Are you burned out from trying to scrape together enough money to make your auto insurance payment? You are no different than many other Vermont drivers. Insurance companies such as Allstate, Progressive and GEICO promote their brand names with ads and it is difficult to separate fact from fiction and take the time to shop coverage around.
If you currently have car insurance, you stand a good chance to be able to cut costs considerably using these methods. Choosing the best insurance company for you in Bradford is quite easy. But Vermont vehicle owners can benefit from knowing how companies determine prices and take advantage of how the system works.
Find more affordable auto insurance with these tips
One of the most helpful ways to save on auto insurance is to to have a grasp of the rating factors that are used to determine your auto insurance rates. If you know what determines premiums, this allows you to make educated decisions that can earn you lower auto insurance prices. Multiple criteria are used in the calculation when you get a price on insurance. Some factors are common sense like a motor vehicle report, although some other factors are not as apparent such as your marital status and annual miles driven.
The list below includes some of the most common factors used by insurance companies to determine your prices.
- Premiums are affected by your credit rating – Having a good credit score is a large factor in your rate calculation. People that have good credit tend to be more responsible than drivers who have lower credit ratings. Therefore, if your credit rating could use some work, you could be paying less to insure your vehicle if you clean up your credit.
- Having a spouse brings a discount – Having a spouse may save some money on your policy. Having a significant other usually means you are more mature than a single person and insurance companies like that drivers who are married are more cautious.
- More people means more accidents – Living in small towns and rural areas can save you money when trying to find low car insurance rates. Fewer drivers on the road means less chance of accidents. People who live in big cities have more aggressive driving styles and more severe claims. Spending more time driving means more chance of being in an accident.
- High premiums for younger drivers – Older, more experienced drivers are shown to be more cautious, tend to cause fewer accidents and tend to be get fewer driving tickets.Inexperience drivers are statistically shown to be careless and easily distracted behind the wheel therefore auto insurance rates are much higher.
- Can a thief steal your car? – Driving a car that has a built-in theft deterrent system can get you a discount on your auto insurance. Theft prevention features like tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar all hinder car theft.
- Rates can drop if you have more than one policy – Most auto insurance companies will award lower prices to clients who consolidate policies with them, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can add up to as much as ten percent or more Even if you’re getting this discount drivers will still want to compare other insurance prices to help ensure you have the lowest rates. You may still save money by insuring with multiple companies.
- Inexpensive frequent claims are not good – If you file claims often, you should expect higher premiums or even policy non-renewal. Insurance companies in Vermont generally give discounts to drivers who are not frequent claim filers. Your insurance policy is intended for claims that pose a financial burden.
- Driving citations hurt – A bad driving record influences premium rates substantially. Having just one moving violation may increase your cost by twenty percent. Drivers who don’t get tickets pay lower auto insurance prices as compared to those with violations. Drivers who have gotten severe tickets such as reckless driving or DUI may need to file a SR-22 to the state department of motor vehicles in order to continue driving.
There are a variety of methods to compare auto insurance prices but there is one way that is easier and takes less work. You could waste a few hours talking to agents in Bradford, or you could use online quotes for quick rates.
The majority of car insurance companies enroll in a system where prospective buyers submit one quote, and each company returns a competitive quote determined by their information. This eliminates the need for quote forms to every company. To get comparison pricing now click here (opens in new window).
One minor caviat to doing it this way is buyers cannot specifically choose the companies you want to price. So if you want to choose individual companies for rate comparison, we put together a list of low cost auto insurance companies in Vermont. Click here for list of insurance companies in Vermont.
The approach you take is up to you, just make darn sure you compare equivalent deductibles and coverage limits for every company. If each company quotes different coverage information you will not be able to determine the lowest rate in Bradford. Quoting even small variations in coverages could skew the results. And when comparing auto insurance rates, know that comparing more rates from different companies helps locate the best offered rates. Some smaller insurers to not give online price quotes, so you need to compare price estimates from them as well.
You may qualify for discounts
Insurance can be prohibitively expensive, but you can get discounts that you may not even know about. Most are applied when you quote, but lesser-known reductions have to be requested specifically prior to getting the savings. If you aren’t receiving every discount possible, you may be paying too high a price.
- Responsible Driver Discount – Drivers without accidents can save up to 40% or more on their than less cautious drivers.
- Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Factory air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems may qualify for discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Accident Forgiveness – This one isn’t a discount, but some insurance companies will let one accident slide before they charge you more for coverage as long as you don’t have any claims prior to the accident.
- Drivers Ed for Students – Have your child complete a driver education course if offered at their school.
- Defensive Driving Course – Participating in a class that teaches defensive driving techniques may get you a small discount and make you a better driver.
- Auto/Home Discount – When you have multiple policies with one insurance company you could get a discount of nearly 15% which can help you find .
- Telematics Data Discounts – Policyholders that allow companies to monitor their driving habits through the use of a telematics system such as Snapshot from Progressive or Drivewise from Allstate may get a rate reduction as long as they are good drivers.
One last thing about discounts, most credits do not apply to the entire cost. Some only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. Just because it seems like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, it just doesn’t work that way.
A list of auto insurance companies and a selection of discounts are detailed below.
- Farm Bureau offers discounts for safe driver, youthful driver, 55 and retired, multi-policy, driver training, and renewal discount.
- State Farm may include discounts for good student, safe vehicle, accident-free, Steer Clear safe driver discount, driver’s education, and multiple autos.
- Progressive policyholders can earn discounts including online signing, multi-policy, good student, continuous coverage, homeowner, multi-vehicle, and online quote discount.
- Allstate discounts include eSmart discount, resident student, anti-theft, premier discount, good student, and new car.
- Nationwide may offer discounts for anti-theft, accident-free, multi-policy, easy pay, business or organization, good student, and Farm Bureau membership.
- MetLife has savings for good driver, claim-free, defensive driver, accident-free, and good student.
When getting a coverage quote, ask every prospective company which discounts they offer. Depending on the company, some discounts may not be offered everywhere. To choose providers with discount rates in Vermont, follow this link.
There’s no such thing as the perfect auto insurance policy
When it comes to buying coverage, there really is no cookie cutter policy. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs so your insurance needs to address that. For instance, these questions could help you determine if your insurance needs would benefit from professional advice.
- Does medical payments coverage apply to all occupants?
- Does my vehicle qualify for pleasure use?
- How high should my uninsured/underinsured coverage be in Vermont?
- Are split liability limits better than a combined single limit?
- Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
- What companies insure drivers after a DUI or DWI?
- What can I do if my company denied a claim?
- Should I buy more coverage than the required Vermont minimum liability coverage?
If you’re not sure about those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, then you may want to think about talking to an agent. To find lower rates from a local agent, take a second and complete this form or click here for a list of auto insurance companies in your area.
More tips and info about auto insurance can be read at the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation website. Consumers can read state legal mandates and laws, learn about insurance regulations, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and file complaints about a company.
Lower rates by being persistent
As you prepare to switch companies, never sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many instances, an accident victim reduced collision coverage and learned later that the savings was not a smart move. Your goal should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best possible price while still protecting your assets.
Cheaper auto insurance can be found on the web and also from your neighborhood Bradford agents, and you need to comparison shop both to have the best selection. Some insurance providers do not offer internet price quotes and these regional insurance providers only sell coverage through local independent agents.