No one looks forward to paying for auto insurance, especially knowing their premiums are too high. Insurance companies such as Progressive, GEICO and Farmers Insurance all claim big savings, bombarding you with ad campaigns and it can be hard to see through the deception and do the work needed to find the best deal.
It’s important to price shop coverage every six months since insurance rates tend to go up over time. If you had the best rates a year ago you can probably find a better price now. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because you’re about to find out the tricks you need to know to reduce your cost while improving coverage.
You probably qualify for some discounts
The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but companies offer discounts to help bring down the price. Some discounts apply automatically when you purchase, but some must be inquired about before you will receive the discount. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you’re paying more than you need to.
- E-sign – A few companies will discount your bill up to fifty bucks for buying a policy and signing up online.
- Early Signing – Select companies give a discount for buying a policy before your current expiration date. This can save 10% or more.
- Defensive Driver – Taking part in a course in driver safety could save 5% or more if you qualify.
- Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Requiring all passengers to use their safety belts could cut 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
- Own a Home – Being a homeowner can save you money due to the fact that maintaining a home requires personal responsibility.
- Payment Discounts – By paying your policy upfront instead of making monthly payments you could save up to 5%.
As a disclaimer on discounts, some credits don’t apply to the entire cost. Most only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like collision or personal injury protection. Even though it may seem like all the discounts add up to a free policy, companies don’t profit that way. But all discounts will help reduce your overall premium however.
To choose companies offering auto insurance discounts in Arkansas, click this link.
How to Compare Auto Insurance in Forrest City, Arkansas
Most companies such as Allstate and Progressive allow you to get coverage prices on their websites. The process is pretty easy as you simply type in your required coverages into the quote form. Behind the scenes, their rating system automatically retrieves reports for credit and driving violations and returns pricing information based on these factors. Online quotes makes comparing rates easy, but the time required to go to many different websites and enter the same data into a form can get tiresome after awhile. Unfortunately, it is important to perform this step if you want to find better prices.
The quickest way to locate the lowest prices utilizes a single form that gets prices from multiple companies. This type of form saves time, helps eliminate reptitive entry, and makes quoting online much easier to do. As soon as the form is sent, it is rated and you are able to buy your choice of the returned quotes.
If the quotes result in lower rates, you simply finish the application and buy the policy. The whole process takes less than 15 minutes and could lower your rates considerably.
To find out what other companies charge, click here to open in new window and enter your information. If you have coverage now, it’s recommended you enter your coverages identical to your current policy. This ensures you will have rate comparison quotes for the exact same coverage.
Buy Cheaper Auto Insurance with These Tips
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the different types of things that play a part in calculating the rates you pay for auto insurance. Having a good understanding of what determines base rates enables informed choices that will entitle you to lower auto insurance prices.
Shown below are some of the items auto insurance companies consider when setting prices.
- No coverage gaps is important – Allowing your auto insurance policy to lapse is a sure-fire way to trigger a rate increase. Not only will rates go up, but not being able to provide proof of insurance might get you a steep fine or even jail time.
- Your stress level may be raising your rates – Occupations like judges, executives and stock brokers tend to pay the highest rates attributed to job stress and lengthy work days. On the other hand, occupations like scientists, students and the unemployed have the lowest average rates.
- Do you need those extra coverages? – There are many additional coverages that can waste your money if you aren’t careful. Coverages like roadside assistance, accident forgiveness and motor club memberships are some examples. They may seem like a good idea when talking to your agent, but if you don’t need them get rid of them and save.
- Save money with special equipment – Driving a car with a theft deterrent system can help bring down rates. Theft prevention devices like vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems all hinder your car from being stolen.
When should I talk to an agent?
When choosing adequate coverage for your vehicles, there really is not a single plan that fits everyone. Every situation is different and your policy should reflect that. These are some specific questions may help you determine if your situation may require specific advice.
- Do I need motorclub coverage?
- What is covered by UM/UIM coverage?
- Is Arkansas a no-fault state?
- Am I covered if I wreck a rental car?
- Can I rate high risk drivers on liability-only vehicles?
- Am I covered when pulling a rental trailer?
- Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed insurance agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, simply complete this short form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It only takes a few minutes and can help protect your family.
Can’t I compare rates from local Forrest City agents?
Some people would rather get advice from a local agent. Insurance agents can point out coverage gaps and give you peace of mind. One of the great benefits of price shopping on the web is you can get the best rates but still work with a licensed agent. And providing support for local businesses is important especially in Forrest City.
Upon completion of this quick form, the coverage information is instantly submitted to agents in your area who will compete for your coverage. You don’t have to even leave your home because quoted prices will be sent immediately to your email address. Now that’s easy!
Two different types of insurance agencies
When looking for a reliable agent, you need to know there are two types of agencies to choose from. Agents can either be independent (non-captive) or captive. Either one can write coverage properly, but it’s worth learning how they are different because it can influence buying decisions.
Independent agencies are not employed by any specific company so they have the ability to put coverage amongst many companies and potentially find a lower price. To move your coverage to a new company, your agent can switch companies and you don’t have to find a new agent. When comparing rates, it’s recommended you include price quotes from at least one independent agent for the best price selection.
Shown below are independent agencies in Forrest City that may be able to provide price quotes.
Flanagin Insurance – 935 N Washington St – Forrest City, AR 72335 – (870) 633-1934
Howard Miller Insurance – 524 E Broadway St – Forrest City, AR 72335 – (870) 633-3376
Captive agents have only one company to place business with and examples are Allstate, AAA, Liberty Mutual and State Farm. These agents are unable to place coverage with different providers so they are skilled at selling on more than just price. These agents are well schooled on their products and sales techniques which helps them compete with independent agents.
Shown below is a list of captive agents in Forrest City who can help you get rate quotes.
State Farm Insurance – 803 N Washington St – Forrest City, AR 72335 – (870) 633-4592
Shelter Insurance – 4685 N Washington St – Forrest City, AR 72335 – (870) 633-8082
Farmers Insurance Group – 1310 N Division St – Forrest City, AR 72335 – (870) 633-6550
To view a complete directory of auto insurance agents in Forrest City, visit this link.
Deciding on an insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just a cheap price. Here are some questions to ask:
- Do they assist clients in filing claims?
- Will their companies depreciate repairs to your car based on the mileage?
- Do they receive special compensation for putting your coverage with one company over another?
- How long has their agency been open in Forrest City?
- What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
Once you have positive responses to all your questions and an acceptable price quote, you may have just found a car insurance agent that can insure your vehicles.
Don’t believe everything you hear
Consumers in Arkansas can’t get away from ads that promise big savings from companies such as Allstate and Progressive. All the companies make an identical promise that you’ll save big after switching your policy.
How can each company claim to save you money? It’s all in the numbers.
All companies are able to cherry pick for the right customer they prefer to insure. For example, a profitable customer might be between 25 and 40, has no prior claims, and drives newer vehicles. A propective insured that hits that “sweet spot” receives the best rates and therefore will save when they switch companies.
Potential customers who fall outside the requirements will be quoted a higher premium and ends up with the customer not buying. The ads state “customers who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much. This is how insurance companies can confidently make those claims.
This emphasizes why it’s extremely important to compare as many rates as you can. It’s impossible to know which insurance companies will have the lowest rates.
Affordable auto insurance can be sourced from both online companies as well as from independent agents in Forrest City, and you should compare price quotes from both so you have a total pricing picture. There are still a few companies who don’t offer online price quotes and many times these regional insurance providers only sell through independent insurance agents.
As you prepare to switch companies, it’s very important that you do not skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. In many instances, an accident victim reduced physical damage coverage only to find out that they should have had better coverage. The ultimate goal is to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best price.
Some additional reading
Additional information is located on the website for the Arkansas Insurance Department found here. Consumers can discover disciplinary actions, view a list of available companies, and download brochures.