If you are new to online auto insurance, you may be overwhelmed by the confusing number of auto insurance companies all claiming to save you money.
Smart consumers take time to compare premium rates at least once a year since prices tend to go up over time. Just because you had the lowest price on your last policy the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. Forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because you’re going to get a crash course in the only way to save money, get proper coverage and the best rates.
The purpose of this article is to introduce you to how car insurance quotes work. If you currently have a car insurance policy, you will most likely be able to cut costs considerably using this strategy. But Alabama consumers should learn how insurance companies determine prices and use this information to your advantage.
Why smart consumers get better rates in Fairhope
Many things are used when premium rates are determined. A few of the factors are predictable like an MVR report, but other criteria are less apparent like where you live or your financial responsibility. An important part of buying insurance is that you know the factors that go into determining your policy premiums. If you understand what impacts premium levels, this helps enable you to make changes that can earn you cheaper rates.
The factors shown below are some of the major factors that factor into prices.
- Where do you drive? – The more you drive in a year the more it will cost to insure it. A lot of companies calculate rates partially by how you use the vehicle. Cars and trucks that are left in the garage can be on a lower rate level than those used for commuting. Ask your agent if your auto insurance declarations sheet is showing the right rating data, because it can save money.
- Only buy incidental coverages you need – Insurance policies have a lot of additional coverages that you can buy but may not be useful. Insurance for replacement cost coverage, accidental death, and Farm Bureau memberships are examples of these. These coverages may sound good at first, but if you don’t need them get rid of them and save.
- Consolidate policies and save money – Most larger insurance companies give better rates to people who consolidate policies with them such as combining an auto and homeowners policy. The amount of the discounts can be as much as ten percent or more Even if you qualify for this discount already, you still need to shop around to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible.
- Having a spouse pays dividends – Having a significant other can actually save you money when shopping for auto insurance. Having a spouse translates into being more stable financially it has been statistically shown that married couples file fewer claims.
When shopping for , there are a couple of ways of comparing price quotes from many auto insurance companies in Alabama. The fastest way to lower the rate you pay for insurance consists of shopping online. This is quite simple and can be completed in a couple of different ways.
- Probably the best way to compare a lot of rates at once is to use a rate comparison form click here to open form in new window. This style of form saves time by eliminating separate quote forms for each company. One form will return price quotes direct from many companies. Just one form and you’re done.
- A different way to analyze rates is to take the time to go to the website for every company you want to comare and request a quote. For instance, we’ll assume you want comparison quotes from USAA, Farmers and American Family. You would have to spend time on each company’s site and type in your information over and over, which can be really labor intensive. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Fairhope, click here.
- The hardest method to get rate quotes is going to and from local Fairhope insurance agencies. Doing it all online eliminates the need for an insurance agent unless you require the extra assistance that only an agent can give. Some companies do allow you to obtain prices from the web and have a local agent actually service the policy.
The approach you take is up to you, just be sure you’re using exactly the same quote data for each quote you get. If you enter higher or lower deductibles it’s not possible to find the best deal in Fairhope. Even a minor difference in coverages can make a big difference in price. It’s important to know that obtaining a wide range of quotes helps you find a better price. Some smaller insurers to not give quotes online, so it’s important to compare prices from them, too.
Do you qualify for discount auto insurance?
Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, but you might find some hidden discounts to help offset the cost. Certain reductions will be credited at the time of purchase, but a few must be specially asked for before you get the savings. If you’re not getting every credit you qualify for, you are throwing money away.
- Student Discounts – This discount may save you up to 25%. The discount lasts until age 25.
- Driving Data Discount – Policyholders that allow their company to spy on when and where they use their vehicle by using a telematic data system like Drivewise from Allstate or In-Drive from State Farm may get a rate reduction as long as they are good drivers.
- Drive Safe and Save – Drivers without accidents could pay up to 40% less than drivers with accidents.
- Anti-lock Brake System – Vehicles that have steering control and anti-lock brakes are safer to drive so companies give up to a 10% discount.
- Safety Course Discount – Passing a course in defensive driver could cut 5% off your bill and easily pay for the cost of the class.
- Accident Free – Drivers with accident-free driving histories can save substantially as compared to policyholders that have many claims.
- Policy Bundle Discount – If you can combine your homeowners and auto policy with the same insurance company you could save nearly 15% which can help you find .
- Home Ownership Discount – Being a homeowner may trigger a policy discount on auto insurance since home ownership shows financial diligence.
- Organization Discounts – Participating in certain professional organizations could qualify you for a break on your policy.
- Drivers Education – Cut your cost by having your teen driver enroll and complete driver’s education if offered at their school.
One thing to note about discounts is that most discounts do not apply to your bottom line cost. Most only apply to specific coverage prices like collision or personal injury protection. So when it seems like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, it’s just not the way it works. Any qualifying discounts will reduce the cost of coverage.
The best auto insurance companies and their offered discounts are detailed below.
- Travelers includes discounts for student away at school, new car, driver training, continuous insurance, and hybrid/electric vehicle.
- 21st Century may have discounts that include good student, teen driver, anti-lock brakes, driver training, theft prevention, homeowners, and automatic seat belts.
- State Farm has discounts for safe vehicle, defensive driving training, student away at school, good driver, Drive Safe & Save, and Steer Clear safe driver discount.
- GEICO offers discounts for emergency military deployment, multi-policy, good student, defensive driver, anti-theft, anti-lock brakes, and membership and employees.
- SAFECO may offer discounts for teen safe driver, anti-theft, accident prevention training, safe driver, and drive less.
- AAA discounts include multi-car, pay-in-full, education and occupation, multi-policy, good student, AAA membership discount, and good driver.
When getting , it’s a good idea to all companies you are considering which discounts can lower your rates. Some discounts might not be offered in Fairhope. For a list of auto insurance companies offering auto insurance discounts in Alabama, click here.
When to contact an agent
A small number of people would prefer to have an agent’s advice and that is just fine! An additional benefit of comparing auto insurance online is the fact that drivers can get cheaper prices but also keep your business local. And providing support for neighborhood insurance agencies is still important in Fairhope.
After completing this simple form, your information is sent to insurance agents in Fairhope who want to provide quotes for your auto insurance coverage. You don’t have to even leave your home because prices are sent instantly to you. It’s the lowest rates and an insurance agent to talk to. If you want to quote rates from one company in particular, don’t hesitate to jump over to their website and give them your coverage information.
What type of Fairhope car insurance agent is right for you?
When narrowing the list to find a reputable insurance agent or broker, there are two different types of agencies and how they can write your policy. Auto insurance agents in Fairhope are either independent or captive.
Independent Insurance Agents
Agents of this type are not employed by one company and that allows them to write policies amongst many companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To transfer your coverage to a different company, they simply move your policy to a different company which requires no work on your part. When comparing auto insurance rates, you should always get several quotes from multiple independent agents so that you can do a thorough price comparison. Most can insure with small mutual carriers who may have lower rates.
Listed below is a short list of independent agencies in Fairhope who can help you get price quotes.
- Malone Agency – 54 S Greeno Rd – Fairhope, AL 36532 – (251) 970-3000
- Malone Agency – 104 Professional Park Dr – Fairhope, AL 36532 – (251) 990-4000
- Point Clear Insurance Svc – 368 Commercial Park Dr – Fairhope, AL 36532 – (251) 990-9050
- Bowden Insurance Svc – 8156 Old Orchard Pl – Fairhope, AL 36532 – (251) 929-3828
Agents that choose to be captive can only write with one company and some examples include AAA, Allstate, and State Farm. These agents are not able to compare rates from other companies so it’s a take it or leave it situation. These agents receive extensive training on the products they sell which aids in selling service over price. A lot of people purchase coverage from captives primarily because of the prominence of the brand and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.
Listed below are Fairhope captive insurance agencies that can give you price quote information.
- State Farm Insurance – 22787 Us Highway 98 – Fairhope, AL 36532 – (251) 928-1400
- Allstate Insurance – 105 Lottie Ln – Fairhope, AL 36532 – (251) 928-0560
To select from agencies near you, see this complete selection of insurance agents in Fairhope.
Picking an car insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just the price. Ask your prospective agent these questions:
- Do they write coverage based solely on cost?
- Can glass claims be handled at your home?
- Will the quote change when the policy is issued?
- In the event of vehicle damage, can you pick the collision repair facility?
- Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
Do I just need basic coverages?
When buying the best auto insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is no cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is unique.
For example, these questions can help discover whether your personal situation might need professional guidance.
- Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
- Am I covered when driving in Canada or Mexico?
- Should I file a claim if it’s only slightly more than my deductible?
- Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
- Are all vehicle passengers covered by medical payments coverage?
- Do I need special endorsements for business use of my vehicle?
- Am I getting all the discounts available?
- When would I need rental car insurance?
If you can’t answer these questions but you know they apply to you, you might consider talking to an agent. If you don’t have a local agent, take a second and complete this form.
Additional information is located on the found here. Visitors are able to discover disciplinary actions, get help finding coverage, read consumer alerts, and view a list of available companies.
Lower rates by being persistent
Consumers switch companies for a variety of reasons including high rates after DUI convictions, high prices, not issuing a premium refund and even policy cancellation. Regardless of your reason for switching companies, finding a great new company is pretty simple and you could end up saving a buck or two.
There are still a few companies who do not provide online rate quotes and most of the time these regional carriers only sell through independent insurance agents. More affordable auto insurance can be purchased from both online companies as well as from independent agents in Fairhope, so compare prices from both to get a complete price analysis.
In this article, we covered some good ideas how to compare auto insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the better your comparison will be. Drivers may discover the lowest prices come from an unexpected company.