Are you a victim of an underperforming, overpriced auto insurance policy? Believe me, there are lots of people in the same boat. Since consumers have many insurance companies to choose from, it’s difficult to choose the most cost effective insurer.
This information will instruct you on how to effectively get price quotes and some tricks to saving. If you are paying for car insurance now, you will most likely be able to reduce your rates substantially using this strategy. Indiana drivers just need to learn the proper way to compare rates online.
Verify you’re getting all your discounts
Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, but you can get discounts that many people don’t even know exist. Certain discounts will be triggered automatically when you get a quote, but a few need to be inquired about in order for you to get them. If they aren’t giving you every credit available, you’re paying more than you need to.
- Homeowners Discount – Simply owning a home can save you money because of the fact that having a home is proof that your finances are in order.
- Service Members Pay Less – Having a family member in the military may qualify for rate reductions.
- Defensive Driver – Completing a driver safety course could cut 5% off your bill if your company offers it.
- One Accident Forgiven – Some insurance companies permit an accident before your rates go up if you are claim-free for a set time period.
- Early Switch Discount – Select companies give a discount for signing up prior to your current policy expiration. It’s a savings of about 10%.
- Federal Government Employee – Active or retired federal employment could cut as much as 10% off depending on your company.
- Discounts for Safe Drivers – Safe drivers can pay as much as 50% less than drivers with accident claims.
- Claim Free – Good drivers with no accidents pay less as compared to accident-prone drivers.
- Student in College – Children living away from home attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle can receive lower rates.
A little note about advertised discounts, most discount credits are not given to the entire cost. Some only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like physical damage coverage or medical payments. So even though they make it sound like it’s possible to get free car insurance, companies don’t profit that way. But all discounts will reduce your premiums.
To see a list of insurance companies with the best auto insurance discounts in Carmel, click this link.
Save $382 a year? Really?
Consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for the lowest price auto insurance from the likes of State Farm and Allstate. All the ads have a common claim that you can save if you switch your coverage to them.
How does each company make the same claim?
All the different companies can use profiling for the type of customer that earns them a profit. For example, a preferred risk could be over the age of 40, owns a home, and has great credit. Any driver who meets those qualifications is entitled to the best price and therefore will save a lot of money.
Drivers who are not a match for this ideal profile will be charged a higher premium which leads to the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads state “people who switch” not “people who quote” save that kind of money. That’s the way companies can make the claims of big savings.
That is why it is so important to get quotes from several different companies. It’s not possible to predict the company that will fit your personal profile best.
Auto insurance coverages 101
Having a good grasp of your policy aids in choosing the right coverages for your vehicles. Policy terminology can be confusing and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. These are typical coverage types found on most auto insurance policies.
Medical costs insurance – Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP reimburse you for short-term medical expenses like dental work, EMT expenses, hospital visits, prosthetic devices and surgery. They are often used in conjunction with a health insurance program or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover you and your occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is not available in all states and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay
UM/UIM Coverage – Your UM/UIM coverage gives you protection from other drivers when they do not carry enough liability coverage. Covered claims include injuries to you and your family as well as damage to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (25/50/10), their liability coverage can quickly be exhausted. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is important protection for you and your family. Most of the time these coverages are set the same as your liablity limits.
Collision – 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 will need to pay your deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.
Collision coverage protects against things such as hitting a mailbox, damaging your car on a curb, sideswiping another vehicle and backing into a parked car. This coverage can be expensive, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are older. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Liability insurance – This coverage will cover damage that occurs to other’s property or people. It protects YOU against claims from other people. It does not cover damage to your own property or vehicle.
Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You commonly see 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. Some companies may use one number which is a combined single limit which provides one coverage limit with no separate limits for injury or property damage.
Liability coverage pays for things like legal defense fees, medical services, structural damage and emergency aid. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but consider buying as much as you can afford. Indiana requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/10,000 but you should consider buying better liability coverage.
Comprehensive or Other Than Collision – Comprehensive insurance pays to fix your vehicle from damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first have to pay a deductible then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive coverage protects against claims like fire damage, damage from getting keyed, hitting a deer, a broken windshield and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The most your auto insurance company will pay is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Some additional reading
Additional auto insurance information can be found on the website for the Indiana Department of Insurance through this link. Indiana consumers can view agent and company licensing information, file complaints about a company, read industry bulletins, and view a list of available companies.
Summing up your auto insurance search
We just showed you some good ideas how you can save on auto insurance. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers could even find that the best price on auto insurance is with the smaller companies. These companies may have significantly lower rates on certain market segments than their larger competitors like Allstate, Geico and Progressive.
When trying to cut insurance costs, you should never skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. In many cases, an insured dropped comprehensive coverage or liability limits only to regret they didn’t have enough coverage. Your aim should be to buy enough coverage at an affordable rate.