Having to pay for overpriced auto insurance can dwindle your checking account and force you to make sacrifices. Shopping your coverage around is free, only takes a few minutes, and is a good way to lower your monthly bill. Multiple car insurance companies compete for your hard-earned dollar, and it can be difficult to compare rates to find the absolute best rates possible.
Smart consumers take time to shop coverage around yearly because rates are rarely the same from one policy term to another. If you had the best rates a year ago you can probably find a lower rate today. Ignore everything you know about auto insurance because we’re going to demonstrate one of the easiest ways to buy cheaper auto insurance.
If you have insurance now or need a new policy, you can use this information to cut your premiums and still get good coverage. Buying car insurance in Columbia is not that difficult. Missouri vehicle owners just need to understand the most effective way to compare prices over the internet.
How to Get Auto Insurance in Columbia, MO
There are multiple methods to shop for auto insurance, and some are easier and takes less work. You can waste hours discussing policy coverages with insurance agencies in Columbia, or you could use the web to get rate comparisons in just a few minutes.
Many companies take part in a program that allows shoppers to submit their information once, and each company then returns a price quote. This system prevents you from having to do repetitive form submissions to each company.
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The one disadvantage to using this type of system is you don’t know exactly which providers to receive prices from. If you wish to select from a list of companies to request quotes from, we have a listing of the cheapest auto insurance companies in Missouri. Click here to view list.
Which method you use is up to you, but make darn sure you compare exactly the same quote information with each company. If each company quotes different values for each quote you will not be able to find the best deal in Columbia.
Discounts are great for lower rates
Auto insurance companies don’t necessarily list all available discounts in an easy-to-find place, so we break down both the well known and also the lesser-known savings tricks you should be using. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you are throwing money away.
- No Accidents – Drivers who don’t have accidents can save substantially when compared to bad drivers.
- Defensive Driver – Taking part in a course in driver safety could save 5% or more and easily recoup the cost of the course.
- College Student – Children who attend school more than 100 miles from home without a vehicle on campus can be insured at a reduced rate.
- Seat Belt Usage – Using a seat belt and requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts could cut 10% or more off your medical payments premium.
- Save over 55 – If you’re over the age of 55, you may qualify for a discount up to 10%.
- Discount for Good Grades – This discount can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. Earning this discount can benefit you up until you turn 25.
- Paperless Signup – A few companies may give you up to $50 just for signing your application over the internet.
Drivers should understand that some of the credits will not apply to the overall cost of the policy. Most only cut specific coverage prices like comp or med pay. Just because you may think you could get a free auto insurance policy, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous.
Why some people pay less for insurance in Columbia
It’s important that you understand the rating factors that play a part in calculating auto insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what influences your rates 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.
- Too many auto insurance claims drive up costs – If you tend to file frequent claims, you can look forward to either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Car insurance companies in Missouri provide better rates to people who do not rely on their insurance for small claims. Auto insurance is meant to be used in the event of larger claims.
- Men are more aggressive – Statistics demonstrate that women are safer drivers than men. That doesn’t necessarily mean that women are better drivers. Women and men cause accidents in similar percentages, but the men cause more damage. Men also statistically get cited for more serious violations like reckless driving and DUI. Teenage male drivers are the most expensive to insure and therefore have the most expensive auto insurance rates.
- Cautious drivers pay less – Whether or not you get tickets has a huge affect on how much you pay. Drivers with clean records receive lower rates than bad drivers. Only having one citation may increase your cost by twenty percent. Drivers with serious tickets such as hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions are required to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility with their state motor vehicle department in order to continue driving.
- Do you know your deductibles? – Coverage for physical damage, otherwise known as comp (or other than collision) and collision, is used to repair damage to your car. A few examples of covered claims are colliding with a building, collision with an animal, and windstorm damage. Deductibles for physical damage are how much you are willing to pay if you file a covered claim. The more expense you have to pay, the less your auto insurance will be.
- Your occupation can affect rates – Occupations such as doctors, social workers and accountants tend to pay higher rates than average in part from stressful work requirements and long work hours. On the flip side, occupations like actors, athletes and retirees have the lowest average rates.
- Credit scores impact auto insurance rates – Having a bad credit history is a huge factor in determining your rates. If your credit score is not that good, you could save money insuring your by improving your credit score. People with high credit ratings tend to be more responsible as compared to drivers with lower credit scores.
- Where do you drive? – The more you drive each year the more you will pay for auto insurance. Most insurance companies apply a rate determined by how the vehicle is used. Vehicles left parked in the garage can get a lower rate than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Make sure your auto insurance policy shows the correct driver usage, because it can save money.
More detailed Missouri auto insurance information is available at the Missouri Department of Insurance website. Visitors are able to file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, view a list of available companies, get help finding coverage, and find a variety of consumer forms.
One last thing
While you’re price shopping online, it’s a bad idea to skimp on coverage in order to save money. There are a lot of situations where an accident victim reduced uninsured motorist or liability limits and learned later that the small savings ended up costing them much more. Your goal should be to buy enough coverage for the lowest price while still protecting your assets.
Cheap auto insurance can be purchased both online and also from your neighborhood Columbia agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both so you have a total pricing picture. There are still a few companies who may not provide the ability to get a quote online and most of the time these smaller companies sell through independent agents.
You just read many tips how you can shop for auto insurance online. It’s most important to understand that the more rate quotes you have, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. You may even discover the most savings is with some of the lesser-known companies. These companies often have lower prices on specific markets than the large multi-state companies such as GEICO and State Farm.