If price shopping car insurance online is new to you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the large number of companies competing for business in Palatine.
The purpose of this article is to instruct you on how to get online quotes. If you are paying for car insurance now, you should be able to save some money using these techniques. Illinois drivers only need an understanding of how to get comparison quotes online.
Comprehensive Palatine Car Insurance Comparison
Lowering your car insurance rates doesn’t have to be difficult. The only thing you need to do is invest a few minutes to compare quotes provided by online insurance companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished using a couple different methods.
- The single most time-saving way to find low rates is to use a rate comparison form (click to open form in new window). This form saves time by eliminating separate quotes for each company you want a rate for. In just a few minutes this one form gets you price quotes from all major companies. Recommended for those who want to invest the least amount of time.
- A slightly less efficient method to compare rate quotes consists of visiting the website for each individual company to complete a price quote. For examples sake, let’s assume you want rates from Farmers, Allstate and Progressive. To get rate quotes you would need to take the time to go to each site and enter your policy data, which is why most consumers use the first method. For a list of links to insurance companies in Palatine, click here.
- The least recommended method to get comparison rates is to drive around to different Palatine agent offices. The ability to buy insurance online has reduced the need for local agents unless you have a need for the personal advice that only a license agent can provide. It is possible to get prices online but still have the advice of a local agent and we’ll cover that in a bit.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just double check that you are using apples-to-apples information for each price quote. If each company quotes differing limits you can’t possibly truly determine the lowest rate in Palatine.
Policy discounts you shouldn’t miss
The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but there are discounts available that you may not know about. Some discounts apply automatically when you get a quote, but some must be specifically requested before being credited. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you are throwing money away.
- Student in College – Any of your kids living away from home attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle may qualify for this discount.
- Own a Home – Owning a house in Palatine can save you money due to the fact that maintaining a home demonstrates responsibility.
- Accident Forgiveness – A few companies will forgive one accident before raising your premiums so long as you haven’t had any claims for a certain period of time.
- Safe Driver Discount – Safe drivers may receive a discount up to 45% less than less cautious drivers.
- Service Members Pay Less – Being deployed with a military unit may qualify for rate reductions.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Vehicles with anti-theft systems can help prevent theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- New Car Discount – Buying coverage on a new vehicle is cheaper because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most discounts do not apply to your bottom line cost. Most only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as comp or med pay. Even though it may seem like adding up those discounts means a free policy, companies wouldn’t make money that way. Any qualifying discounts will bring down the cost of coverage.
For a list of companies with discount car insurance rates in Illinois, click here to view.
What about using a local agent?
Some consumers prefer to get advice from a local agent. Agents can help determine the best coverages and give you peace of mind. The biggest benefit of comparing rates online is you can get lower rates but also keep your business local. Buying from local businesses is important especially in Palatine.
After filling out this form (opens in new window), your information gets sent to participating agents in Palatine who will compete for your business. There is no need to even leave your home since price quotes are sent to your email. Now that’s easy!
If you prefer to view licensed agents in Palatine, please click here.
Selecting a company should depend on more than just the premium amount. These are valid questions to ask:
- What insurance companies do they work with?
- Is the agency involved in supporting local community causes?
- How are claims handled?
- How are they compensated?
- Are you getting all the discounts the company offers?
Upon getting satisfactory answers to any questions you have and locked in a price quote, you’ve probably found a company that is a good match to properly service your car insurance policy.
What is the best insurance coverage?
When buying coverage, there isn’t really a “perfect” insurance plan. Each situation is unique.
For instance, these questions might point out whether or not you may require specific advice.
- Is business property covered if stolen from my car?
- Can I afford to buy a different vehicle if my vehicle is totaled?
- How much liability coverage do I need in Illinois?
- Am I covered if I crash into my own garage door?
- Can I afford to pay high deductible claims out of pocket?
- Should I put collision coverage on all my vehicles?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions but one or more may apply to you, you may need to chat with a licensed insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form. It’s fast, free and can provide invaluable advice.
Misconceptions in car insurance advertisements
Illinois drivers get pounded daily by advertisements for cheaper car insurance by GEICO, State Farm and Progressive. All the companies say the same thing that you’ll save big if you move to their company.
How does each company say the same thing?
All companies have a certain “appetite” for the right customer that makes them money. A good example of a profitable customer might be between the ages of 40 and 55, has no driving citations, and drives less than 7,500 miles a year. A driver that hits that “sweet spot” gets the lowest rates and is almost guaranteed to cut their rates substantially.
Potential insureds who are not a match for this ideal profile will be quoted higher rates and ends up with the customer not buying. The ads state “people who switch” not “people who quote” save that much. That’s why companies can truthfully make the claims of big savings.
This emphasizes why you need to get quotes from several different companies. You cannot predict which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.
Car insurance coverages explained
Knowing the specifics of your car insurance policy helps when choosing appropriate coverage and the correct deductibles and limits. Policy terminology can be impossible to understand and reading a policy is terribly boring.
Medical expense coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage pay for immediate expenses such as pain medications, nursing services and X-ray expenses. They can be used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. It covers you and your occupants and will also cover being hit by a car walking across the street. Personal Injury Protection is not universally available and may carry a deductible
This coverage protects you from damage or injury you incur to other people or property. This coverage protects you against other people’s claims, and does not provide coverage for 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. Your policy might show values of 100/300/100 which stand for a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, $300,000 for the entire accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery. Occasionally you may see one limit called combined single limit (CSL) that pays claims from the same limit and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.
Liability coverage protects against claims like attorney fees, repair bills for other people’s vehicles, structural damage and bail bonds. How much liability should you purchase? That is your choice, but you should buy higher limits if possible. Illinois state law requires minimum liability limits of 20,000/40,000/15,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy higher limits.
Comprehensive insurance coverage will pay to fix damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You need to pay your deductible first and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive can pay for things such as hitting a bird, rock chips in glass and falling objects. The maximum payout your car insurance company will pay is the actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s not worth carrying full coverage.
This coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. A deductible applies then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision insurance covers claims such as rolling your car, hitting a mailbox, scraping a guard rail, crashing into a ditch and driving through your garage door. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider removing coverage from lower value vehicles. You can also increase the deductible to save money on collision insurance.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage
Your UM/UIM coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when other motorists do not carry enough liability coverage. Covered losses include hospital bills for your injuries as well as damage to your vehicle.
Because many people only carry the minimum required liability limits (20/40/15), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family. Most of the time the UM/UIM limits are set the same as your liablity limits.
Keep this in mind
Low-cost car insurance is possible both online as well as from independent agents in Palatine, so you should be comparing quotes from both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. Some insurance companies don’t offer you the ability to get quotes online and usually these small insurance companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
You just learned many ideas to lower your car insurance rates. The key thing to remember is the more companies you get rates for, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Drivers may discover the lowest premiums are with an unexpected company.
People switch companies for many reasons like high rates after DUI convictions, policy cancellation, extreme rates for teen drivers or delays in responding to claim requests. Regardless of your reason for switching companies, choosing a new company can be pretty painless.
Find out more about car insurance
Additional information can be found on the Illinois Department of Insurance website located here. Consumers can view agent and company licensing information, report car insurance fraud, read industry bulletins, and read state legal mandates and laws.