Have you fallen victim to an overpriced auto insurance policy? Believe me, you’re not the only one. Because you have many auto insurance companies to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to pick the best insurance company.
Vehicle Insurance Comparison
Finding a better price on auto insurance is a fairly straight forward process. All that’s required is to invest a little time to compare rate quotes provided by online insurance companies. This can be done in a couple of different ways.
- One of the simplest ways consumers can make multiple comparisons would be an industry-wide quote request form click to view form in new window. This method prevents you from having to do repetitive form entry for each company. One form will get you price quotes direct from many companies.
- A more difficult way to compare prices is to take the time to go to the website for each individual company to complete their respective quote request forms. For instance, we’ll assume you want to compare State Farm, GEICO and Farmers. To get rate quotes you would need to take the time to go to each site to enter your coverage information, which is why the first method is more popular. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Wauwatosa, click here.
However you get your quotes, be sure to compare the exact same quote information on every quote. If you enter mixed coverages it will be very difficult to make a fair comparison in Wauwatosa.
Rate influencing factors
Smart consumers have a good feel for the rating factors that play a part in calculating the rates you pay for auto insurance. Understanding what controls the rates you pay helps enable you to make changes that will entitle you to lower auto insurance prices.
Shown below are a partial list of the pieces that factor into prices.
- Careful drivers pay lower rates – Even a single moving violation can increase rates by as much as thirty percent. Good drivers get better rates than bad drivers. Drivers who get serious violations like DWI, reckless driving or hit and run convictions may be required to file a proof of financial responsibility form (SR-22) with their state DMV in order to continue driving.
- The more you drive the more you pay – The more you drive in a year the higher your rate. Most insurance companies price each vehicle’s coverage based on how the vehicle is used. Cars not used for work or commuting receive lower rates than those used for commuting. Ask your agent if your auto insurance policy properly reflects the correct driver usage, because improper ratings can cost you money.
- Rural vs Urban Areas – Living in small towns and rural areas can be a good thing when buying auto insurance. Drivers in populated areas have much more traffic and longer commute times. Lower population means fewer accidents as well as less vandalism and auto theft.
- Type of vehicle determines base rates – The make and model of the car you are insuring makes a significant difference in your rates. Economy passenger cars receive the most favorable rates, but the final cost of insurance is determined by many other factors.
- Protect your assets with liability insurance – Liability coverage provides coverage if ever a court rules you are at fault for damages caused by your negligence. It will provide legal defense coverage which can be incredibly expensive. This coverage is very inexpensive when compared with rates for comp and collision, so do not cut corners here.
- Lower deductibles cost more – Physical damage coverage, also known as collision and other-than-collision, protects your car from damage. Some examples of claims that would be covered are a windshield shattered by a rock, vandalism, and burglary. The deductibles are the amount of money you are willing to pay out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. The more expense the insured has to pay upfront, the lower your rates will be.
- Add-on coverages can add up – There are many additional coverages that you can buy when buying auto insurance. Insurance for rental car reimbursement, towing coverage and additional equipment coverage are examples of these. They may seem like a good idea initially, but now you might not need them so eliminate the coverages to reduce your premium.
- Do you have a high stress job? – Did you know your auto insurance rates can be affected by your occupation? Jobs such as lawyers, social workers and financial analysts have higher average rates because of high stress levels and lots of time spent at work. Conversely, occupations like scientists, engineers and performers get better rates.
Cut your auto insurance rates with discounts
The cost of insuring your cars can be expensive, buy you may qualify for discounts to help bring down the price. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied when you get a quote, but some must be specially asked for in order for you to get them. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Early Signing – Some insurance companies reward drivers for buying a policy prior to your current policy expiration. This can save 10% or more.
- Good Student – A discount for being a good student can earn a discount of 20% or more. The good student discount can last well after school through age 25.
- Distant Student – Any of your kids who are attending college and don’t have a car may be able to be covered for less.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Anti-theft and alarm systems can help prevent theft and will save you 10% or more.
- Memberships – Affiliation with a civic or occupational organization is a good way to get lower rates on your policy.
- Auto/Home Discount – If you have multiple policies with the same insurance company you will save at least 10% off all policies.
- Government Employees – Active or retired federal employment can save as much as 8% depending on your company.
- Drivers Education – Have your child successfully complete driver’s ed class if offered at their school.
- Anti-lock Brake System – Cars that have steering control and anti-lock brakes are safer to drive and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Safety Course Discount – Successfully completing a course in driver safety can save you 5% or more depending on where you live.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most discounts do not apply to your bottom line cost. Some only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like comprehensive or collision. So when the math indicates it’s possible to get free car insurance, companies wouldn’t make money that way. Any amount of discount will cut the amount you have to pay.
For a list of companies with discount auto insurance rates in Wauwatosa, follow this link.
Compare but don’t skimp
As you shop your coverage around, never reduce coverage to reduce premium. In too many instances, someone dropped comprehensive coverage or liability limits and discovered at claim time that it was a big mistake. Your aim should be to get the best coverage possible at the best price while still protecting your assets.
You just learned a lot of ways to reduce auto insurance prices online. It’s most important to understand that the more rate comparisons you have, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. You may even find the biggest savings come from a lesser-known regional company. Smaller companies often have lower prices on specific markets than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm or Progressive.
Additional auto insurance information is located on the website for the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance through this link. Consumers can read enforcement actions against agents and companies, find out which companies have the most complaints, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, and view a list of available companies.