Feel like you’re a prisoner to an overpriced auto insurance policy? Trust us when we tell you you’re not alone. Insurance companies such as State Farm, Progressive and GEICO increase brand awareness with catchy ads and it can be hard to ignore the flashy ads and effectively compare rates to find the best deal.
It is always a good idea to take a look at other company’s rates at least once a year since rates trend upward over time. Just because you found the best price a few years ago there is a good chance you can find better rates now. You can find a lot of misleading information regarding auto insurance on the internet, so with this article, you’re going to get some of the best ways to find cheap auto insurance.
Cut your premium with these nine discounts
Car insurance companies don’t list all available discounts very clearly, so we researched some of the more common and also the lesser-known savings tricks you should be using. If you’re not getting every credit you deserve, you are throwing money away.
- Employee of Federal Government – Being employed by or retired from a federal job may qualify you for a discount with a few auto insurance companies.
- Clubs and Organizations – Belonging to a qualifying organization could qualify you for a break when buying auto insurance.
- Accident Forgiveness – A handful of insurance companies will allow you to have one accident without raising rates so long as you haven’t had any claims for a particular time prior to the accident.
- Defensive Driver – Successfully completing a driver safety course could save 5% or more if your company offers it.
- Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Drivers who require all occupants to buckle their seat belts can save 10% or more off your PIP or medical payments premium.
- Multi-car Discount – Buying insurance for more than one vehicle with the same company may reduce the rate for each vehicle.
- Anti-lock Brakes – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles prevent accidents and will save you 10% or more.
- Passive Restraints – Factory air bags may earn rate discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Low Mileage – Fewer annual miles could qualify for a substantially lower rate.
Drivers should understand that most discounts do not apply to the entire cost. Most only cut the price of certain insurance coverages like medical payments or collision. So when the math indicates all the discounts add up to a free policy, it just doesn’t work that way.
For a list of companies with the best auto insurance discounts in Illinois, follow this link.
What is the best insurance coverage?
When choosing the best auto insurance coverage, there is no “best” method to buy coverage. Everyone’s situation is a little different so your insurance should reflect that Here are some questions about coverages that could help you determine if your situation might need professional guidance.
- How much liability do I need to cover my assets?
- Are my friends covered when driving my vehicle?
- How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
- What is high-risk coverage and where do I buy it?
- When do I need to add a new car to my policy?
- Am I covered when renting a car or should I buy coverage from the car rental agency?
- Do I need higher deductibles?
- Do I need motorclub coverage?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may need to chat with a licensed agent. If you don’t have a local agent, take a second and complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier It only takes a few minutes and can provide invaluable advice.
Auto insurance coverages and their meanings
Knowing the specifics of a auto insurance policy can help you determine which coverages you need and the correct deductibles and limits. Policy terminology can be difficult to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy. Shown next are typical coverages offered by auto insurance companies.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage
This gives you protection when other motorists either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered losses include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Due to the fact that many Illinois drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (20/40/15 in Illinois), their limits can quickly be used up. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is important protection for you and your family.
Liability insurance can cover damage or injury you incur to people or other property. It protects you against claims from other people. It does not cover your injuries or vehicle damage.
Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You commonly see limits of 25/50/25 which stand for $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $50,000, and property damage coverage for $25,000.
Liability coverage pays for claims like bail bonds, structural damage, medical services, medical expenses and loss of income. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is your choice, but consider buying as much as you can afford. Illinois state law requires minimum liability limits of 20,000/40,000/15,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more coverage.
This covers damage to your vehicle resulting from colliding with an object or car. A deductible applies then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.
Collision insurance covers claims like crashing into a ditch, colliding with a tree, damaging your car on a curb and hitting a parking meter. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also increase the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
This will pay to fix damage from a wide range of events other than collision. A deductible will apply and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.
Comprehensive can pay for claims like hitting a bird, theft, a broken windshield, rock chips in glass and damage from a tornado or hurricane. The maximum payout a auto insurance company will pay at claim time is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider dropping full coverage.
Coverage for medical payments
Med pay and PIP coverage pay for immediate expenses such as hospital visits, X-ray expenses, doctor visits, funeral costs and EMT expenses. They are often used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance plan or if you do not have health coverage. It covers all vehicle occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal Injury Protection is not universally available and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay
Consumer auto insurance information in Illinois
More tips and info about auto insurance is available at the Illinois Department of Insurance website. Illinois consumers can learn about specific coverages, discover disciplinary actions, and learn about insurance regulations.
Smart consumers save more
The cheapest auto insurance can be sourced online in addition to many Schaumburg insurance agents, and you need to comparison shop both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. There are still a few companies who do not provide online price quotes and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
As you prepare to switch companies, it’s very important that you do not buy poor coverage just to save money. There are a lot of situations where an insured dropped uninsured motorist or liability limits and discovered at claim time that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. The ultimate goal is to find the BEST coverage at the best price.