Feel like you’re a prisoner to overpriced car insurance? Believe me, you’re not alone. Since consumers have many options, it can be impossible to pick the most affordable company.
You need to do rate comparisons before your policy renews due to the fact that insurance rates are constantly changing. Even if you think you had the best deal six months ago you can probably find a better price now. Don’t believe everything you read about car insurance online, so by reading this article, you’re going to learn some good information on how to stop overpaying for insurance.
Informed Drivers can Cut Their Rates
An important part of buying insurance is that you know some of the elements that help determine your car insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what influences your rates allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with lower car insurance prices.
The following are some of the factors companies use to determine rates.
- Your age impacts your rates – More mature drivers are more cautious drivers, statistically cause fewer accidents and are safer drivers. Teen drivers are known to be more careless when driving therefore car insurance rates are much higher.
- Always keep insurance in force – Allowing your car insurance policy to lapse is a sure-fire way to trigger a rate increase. And not only will your rates increase, but not being able to provide proof of insurance can result in a revoked license or a big fine.
- Being married is a good thing – Being married can actually save you money on your car insurance policy. Having a significant other translates into being more mature and it’s statistically proven that being married results in fewer claims.
- More claims means more premium – Insurance companies in Maryland generally give better rates to policyholders who do not file claims often. If you frequently file small claims, you can expect higher rates. Car insurance is intended to be relied upon for the large, substantial claims.
- Do you need the policy add-ons? – There are many add-on coverages that can waste your money if you aren’t careful. Insurance for roadside assistance, accident forgiveness and additional equipment coverage are examples of these. These coverages may sound good when talking to your agent, but now you might not need them so eliminate the coverages to reduce your premium.
- High deductibles save money – Your deductibles represent how much money you are willing to pay out-of-pocket before a claim is paid by your company. Insurance for physical damage to your car, also known as collision and other-than-collision, is used to repair damage to your car. A few examples of covered claims could be colliding with a building, damage from fire, and burglary. The more expense you have to pay, the lower your rates will be.
Don’t miss these discounts
Car insurance is not cheap, but companies offer discounts to cut the cost considerably. Most are applied when you quote, but a few must be specially asked for prior to getting the savings. If you’re not getting every credit available, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Life Insurance – Select insurance companies reward you with a discount if you purchase life insurance from them.
- Drivers Education – Cut your cost by having your teen driver enroll in driver’s education if it’s offered in school.
- Federal Employees – Employees or retirees of the government could cut as much as 10% off with a few car insurance companies.
- Military Rewards – Being on active duty in the military could be rewarded with lower premiums.
- Safe Drivers – Drivers who avoid accidents may receive a discount up to 45% less than drivers with accident claims.
- Resident Student – Youth drivers who live away from home and don’t have a car may be able to be covered for less.
- Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to use their safety belts could save 15% off the personal injury premium cost.
- Homeowners Pay Less – Simply owning a home can save you money because of the fact that having a home is proof that your finances are in order.
- Low Mileage – Keeping the miles down can qualify you for lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.
Consumers should know that most discounts do not apply to the entire cost. Most only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as collision or personal injury protection. So despite the fact that it appears you could get a free car insurance policy, it doesn’t quite work that way. But any discount will bring down the amount you have to pay.
But I prefer to buy car insurance from an agent
Certain consumers would rather get advice from a local agent and that is OK! Good agents can answer important questions and help you file claims. The best thing about comparing rates online is that you can obtain better rates but also keep your business local. Supporting local agencies is important especially in District Heights.
To find an agent, once you fill out this form (opens in new window), your insurance data is submitted to participating agents in District Heights who will compete for your coverage. You never need to drive around because quoted prices will be sent to your email. How cool is that?!
Insurance agent types
When looking for a good insurance agency, you must know there are a couple types of agencies that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. District Heights agents are either independent (non-captive) or captive. Either one can insure your vehicles, but it’s worth mentioning the differences because it can impact buying decisions.
Independent Insurance Agents
These agents are not locked into one company but rather can write business with lots of companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. If you are not satisfied with one company, the business is moved internally without you having to go to a different agency.
When comparison shopping, it’s recommended you include multiple independent agents to have the most options to choose from.
Below are independent insurance agencies in District Heights who may be able to give you price quote information.
Davnor Insurance Inc – 6000 Marlboro Pike – District Heights, MD 20747 – (301) 568-5988
Accurate Insurance Svc – 7821 Parston Dr – District Heights, MD 20747 – (301) 735-8810
Captive Insurance Agents
Captive agencies have only one company to place business with and examples are Allstate, State Farm and Farmers Insurance. These agents are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so it’s a take it or leave it situation. These agents are very knowledgeable in insurance sales and that can be a competitive advantage.
Choosing a car insurance agent needs to be determined by more than just a low price. Agents should be asked these questions:
- Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- Do they assist clients in filing claims?
- Can glass repairs be made at your home?
- What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?
- Do they feel the quoted coverages are adequate?
- Are they properly licensed to sell insurance in Maryland?
- Which members of your family are coverage by the policy?
- Who are their largest clients?
Upon receiving positive feedback for all questions you ask in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you may have just found an insurance agency that meets your needs to adequately provide car insurance.
Much more information about car insurance in Maryland is located on the website for the Maryland Insurance Administration found here. Consumers can read industry bulletins, view agent and company licensing information, download brochures, and find disaster information.
Cheaper insurance is a realistic goal
We covered a lot of techniques to get a better price on car insurance. It’s most important to understand that the more providers you compare, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may be surprised to find that the most savings is with some of the smallest insurance companies. These smaller insurers can often provide lower rates in certain areas compared to the large companies like State Farm and Allstate.
Cost effective car insurance can be found online in addition to many District Heights insurance agents, and you should compare price quotes from both to have the best chance of lowering rates. Some companies do not provide you the ability to get quotes online and these regional insurance providers work with independent agents.
As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, don’t be tempted to buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. In many cases, an insured cut uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time that it was a big error on their part. Your goal should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at a price you can afford, not the least amount of coverage.