Nobody likes having to buy auto insurance, especially knowing they are paying too much.
Having so many companies and agents to choose from, it can be diffult for consumers to choose the cheapest company.
It’s important to take a look at other company’s rates yearly because rates change regularly. If you had the lowest rates six months ago there is a good chance you can find better rates now. Starting right now, forget all the misinformation about auto insurance because you’re going to get a crash course in the best way to remove unneeded coverages and save money.
Finding affordable coverage in Hampton is not that difficult. Just about every vehicle owner who is required by state law to have auto insurance will most likely be able to find better rates. Nevertheless, Virginia car owners do need to learn how the larger insurance companies price insurance differently.
How to Compare Hampton Auto Insurance Costs
To find the best auto insurance prices, there are several ways to compare rate quotes and find the best price. By far the easiest way to find the cheapest insurance rates consists of shopping online. This can be done in just a few minutes using one of these methods.
- The recommended way to compare a lot of rates at once is to use a rate comparison form like this one (opens in new window). This type of form prevents you from having to do repetitive form submissions for each company. One form gets rate comparisons from many national carriers.
- A more time consuming way to compare prices is to manually visit each company’s website and fill out their own quote form. For sake of this example, we’ll pretend you want comparison quotes from Nationwide, State Farm and Progressive. To get rate quotes you would need to spend time on each company’s site and enter your information, and that’s why the first method is more popular.
For a list of links to insurance companies in Hampton, click here.
- The most time-consuming method of comparing rate quotes is to spend time driving to different agent offices. The internet eliminates the need for an insurance agent unless you have a need for the personal advice only provided by licensed agents. You can, however, price shop your coverage online and still use a local agent and you’ll learn how to do that later.
It doesn’t matter which method you choose, just be sure to compare apples-to-apples coverage limits for every company. If you are comparing different values for each quote then you won’t be able to make a fair comparison in Hampton. Just a small difference in coverages may result in large price differences. And when comparison shopping, having more price comparisons will enable you to find the best price.
These discounts can slash auto insurance rates
Car insurance companies do not list every available discount in an easy-to-find place, so the following is a list of both well-publicized and also the lesser-known discounts you could be receiving.
- Organization Discounts – Being a member of a qualifying organization could trigger savings when buying auto insurance.
- Braking Control Discount – Vehicles equipped with ABS or steering control can avoid accidents and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
- Passive Restraint Discount – Cars that have air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can receive discounts of more than 20%.
- Life Insurance Discount – Larger companies have a discount if you purchase life insurance from them.
- Driver’s Ed – Cut your cost by having your teen driver enroll in driver’s education if offered at their school.
- Government Employees – Employees or retirees of the government can save as much as 8% depending on your company.
- Safe Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can pay as much as 50% less than drivers with accidents.
- Accident Forgiveness – A handful of insurance companies allow you one accident before hitting you with a surcharge as long as you don’t have any claims for a particular time prior to the accident.
- Multi-car Discount – Insuring more than one vehicle on the same auto insurance policy may reduce the rate for each vehicle.
- Early Switch Discount – Some insurance companies reward drivers for switching to them before your current policy expires. It’s a savings of about 10%.
A little note about advertised discounts, most credits do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. So even though they make it sound like all the discounts add up to a free policy, it just doesn’t work that way.
For a list of companies who offer auto insurance discounts in Hampton, click here.
Your insurance agent down the street
Some people just want to buy from a local agent and that is OK! One of the great benefits of getting online price quotes is you can get the best rates but also keep your business local.
After filling out this quick form, your coverage information is instantly submitted to local insurance agents who will battle for your insurance coverage. You won’t need to visit any agencies as quotes are delivered to your email. How cool is that?! You’ll get the best rates AND an agent nearby.
Deciding on an insurer should depend on more than just a low price. These questions are important to ask:
- Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
- Do they specialize in personal lines coverage?
- Which company do they place the most coverage with?
- Will vehicle repairs be made with aftermarket parts or OEM replacement parts?
- How many years of experience in personal lines insurance coverages do they have?
- If you are a high risk driver, do they have special markets for your coverage?
To contact a specific insurance agent in Hampton, please click here.
After getting positive feedback to all your questions in addition to an acceptable price estimate, chances are good that you have found an provider that will insure your vehicles.
Smart Consumers Save More
It’s important that you understand some of the elements that help determine your auto insurance rates. When you know what positively or negatively impacts premium levels allows you to make educated decisions that can help you get lower auto insurance prices.
- Rural vs Urban Areas – Being located in a small town is a positive aspect when buying auto insurance. City drivers have more traffic problems and a longer drive to work. Lower population means a lower chance of having an accident.
- You might want pay the small claims yourself – Car insurance companies in Virginia give lower rates to drivers who do not file claims often. If you frequently file small claims, you can look forward to either higher rates or even cancellation. Insurance coverage is designed for the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
- Better crash test results mean better rates – Cars with high safety ratings can get you lower premiums. Safe vehicles have better occupant injury protection and better occupant protection means lower claim amounts and lower rates for you.
- Your credit rating is important – A driver’s credit rating is a large factor in determining what you pay for auto insurance. Drivers with high credit scores tend to file fewer claims and have better driving records as compared to drivers with poor credit. Therefore, if your credit score can use some improvement, you could pay less to insure your by improving your rating.
The fine print in auto insurance ads
Companies like State Farm, Allstate and GEICO constantly bombard you with ads in print and on television. All the ads make an identical promise that you’ll save big if you switch to their company. How can each company say the same thing? It’s all in the numbers.
Insurance companies can use profiling for the type of driver that is profitable for them. A good example of a driver they prefer might be profiled as between the ages of 30 and 50, insures multiple vehicles, and has great credit. A propective insured who fits that profile is entitled to the best price and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.
Drivers who are not a match for this ideal profile will be charged higher rates which usually ends up with business going elsewhere. Company advertisements say “customers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save money. That’s the way companies can truthfully make the claims of big savings. That is why it’s extremely important to get a wide range of price quotes. You cannot predict which company will have the lowest rates.
Do the work, save more money
Discount auto insurance is available from both online companies as well as from independent agents in Hampton, and you need to price shop both in order to have the best chance of saving money. There are still a few companies who don’t offer online price quotes and most of the time these small insurance companies sell through independent agents.
While you’re price shopping online, it’s a bad idea to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There are too many instances where consumers will sacrifice liability coverage limits only to discover later they didn’t have enough coverage. Your goal should be to buy enough coverage for the lowest price while still protecting your assets.
Throughout this article, we presented many ideas to get a better price on auto insurance. The key concept to understand is the more you quote, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers may even find the lowest premiums are with some of the smallest insurance companies. These companies can often provide lower rates in certain areas compared to the large companies like State Farm or Progressive.
Read more about Virginia auto insurance
More tips and info about auto insurance is located at the Virginia Bureau of Insurance website. Consumers can file complaints about a company, learn about specific coverages, and view agent and company licensing information.