Overpriced auto insurance can drain your checking account and put a big crunch on your finances. Shopping your coverage around is free and is an excellent way to lower your monthly bill. Lots of insurance companies contend for your hard-earned dollar, so it can be very hard to choose a company and get the best coverage at the lowest rate
It’s a good idea to shop coverage around on a regular basis because rates fluctuate regularly. If you had the best price a year ago you will most likely find a better rate today. Don’t believe everything you read about auto insurance on the web, but I’m going to show you some proven techniques to buy auto insurance cheaper.
Understand what determines the rate you pay
It’s important that you understand some of the elements that play a part in calculating auto insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what controls the rates you pay enables informed choices that can help you get much lower annual insurance costs.
- How’s your driving record? – Even a single speeding ticket may increase your cost forty percent or more. Drivers with clean records tend to pay less for car insurance than their less careful counterparts. Drivers who get dangerous violations such as hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may be required to submit a SR-22 form with the DMV in their state in order to prevent a license revocation.
- Never allow your policy to lapse – Driving with no insurance is illegal and as a result your rates will increase for letting your coverage have a gap. And not only will insurance be more expensive, failure to provide proof of insurance may earn you a license revocation or jail time.
- Clean credit earns discounts – Having a bad credit score is a important factor in determining your rates. Drivers with excellent credit tend to file fewer claims and have better driving records than drivers with lower credit scores. If your credit score is low, you could save money insuring your by improving your rating.
- Keep rates low by being claim-free – Companies in Maryland generally give discounts to insureds who do not rely on their insurance for small claims. If you frequently file small claims, you can pretty much guarantee either policy cancellation or increased premiums. Your insurance policy is designed for major claims that would cause financial hardship.
- What type of vehicle do you drive? – The type of car you are insuring makes a huge difference in determining your rates. Low performance passenger cars receive the most favorable rates, but the final cost of insurance is determined by many other factors.
- Your location is important – Choosing to live in less populated areas has it’s advantages when insuring your vehicles. Fewer drivers means reduced accidents and a lower car theft rate. Drivers in populated Maryland areas regularly have congested traffic and longer commute times. Higher commute times means higher likelihood of an accident.
- One company can mean more discounts – The majority of companies provide better rates to customers who buy several policies from them such as combining an auto and homeowners policy. This can amount to anywhere from five to ten percent in most cases. Even though this discount sounds good, it’s still a good idea to comparison shop to make sure you are getting the best deal. Consumers may find a better deal by buying insurance from more than one company.
- Optional equipment can affect rates – Choosing a vehicle with an alarm system can save you a little every year. Theft prevention devices such as GM’s OnStar, tamper alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers can thwart your car from being stolen.
How to Compare Auto Insurance Quotes in Greenbelt
All the larger auto insurance companies like Progressive, Geico, Allstate and State Farm give price estimates on their websites. Getting quotes is fairly simple as you simply enter your coverage preferences into the quote form. Once entered, their system collects your driving and credit reports and gives you a price quote based on many factors. This helps simplify price comparisons, but having to visit many different websites and enter the same data into a form can be a bit tiresome and repetitive. But it’s very important to compare as many rates as possible if you want to find better auto insurance pricing.
There is a better way to compare rates
The easiest way to compare rates utilizes a single form to get prices from a lot of companies. This type of form saves time, requires much less work on your part, and makes comparison shopping much easier. After sending the form, it is quoted and you can select any of the price quotes you receive. If a lower price is quoted, you simply finish the application and buy the policy. This process takes just a few minutes to complete and may save quite a bit of money.
To find out if lower rates are available, click here to open in a new tab and complete the simple form. If you have a policy now, it’s recommended you type in the coverage information as shown on your current policy. Using the same limits helps guarantee you will be getting a fair comparison using the exact same coverages.
Lower rates by qualifying for discounts
Auto insurance companies don’t necessarily list all available discounts in an easy-to-find place, so we took the time to find both well-publicized as well as the least known ways to save on auto insurance. If they aren’t giving you every credit you qualify for, you are paying more than you should be.
- No Claims – Claim-free drivers can save substantially as compared to frequent claim filers.
- Braking Control Discount – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles can reduce accidents and will save you 10% or more.
- Discounts for Safe Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents may save up to 50% more than drivers with accidents.
- Early Signing – Some companies give discounts for switching to them prior to your current policy expiring. This can save 10% or more.
- More Vehicles More Savings – Having multiple cars or trucks on one policy could earn a price break for each car.
- Low Mileage – Keeping the miles down could be rewarded with discounted rates on garaged vehicles.
- Federal Government Employee – Simply working for the federal government can save as much as 8% depending on your company.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Vehicles with anti-theft systems prevent vehicle theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- New Car Discount – Insuring a new car can cost up to 25% less since new cars are generally safer.
Consumers should know that some of the credits will not apply to the entire policy premium. Most only reduce specific coverage prices like medical payments or collision. Even though it may seem like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, you won’t be that lucky.
To choose insurance companies offering auto insurance discounts in Greenbelt, follow this link.
What about my local Greenbelt agents?
Certain consumers just want to get advice from a local agent and that is OK! Insurance agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help in the event of a claim. The best thing about comparing rates online is you can get the lowest rates and still choose a local agent.
After filling out this short form, the coverage information is emailed to local insurance agents who will compete for your business. There is no reason to leave your house because quoted prices will be sent to the email address you provide. How cool is that?!
Selecting an insurance company should depend on more than just the premium amount. These questions are important to ask:
- Do they feel the quoted coverages are adequate?
- If you are a high risk driver, do they have special markets for your coverage?
- Do the companies they represent have a solid financial rating?
- Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
- Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
Pick the best auto insurance agent in Greenbelt for you
When searching for a local agent, there are two different types of agents that you can select. Agencies in Greenbelt are either captive or independent (non-captive). Both types can write coverage properly, but it’s good to learn how they are different since it can impact the selection process.
Captive insurance agents work for only one company and some examples include State Farm, AAA, Farmers Insurance or Allstate. Captives cannot provide prices from multiple companies so keep that in mind. Captive agents are usually quite knowledgeable on the products they sell and that can be a competitive advantage.
The following are captive agencies in Greenbelt that are able to give price quote information.
Allstate Insurance Co Counsel – 6411 Ivy Ln – Greenbelt, MD 20770 – (301) 220-1190
State Farm Insurance – 7707 Belle Point Dr – Greenbelt, MD 20770 – (301) 474-5007
Independent Agents (or Brokers)
Independent insurance agents are not locked into one company but rather can write business with any number of different companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. If you are not satisfied with one company, the business is moved internally and that require little work on your part. When searching for an agent, you should always include price quotes from several independent insurance agents to get the best comparison.
The following are independent agencies in Greenbelt that are able to give price quote information.
Telcom Insurance Group – 6301 Ivy Ln # 506 – Greenbelt, MD 20770 – (301) 220-3200
Clark Insurance – 7505 Greenway Center Dr # 3 – Greenbelt, MD 20770 – (301) 345-0103
For a full directory of licensed insurance agents in Greenbelt, click here to link.
Once you have positive responses to your questions and locked in a price quote, you’ve probably found an auto insurance agent that is a good match to provide auto insurance coverage.
When might I need an agent?
When choosing proper insurance coverage, there really is not a “perfect” insurance plan. Each situation is unique so your insurance needs to address that. For instance, these questions can aid in determining whether you would benefit from an agent’s advice.
- Does my vehicle need full coverage?
- How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
- Do I qualify for additional discounts?
- Does my insurance cover damage caused when ticketed for reckless driving?
- Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
- Am I covered when renting a car or should I buy coverage from the car rental agency?
- Does my policy pay for OEM or aftermarket parts?
- When should I drop full coverage on my vehicle?
- What vehicles should carry emergency assistance coverage?
- Where can I get insurance after a DUI in Maryland?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but a few of them apply, you may need to chat with a licensed insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and can help protect your family.
More tips and info about auto insurance is located at the Maryland Insurance Administration website. Consumers can view a list of available companies, read consumer alerts, file complaints about a company, and read state legal mandates and laws.
And the best car insurance company is…
Discount auto insurance can be sourced both online in addition to many Greenbelt insurance agents, so compare prices from both in order to have the best chance of saving money. Some auto insurance companies do not provide online price quotes and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
As you restructure your insurance plan, it’s very important that you do not reduce coverage to reduce premium. In many instances, someone dropped physical damage coverage only to find out that the savings was not a smart move. Your strategy should be to purchase plenty of coverage at an affordable rate while still protecting your assets.