Having to pay for overpriced car insurance can dwindle your personal savings and put the squeeze on your family’s finances. Comparison shopping is a great way to lower your monthly bill.
Insurance companies such as Progressive, State Farm and GEICO constantly bombard you with fancy advertisements and consumers find it hard to ignore the flashy ads and find the best price available.
It is always a good idea to take a look at other company’s rates before your policy renews due to the fact that insurance rates fluctuate regularly. Even if you got the lowest rates a year ago other companies may now be cheaper. Starting right now, ignore everything you know about car insurance because it’s time to teach you the fastest way to find better rates and still maintain coverage.
Discounts are basically free money
Car insurance can cost a lot, but companies offer discounts to cut the cost considerably. A few discounts will automatically apply when you get a quote, but a few must be specifically requested before being credited.
- Multiple Policy Discount – If you have multiple policies with one company you may earn up to 20% off your total premium.
- Paperless Signup – A handful of insurance companies may give you up to $50 for buying a policy and signing up over the internet.
- Sign Early and Save – Some insurance companies reward drivers for switching policies prior to your current policy expiring. It can save you around 10%.
- No Claims – Good drivers with no accidents pay less when compared with frequent claim filers.
- Anti-theft Discount – Anti-theft and alarm systems prevent vehicle theft and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
A little note about advertised discounts, most discount credits are not given the the whole policy. A few only apply to specific coverage prices like comp or med pay. Even though it may seem like all the discounts add up to a free policy, companies don’t profit that way. Any qualifying discounts will reduce your premiums.
To see a list of insurers who offer car insurance discounts in Biddeford, click this link.
But don’t I need an insurance agent?
Some people would prefer to sit down with an agent and that is a personal choice. The biggest benefit of comparing rates online is you may find the best rates and still have an agent to talk to. Buying from small agencies is important particularly in Biddeford.
After completing this short form, your insurance data is sent to agents in your area who will return price quotes for your business. There is no reason to leave your computer as quotes are delivered to your email. How’s that for easy! You can find better rates without the usual hassles of price shopping.
The type of insurance agent you choose is important
When researching an insurance agent, you need to know there are two different agency structures that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agencies in Biddeford are categorized either independent (non-captive) or captive.
Independent Insurance Agents
These agents are not required to write business for one company so they can insure your vehicles with many different companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. To move your coverage to a new company, they simply move the coverage in-house without you having to go to a different agency. When searching for an agent, it’s a good idea to include price quotes from several independent insurance agents to get the best comparison.
Below are Biddeford independent insurance agencies who may be able to give you pricing information.
Audie Agency Insurance – 300 Elm St – Biddeford, ME 04005 – (207) 284-5265
Paquin and Carroll Insurance – 260 Main St – Biddeford, ME 04005 – (207) 283-1486
Fritz H Smith Insurance – 288 Main St – Biddeford, ME 04005 – (207) 282-1161
Normand M Methot Agency Inc – 319 Main St – Biddeford, ME 04005 – (207) 282-3314
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive insurance agents work for only one company like Farmers Insurance, American Family, State Farm and Allstate. They generally cannot compare other company’s rates so they have to upsell other benefits. These agents are very knowledgeable on their company’s products which helps them sell insurance even at higher premiums.
Below are captive agents in Biddeford who can help you get price quote information.
Allstate Insurance – 411 Alfred St – Biddeford, ME 04005 – (207) 283-9141
To view a full list of captive agents in Biddeford, simply jump to this page.
Selecting an insurance agency should depend on more than just the premium amount. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:
- Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
- If you have an accident, will your rates go up?
- What will you get paid if your car is a total loss? How is that amount determined?
- Which company do they place the most coverage with?
- Is assistance available after office hours?
- What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
- Are they full-time agents?
After getting positive responses to any questions you have and an affordable coverage quote, it’s possible that you found a car insurance agent that is a good match to properly insure your vehicles.
Drivers who switch save $392 a year? Really?
Allstate, GEICO and Progressive regularly use ads on TV and radio. All the companies say the same thing that you can save if you move your coverage to them. But how can every company claim to save you money? It’s all in the numbers.
All the different companies are able to cherry pick for the type of driver that is profitable for them. A good example of a profitable customer might be profiled as over the age of 50, has no tickets, and drives less than 7,500 miles a year. A propective insured who fits that profile will get the preferred rates and is almost guaranteed to save when they switch companies.
Potential insureds who do not match these standards will have to pay higher prices and ends up with the customer not buying. The ad wording is “customers that switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that kind of money. That’s why companies can truthfully make those claims.
Because of the profiling, you need to compare many company’s rates. You cannot predict the company that will give you the biggest savings.
When might I need help?
When it comes to buying the right insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is not a one size fits all plan. Every insured’s situation is different and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. For example, these questions can aid in determining whether or not you could use an agent’s help.
- Do I have coverage for damage caused while driving under the influence?
- Do no-fault laws apply in Maine?
- Do I need rental car coverage?
- Am I covered when driving a rental car?
- Is pleasure use cheaper than using my vehicle to commute?
- How much liability do I need to cover my assets?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but a few of them apply, you may need to chat with a licensed agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier
Specific coverage details
Understanding the coverages of a car insurance policy can be of help when determining which coverages you need and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be confusing and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Below you’ll find the normal coverages available from car insurance companies.
Medical expense coverage
Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance provide coverage for expenses like rehabilitation expenses, dental work and X-ray expenses. They are used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance policy or if there is no health insurance coverage. They cover all vehicle occupants in addition to any family member struck as a pedestrian. PIP is not an option in every state but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
Liability coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to people or other property. It protects YOU from legal claims by others. Liability doesn’t cover damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.
Liability coverage has three limits: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You commonly see policy limits of 50/100/50 which means a limit of $50,000 per injured person, a limit of $100,000 in injury protection per accident, and a limit of $50,000 paid for damaged property. Some companies may use a combined single limit or CSL which combines the three limits into one amount without having the split limit caps.
Liability coverage protects against claims such as loss of income, attorney fees and court costs. How much liability coverage do you need? That is up to you, but consider buying as large an amount as possible. Maine requires drivers to carry at least 50,000/100,000/25,000 but you should think about purchasing more coverage.
This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision coverage protects against claims such as colliding with a tree, scraping a guard rail, hitting a mailbox, sustaining damage from a pot hole and crashing into a ditch. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.
This pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You need to pay your deductible first then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive can pay for things like hail damage, a tree branch falling on your vehicle, rock chips in glass, hitting a bird and hitting a deer. The most you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the actual cash value, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage
Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when the “other guys” either have no liability insurance or not enough. It can pay for medical payments for you and your occupants and also any damage incurred to your vehicle.
Since many Maine drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (50/100/25), their limits can quickly be used up. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Most of the time the UM/UIM limits do not exceed the liability coverage limits.
More consumer information in Maine
More information is available on the website for the Maine Bureau of Insurance found here. Maine consumers can find out which companies have the most complaints, read state legal mandates and laws, and view agent and company licensing information.
When trying to cut insurance costs, it’s a bad idea to sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where an insured dropped liability coverage limits only to regret that the small savings ended up costing them much more. Your focus should be to purchase plenty of coverage at an affordable rate while not skimping on critical coverages.
You just read many ways to reduce car insurance prices online. The key concept to understand is the more providers you compare, the better likelihood of reducing your rate. You may even discover the lowest priced car insurance comes from the least-expected company. Smaller companies often have lower prices on specific markets compared to the large companies like Allstate or State Farm.