I really doubt anyone likes paying for auto insurance, especially when they are paying too much. Lots of insurers contend for your business, so it’s not easy to compare every provider to find the lowest rate possible.
You should make it a habit to compare prices at least once a year since insurance rates trend upward over time. Despite the fact that you may have had the best premium rates two years ago there may be better deals available now. Ignore everything you know about auto insurance because I’m going to let you in on the secrets to how to use the internet to lower your rates without sacrificing coverage.
How car insurance companies determine premiums
Consumers need to have an understanding of the rating factors that are used to determine the rates you pay for auto insurance. When you know what positively or negatively determines base rates, this allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with better auto insurance rates.
- Your stress level may be raising your prices – Do you have a high-stress occupation? Occupations like military generals, executives and dentists have the highest average rates due to high stress levels and lengthy work days. Other occupations such as scientists, athletes and performers generally pay rates lower than average.
- Do you have enough liability protection? – Liability coverage kicks in if ever a jury decides you are liable for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. Liability insurance provides legal defense coverage which can be incredibly expensive. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap compared to other policy coverages, so do not cut corners here.
- Raising physical damage deductibles lowers premiums – Insurance for physical damage, also called comprehensive and collision insurance, is used to repair damage to your car. Examples of covered claims would be colliding with a building, damage caused by hail, and damage from a fallen tree branch. The deductibles you choose are how much you are willing to pay before a claim is paid by your company. The more expense you choose to pay out-of-pocket, the lower your rates will be.
- How many coverages with the same company – Most major insurers give discounts to policyholders who have multiple policies with them in the form of a multi-policy discount. Even if you qualify for this discount already, it’s in your best interest to check prices from other companies to help ensure you have the lowest rates.There is a good possibility that you can save even more even if you insure with multiple companies
- Rural areas have lower premiums – Choosing to live in less populated areas has it’s advantages when talking about auto insurance. Less people translates into fewer accident claims and lower theft and vandalism rates. People who live in big cities have to deal with more aggressive driving styles and more severe claims. Higher commute times means higher likelihood of an accident.
- Youthful vs. older drivers – Older insureds have been proven to be more responsible, statistically cause fewer accidents and get fewer tickets.Beginning drivers are statistically shown to get distracted easily in a vehicle so they pay higher auto insurance rates.
- Premiums increase with driving tickets – Whether or not you get tickets has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Having just one chargable violation could increase your next policy renewal by twenty percent. Attentive drivers pay less for auto insurance as compared to those with violations. People who have careless violations such as DUI or willful reckless driving are required to maintain a SR-22 with their state’s licensing department in order to keep their license.
Auto insurance companies offer money-saving discounts
Auto insurance is not an enjoyable expense, but you can get discounts to cut the cost considerably. Many discounts should be triggered when you quote, but less common discounts must be specially asked for before you will receive the discount.
- Own a Home – Just owning your own home can get you a discount because owning a home shows financial diligence.
- Student Discounts – Performing well in school may save as much as 25% on a . This discount can apply well after school through age 25.
- Military Deployment Discount – Having a family member in the military could qualify you for better rates.
- Pay Early and Save – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time rather than paying in monthly installments you may reduce your total bill.
- Seat Belts Save – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts may be able to save a few bucks off PIP or medical payments premium.
- Life Insurance Discount – Select insurance carriers reward you with better premium rates if you take out life insurance from them.
- Accident Forgiveness Coverage – Not necessarily a discount, but some insurance companies may permit one accident before raising your premiums if your claims history is clear for a set time period.
Please keep in mind that many deductions do not apply to all coverage premiums. Most only cut specific coverage prices like medical payments or collision. Even though it appears it’s possible to get free car insurance, nobody gets a free ride.
A few of the larger companies and a selection of discounts are:
- Farmers Insurance policyholders can earn discounts including homeowner, teen driver, pay in full, distant student, business and professional, multi-car, and mature driver.
- Esurance offers discounts for safety device, anti-theft, anti-lock brakes, Pac-12 alumni, multi-car, and multi-policy.
- State Farm discounts include student away at school, multiple autos, defensive driving training, safe vehicle, passive restraint, and driver’s education.
- GEICO includes discounts for anti-lock brakes, good student, seat belt use, multi-vehicle, defensive driver, and air bags.
- Allstate offers premium reductions for safe driver, eSmart discount, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft, and early signing.
When getting , it’s a good idea to every insurance company which discounts you may be entitled to. Some discounts may not be available in every state. If you would like to see a list of providers that offer discounts in Michigan, click here.
Do I just need basic coverages?
When choosing the best auto insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there is no cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s needs are different so your insurance should reflect that For example, these questions may help you determine whether your personal situation could use an agent’s help.
- Does my liability insurance cover pulling a trailer or camper?
- Can I afford to pay high deductible claims out of pocket?
- Why does it cost so much to insure a teen driver in Alma?
- What can I do if my company denied a claim?
- Does having multiple vehicles earn me a discount?
- Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
- Who is covered when they drive my vehicle?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, simply complete this short form or go to this page to view a list of companies.
Additional Michigan car insurance resources
More information can be found on the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation website located here. Michigan consumers can download brochures, find out industry alerts, and read state legal mandates and laws.
Compare but don’t skimp
Lower-priced auto insurance can be found from both online companies as well as from independent agents in Alma, so you need to with both so you have a total pricing picture. A few companies do not provide rate quotes online and usually these small insurance companies sell through local independent agencies.
In this article, we covered quite a bit of information on how to compare auto insurance prices online. The key thing to remember is the more providers you compare, the higher the chance of saving money. Drivers may discover the lowest priced auto insurance comes from a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising. They may cover specific market segments cheaper than the large multi-state companies such as Progressive and GEICO.