buy as much as you can afford.
- Lower deductibles cost more – Deductibles for physical damage define the amount you are required to spend out-of-pocket if you file a covered claim. Insurance for physical damage to your car, commonly called comprehensive (or other-than-collision) and collision coverage, covers damage that occurs to your car. A few examples of covered claims would be running into the backend of another car, vandalism, or theft. The more expense you have to pay, the bigger discount you will receive.
- Safe vehicles cost less to insure – Cars with high safety ratings get lower rates. Safer cars have better occupant injury protection and fewer injuries means less money paid by your insurance company and lower rates for you.
Are you getting all your discounts?
Auto insurance companies do not list every available discount very clearly, so here is a list both well-publicized and also the lesser-known ways to save on car insurance. If you’re not getting every credit you qualify for, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Bundle and Save – If you have multiple policies with the same company you may earn approximately 10% to 15%.
- Government Employees – Being employed by or retired from a federal job could cut as much as 10% off with select insurance companies.
- Save over 55 – Mature drivers may receive reduced rates.
- Good Student Discount – A discount for being a good student can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. The discount lasts until age 25.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Cars that have factory anti-theft systems are stolen less frequently and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Factory air bags can qualify for discounts up to 30%.
- Safe Drivers – Insureds without accidents can pay as much as 50% less than their less cautious counterparts.
It’s important to understand that most discount credits are not given the the whole policy. Some only apply to specific coverage prices like medical payments or collision. So when the math indicates having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, you’re out of luck.
To see a list of insurance companies with discount car insurance rates in Maryland, follow this link.
But don’t I need an insurance agent?
Certain consumers just want to sit down with an agent and that is a personal choice. Agents can help determine the best coverages and help submit paperwork. One of the great benefits of price shopping on the web is the fact that you can find the lowest rates but still work with a licensed agent.
To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this form (opens in new window), your insurance data is immediately sent to companies in Gaithersburg who will give you bids to get your business. You won’t need to drive around because quoted prices will be sent directly to your email. Now that’s easy!
Choosing a company requires more thought than just the price. These are valid questions to ask:
- Does the agent have professional designations like CIC, CPCU or AIC?
- Is vehicle damage repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
- If your car is in the repair shop, do you have coverage for a rental car?
- Is the agent and/or agency licensed to do business in Maryland?
- If your car is totalled, how to they determine the replacement cost?
- Do they review policy coverages at every renewal?
- Which insurance companies are they affiliated with?
- What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
Captive agents vs. Independent agents
If you’re trying to find a local agent, there are a couple of different agency structures from which to choose. Agents are categorized either captive or independent (non-captive). Both types can properly insure your vehicles, but it’s important to know how they differ since it can impact buying decisions.
Captive Insurance Agents
These agents are contracted to one company and some examples include Farmers Insurance or State Farm. These agents are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so it’s a take it or leave it situation. Captives are trained well on their products and sales techniques which can be an advantage.
Listed below is a short list of captive insurance agencies in Gaithersburg who can help you get comparison quotes.
State Farm Insurance – 9085 Shady Grove Ct – Gaithersburg, MD 20877 – (301) 948-8522
Allstate Insurance – 12105 Darnestown Rd # 28 – Gaithersburg, MD 20878 – (301) 670-4150
Independent Agents (or Brokers)
Independent agencies are not locked into one company but instead can place your coverage with multiple insurance companies and potentially find a lower price. To move your coverage to a new company, the business is moved internally without you having to go to a different agency.
When comparing rates, it’s a good idea to include price quotes from at a minimum one independent agency to have the most options to choose from.
Listed below is a short list of independent insurance agencies in Gaithersburg willing to provide price quotes.
Newman Insurance Assoc Inc – – Gaithersburg, MD 20877 – (301) 947-3110
Mulling’s Agency – 963 Russell Ave # B – Gaithersburg, MD 20879 – (301) 330-9002
Young Insurance Inc – 124 E Diamond Ave – Gaithersburg, MD 20877 – (301) 948-7800
Fryer Insurance Agency – 19536 Club House Rd – Gaithersburg, MD 20886 – (301) 417-2944
To view a complete directory of licensed insurance agents in Gaithersburg, visit this link.
Upon receiving acceptable answers to all your questions and an acceptable price quote, you may have just found an insurance agency that is a good match to service your policy.
More quotes mean more savings
Cost effective car insurance is possible on the web and also from your neighborhood Gaithersburg agents, so compare prices from both to have the best rate selection. Some insurance companies may not provide you the ability to get quotes online and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
We covered many ideas to lower your car insurance rates. The key concept to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. Consumers could even find that the best prices are with a lesser-known regional company. Regional companies often have lower prices on specific markets than their larger competitors like State Farm or Progressive.
When shopping online for car insurance, do not reduce coverage to reduce premium. There have been many situations where someone sacrificed full coverage only to regret that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your focus should be to get the best coverage possible at a price you can afford while still protecting your assets.
For more reading
Additional detailed information can be found at the Maryland Insurance Administration website. Maryland drivers can file complaints about a company, find a variety of consumer forms, view agent and company licensing information, and file complaints about an insurance agent or broker.