I can’t think of anyone who likes having to buy car insurance, particularly when the cost is too high.
Insurance companies such as State Farm, Farmers Insurance, Geico and Allstate continually hit you with fancy advertisements and it is challenging if not impossible to ignore the propoganda and do the work needed to find the best deal.
Consumers should take time to get comparison quotes every six months due to the fact that insurance rates trend upward over time. Even if you got the lowest price a few years ago you can probably find a lower rate today. So block out anything you think you know about car insurance because I’m going to teach you how to use the internet to properly buy coverages and cut your premium.
If you are paying for car insurance now, you should be able to save some money using this strategy. Choosing the best insurance company for you in Beckley is not that difficult. But West Virginia vehicle owners do need to understand the way insurance companies sell online.
Finding Car Insurance Deals in Beckley, West Virginia
There are a lot of ways to compare car insurance prices but some are easier and takes less work. You can spend countless hours talking to agents in Beckley, or you could use the internet to get prices fast.
Many insurance companies belong to a marketplace that enables customers to complete one form, and each participating company then returns a price quote for coverage. This saves time by eliminating quotation requests for every car insurance company.
To find out what other companies charge click here to open in new window.
The only drawback to getting quotes like this is that you can’t choose which providers you will receive quotes from. If you prefer to choose specific providers to compare prices, we have a listing of companies who write car insurance in West Virginia. Click to view list.
However you get your quotes, ensure you’re using exactly the same information on every quote you get. If you have unequal deductibles or liability limits it will be impossible to find the best deal in Beckley. Slightly different coverages could mean much higher rates. And when comparison shopping, having more price comparisons gives you a better chance of getting the best price.
More discounts equal less premium
Car insurance is not cheap, but discounts can save money and there are some available that you may not even be aware of. Certain discounts will be triggered automatically when you get a quote, but some must be asked for before you get the savings.
- Federal Government Employee – Active or retired federal employment can save as much as 8% with certain companies.
- No Charge for an Accident – A handful of insurance companies will allow you to have one accident before hitting you with a surcharge so long as you haven’t had any claims for a set time period.
- Pay Now and Pay Less – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save 5% or more.
- Lower Rates for Military – Being on active duty in the military could mean lower rates.
- Safe Drivers – Safe drivers may receive a discount up to 45% less than less cautious drivers.
It’s important to note that most credits do not apply to the entire cost. Most only apply to individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. So when it seems like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, companies don’t profit that way. But any discount will bring down your overall premium however.
To see a list of companies who offer car insurance discounts in West Virginia, click here.
Your insurance agent down the street
Some people would rather sit down with an agent and that is OK! One of the best bonuses of comparing insurance prices online is you may find the lowest rates but still work with a licensed agent. Buying from local agencies is especially important in Beckley.
To help locate an agent, after submitting this simple form, your coverage information is emailed to agents in your area who will battle for your coverage. You don’t have to even leave your home as quotes are delivered to the email address you provide. Now that’s easy! You’ll get the best rates and work with a local agent.
Different types of Beckley insurance agencies
If you’re trying to find a good insurance agency, you must know there are a couple different agency structures from which to choose. Agents are classified as either independent or captive.
Independent Agents (or Brokers)
Independent agencies are not locked into one company so they have the ability to put coverage with many different companies and potentially find a lower price. To transfer your coverage to a different company, your agent can switch companies and that require little work on your part. When comparing rates, it’s recommended you contact several independent insurance agents to have the most options to choose from.
Shown below are Beckley independent agencies who can help you get pricing information.
Sam Baker Agency – 2919 Robert C Byrd Dr – Beckley, WV 25801 – (304) 253-7283
Nationwide Insurance – 228 Ragland Rd – Beckley, WV 25801 – (304) 252-7688
Wickline Insurance Inc – 330 Harper Park Dr # E – Beckley, WV 25801 – (304) 253-0377
Captive insurance agents can only place business with one company and examples are AAA, Allstate and State Farm. These agents are not able to shop your coverage around so always compare other rates. Captives receive extensive training in insurance sales which helps them compete with independent agents.
Shown below is a list of captive agents in Beckley willing to provide price quote information.
Allstate Insurance – 255 Market Rd – Beckley, WV 25801 – (304) 252-8646
State Farm Insurance – 1100 N Eisenhower Dr – Beckley, WV 25801 – (304) 255-0481
For a full directory of Beckley captive insurance agents, please go to this site.
Deciding on an insurance agency shouldn’t rely on just a low price. Some important questions to ask are:
- Are they able to influence company decisions when a claim is filed?
- If you have an accident, are you able to get your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice?
- Which insurance companies are they affiliated with?
- Do clients work directly with the agent or are most inquiries handled by a CSR?
- Does the agent have professional designations like CIC, CPCU or AIC?
- Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- How are claims handled?
- Which company do they place the most coverage with?
Upon receiving answers to your satisfaction in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you have narrowed it down to a car insurance agent that can properly insure your vehicles.
Educated Consumers Know How to Buy Car Insurance Cheaper
Consumers need to have an understanding of the rating factors that play a part in calculating your car insurance rates. Understanding what impacts premium levels enables informed choices that will entitle you to much lower annual insurance costs.
Shown below are a partial list of the pieces car insurance companies consider when setting prices.
- Car features impact rates – Owning a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can get you a discount on your car insurance. Theft prevention features like GM’s OnStar, tamper alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers can help prevent auto theft.
- Pay less if you’re married – Having a spouse can get you a discount on your car insurance policy. Having a spouse means you’re more mature than a single person and it’s proven that married couples file fewer claims.
- Don’t let your coverage lapse – Not having insurance is against the law and your next policy will cost more because you let your insurance lapse. And not only will your rates increase, getting caught without coverage might get you a hefty fine and possibly a revoked license.You may need to prove you have insurance by filing a SR-22 with the West Virginia department of motor vehicles.
- Do you know you’re credit rating? – Having a bad credit rating is a important factor in calculating your car insurance rates. Drivers with high credit ratings tend to file fewer claims and have better driving records than those with lower ratings. If your credit rating can use some improvement, you could be paying less to insure your by repairing your credit.
- Type of vehicle determines base rates – The performance level of the car you drive makes a substantial difference in your rates. The lowest rates tend to be for low performance passenger vehicles, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
- More claims means more premium – Insurance companies in West Virginia provide discounts to insureds who do not file claims often. If you file claims often, you can definitely plan on either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Insurance coverage is designed for major claims that would cause financial hardship.
- Your age impacts your rates – Youthful drivers in West Virginia are statistically proven to be less responsible in a vehicle so they pay higher car insurance rates. Mature drivers tend to be more responsible, tend to file fewer claims and receive fewer citations.
The fine print in car insurance ads
Car insurance companies such as Allstate, Geico and Progressive constantly bombard you with ads on TV and radio. They all seem to make the same claim of big savings if you switch your policy. How can each company make the same claim?
All companies are able to cherry pick for the right customer that earns them a profit. A good example of a preferred risk might be profiled as a mature driver, is a homeowner, and has excellent credit. A driver that hits that “sweet spot” will qualify for the lowest rates and most likely will save when they switch companies.
Potential insureds who don’t meet the “perfect” profile will be quoted higher prices which leads to business going elsewhere. The ads state “people who switch” not “people who quote” save that much. That’s why companies can truthfully make those claims.
This emphasizes why it’s extremely important to quote coverage with many companies. It’s just too difficult to predict which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.
Compare but don’t skimp
You just learned a lot of tips how to reduce car insurance prices online. It’s most important to understand that the more companies you get rates for, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers could even find that the best prices are with an unexpected company. Some small companies may only write in your state and offer lower rates than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm and Allstate.
As you prepare to switch companies, it’s not a good idea to buy poor coverage just to save money. In many cases, someone dropped liability limits or collision coverage only to discover later that the savings was not a smart move. Your strategy should be to buy the best coverage you can find at a price you can afford while not skimping on critical coverages.
Additional car insurance information is available on the website for the West Virginia Insurance Commission through this link. West Virginia consumers can find out industry alerts, find out which companies have the most complaints, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and read state legal mandates and laws.
Also read more on NAIC.org’s Understanding your Policy and this page of insurance agents in Beckley.