Paying for high-priced auto insurance can empty your personal savings and force you to prioritize other expenses. Doing a price comparison is free and is an excellent way to cut your insurance bill. Insurance companies such as State Farm and GEICO promote their brand names with ads and it is difficult to ignore the propoganda and take the time to shop coverage around.
If you have a policy now or are shopping for new coverage, you can follow these tips to reduce the price you pay while maximizing coverage. Choosing the best insurance company for you in Charlottesville is quite easy. Virginia drivers just need to learn the proper way to compare company rates on the web.
Lower rates by qualifying for discounts
The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but discounts can save money and there are some available that can drop the cost substantially. Most are applied at the time of quoting, but a few need to be asked about before being credited. If you don’t get every credit you qualify for, you are throwing money away.
- Discount for Life Insurance – Select insurance companies reward you with a break if you buy life insurance from them.
- Pay Upfront and Save – By paying your policy upfront instead of paying each month you could save 5% or more.
- 55 and Retired – Older drivers can possibly qualify for reduced rates.
- Seat Belts Save – Drivers who require all occupants to wear their seat belts could save 15% off the personal injury premium cost.
- Passive Restraints – Vehicles with factory air bags can get savings up to 30%.
- Lower Rates for Military – Having a deployed family member could be rewarded with lower premiums.
- No Claims – Drivers who don’t have accidents can save substantially when compared to frequent claim filers.
- Driver’s Ed – Have your child successfully complete driver’s ed class in high school.
Keep in mind that many deductions do not apply to the entire cost. Most only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as liability and collision coverage. Just because you may think having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous. Any qualifying discounts will help reduce the amount you have to pay.
To choose insurers who offer auto insurance discounts in Virginia, click here.
How to Lower your Auto Insurance Rates
It’s important that you understand the rating factors that help determine your auto insurance rates. Knowing what influences your rates allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with big savings.
- Liability insurance protects assets – The liability section of your policy is the protection if a court rules you are at fault for personal injury or accident damage. Liability provides legal defense coverage up to the limits shown on your policy. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap compared to insuring for physical damage coverage, so drivers should carry high limits.
- Safer occupants lowers premiums – Cars with high safety ratings are cheaper to insure. Safe vehicles have better occupant injury protection and lower injury rates means less money paid by your insurance company and more competitive rates for policyholders.
- High deductibles save money – Coverage for physical damage, also known as collision and other-than-collision, is used to repair damage to your car. Examples of covered claims could be running into the backend of another car, vandalism, and burglary. The deductibles are how much you are required to spend if you file a covered claim. The more money you’re willing to pay, the lower your rates will be.
- Equipment add-ons that lower auto insurance rates – Owning a car with anti-theft technology or alarm system can help bring down rates. Theft prevention features such as vehicle immobilizer systems, General Motors OnStar and LoJack tracking systems can help prevent your car from being stolen.
- Multiple policies with one company can save – Some insurance companies will give a discount to customers who have multiple policies with them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. If you currently are using one company, you may still want to comparison shop to verify if the discount is saving money.
What coverages do I need?
When buying the best auto insurance coverage for your vehicles, there really is not a perfect coverage plan. Every insured’s situation is different so your insurance should reflect that These are some specific questions can help discover whether or not you may require specific advice.
- Is my nanny covered when driving my vehicle?
- Does coverage extend to a rental car in a foreign country?
- Do I have coverage when pulling a U-Haul trailer?
- Is my vehicle covered by my employer’s policy when using it for work?
- How many claims can I have before being cancelled?
- How can I get high-risk coverage after a DUI?
- Do I need added coverage for expensive stereo equipment?
- What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?
If you can’t answer these questions but a few of them apply then you might want to talk to a licensed insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, complete this form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It is quick, free and you can get the answers you need.
Local Charlottesville agents and auto insurance
Certain consumers just want to buy from a local agent and that is a personal choice. Agents can help determine the best coverages and help submit paperwork. One of the great benefits of getting online price quotes is you may find lower rates and still have an agent to talk to. Supporting small agencies is important especially in Charlottesville.
To find an agent, once you fill out this simple form, your insurance data is emailed to local insurance agents in Charlottesville who will return price quotes for your business. There is no reason to leave your house as quotes are delivered immediately to your email address. Now that’s easy!
How to choose the best insurance agent in Charlottesville
When researching a good Charlottesville insurance agent, you need to know there are two types of agencies that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agencies in Charlottesville are categorized either independent or captive. Both types can write coverage properly, but it’s worth mentioning how they are different since it can impact buying decisions.
These agents are not required to write business for one company so they can insure your vehicles with multiple insurance companies depending on which coverage is best. To move your coverage to a new company, the business is moved internally and you don’t have to find a new agent. When comparing rates, it’s a good idea to include multiple independent agents to have the most options to choose from.
Below are independent insurance agents in Charlottesville willing to provide competitive price quotes.
Craddock Insurance Svc Inc – 687 Berkmar Cir – Charlottesville, VA 22901 – (434) 817-7555
Mike Arnold Agency – 1116 E High St – Charlottesville, VA 22902 – (434) 295-2692
Maupin Insurance – 440 Premier Cir – Charlottesville, VA 22901 – (434) 975-2288
Captive Insurance Agents
This type of agents have only one company to place business with like American Family, Liberty Mutual and AAA. They usually cannot provide prices from multiple companies so always compare other rates. Captive agents are very knowledgeable on their company’s products which helps them compete with independent agents.
Listed below are captive insurance agencies in Charlottesville that can give you price quote information.
Farmers Insurance Group – 690 Berkmar Cir – Charlottesville, VA 22901 – (434) 977-5449
Allstate Insurance – 1700b Seminole Trl – Charlottesville, VA 22901 – (434) 974-9762
State Farm Insurance – 105 W High St – Charlottesville, VA 22902 – (434) 971-9966
Liberty Mutual At Berkmar – 688 Berkmar Cir – Charlottesville, VA 22901 – (434) 973-0225
For a full directory of captive insurance agencies in Charlottesville, view this link.
Deciding on an insurance agency shouldn’t rely on just a low price. Some important questions to ask are:
- Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
- Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
- Are they full-time agents?
- Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?
- How long have they worked with personal auto insurance coverage?
- Who is covered by the car insurance policy?
- Does the agency support the community they serve?
- Are glass claims handled on-site or do you have to take your vehicle to a repair shop?
Upon receiving acceptable answers to any questions you have and an acceptable price quote, you’ve probably found an insurance agency that is a good match to service your policy.
The fine print in auto insurance ads
Consumers in Virginia get pounded daily by advertisements for car insurance savings from the likes of Allstate and Progressive. They all seem to make the same claim that you can save if you change your coverage to them.
How can each company claim to save you money? This is how they do it.
Different companies have a preferred profile for the driver that is profitable for them. A good example of a preferred risk could possibly be over the age of 50, is a homeowner, and chooses high deductibles. A propective insured who fits that profile will qualify for the lowest rates and is almost guaranteed to save a lot of money.
Potential insureds who don’t meet these standards will have to pay higher prices which leads to business going elsewhere. Company advertisements say “customers that switch” not “people who quote” save money. That’s why insurance companies can make those claims.
Because of the profiling, it’s extremely important to compare as many rates as you can. It’s not possible to predict which company will give you the biggest savings.
Virginia auto insurance information
More information is available on the website for the Virginia Bureau of Insurance. Click here for link. Virginia drivers can view a list of available companies, discover disciplinary actions, file complaints about a company, and find disaster information.
The best insurance company isn’t always the cheapest
Budget-conscious auto insurance is possible both online and also from your neighborhood Charlottesville agents, and you should be comparing both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. Some companies may not provide the ability to get a quote online and usually these regional insurance providers provide coverage only through local independent agents.
As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where an insured cut comprehensive coverage or liability limits and discovered at claim time that it was a big mistake. Your strategy should be to find the BEST coverage at the best price while not skimping on critical coverages.