I can’t think of anyone who likes paying for auto insurance, especially knowing they are paying too much. Many auto insurance companies vie to insure your vehicles, so it can be very hard to choose a company and get the best coverage at the best rate
Smart consumers take time to check auto insurance prices at least once a year because insurance rates are rarely the same from one policy term to another. Just because you had the best rates six months ago other companies may now be cheaper. You’ll find quite a bit of inaccurate information about auto insurance on the internet, so we’re going to give you a lot of great tips on how to reduce your auto insurance bill.
Verify you’re getting all your discounts
Companies that sell car insurance don’t always advertise every available discount in an easy-to-find place, so the following is a list of some of the best known as well as the least known savings tricks you should be using. If they aren’t giving you every credit available, you are paying more than you should be.
- Military Discounts – Being deployed with a military unit could be rewarded with lower premiums.
- Paperwork-free – A handful of insurance companies give back up to $50 for buying a policy and signing up online.
- Defensive Driving Course – Taking part in a course in driver safety could cut 5% off your bill if your company offers it.
- Anti-lock Brakes – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles prevent accidents and will save you 10% or more.
- Drivers Ed for Students – Have your child take driver’s ed class in high school.
- Accident Forgiveness – A few companies permit an accident before raising your premiums if you are claim-free for a particular time prior to the accident.
- Pay Now and Pay Less – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of paying each month you can actually save on your bill.
- Early Switch Discount – Select companies give a discount for switching policies before your current policy expires. It’s a savings of about 10%.
- Seat Belt Usage – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts can save up to 15% off your medical payments premium.
It’s important to note that most credits do not apply to the entire policy premium. Some only apply to individual premiums such as collision or personal injury protection. So even though it sounds like adding up those discounts means a free policy, you won’t be that lucky.
Buy Cheaper Auto Insurance with These Tips
Smart consumers have a good feel for the rating factors that come into play when calculating your auto insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what impacts premium levels helps enable you to make changes that may reward you with much lower annual insurance costs.
The list below includes a few of the “ingredients” that factor into rates.
- Are you male or female? – Statistics show women tend to be less risk to insure than men. However, don’t assume that women are BETTER drivers than men. Women and men tend to get into accidents at a similar rate, but the male of the species cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. Men also tend to have more aggressive citations like DUI and reckless driving.
- Where you live can impact rates – Being located in a small town has it’s advantages when talking about auto insurance. Drivers who live in large cities regularly have congested traffic and longer commutes to work. Lower population means a lower chance of having an accident and a lower car theft rate.
- What are your deductibles? – Physical damage coverage, termed comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, protects your car from damage. Examples of covered claims are a windshield shattered by a rock, damage from fire, and windstorm damage. Your deductibles are the amount of money you are willing to pay out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. The more expense you’re willing to pay, the less your company will charge you for insurance.
- Add-on coverages can add up – There are quite a few extra bells and whistles that you can buy on your policy. Things like roadside assistance, towing coverage and membership fees may be costing you every month. They may seem good when talking to your agent, but your needs may have changed so remove them from your policy.
- Liability insurance protects assets – The liability section of your policy provides coverage when you are found liable for damages from an accident. It will provide legal defense starting from day one. Liability insurance is quite affordable compared to insuring for physical damage coverage, so do not skimp.
- Pleasure use saves money – The more you drive each year the higher your rate. Almost all companies apply a rate determined by how the vehicle is used. Cars and trucks left parked in the garage get more affordable rates than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Make sure your auto insurance policy is rated on the correct driver usage.
- One company can mean more discounts – Most companies provide better rates to people who carry more than one policy in the form of a multi-policy discount. Even if you’re getting this discount it’s still a good idea to compare other company rates to make sure you are getting the best deal. You may still be able to find a better deal by insuring with multiple companies.
- Performance influences rates – The performance of the vehicle you drive makes a huge difference in your rates. The most favorable rates are usually for lower performance four cylinder passenger models, but the cost you end up paying is determined by many additional factors.
Consumer auto insurance information in Indiana
Additional detailed information can be read at the Indiana Department of Insurance website. Consumers can learn about specific coverages, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, and view a list of available companies.
Other informative sites include this resource for Indiana auto insurance prices and this page of Bloomington insurance agents.
And the best car insurance company is…
Cheaper auto insurance is attainable both online in addition to many Bloomington insurance agents, and you need to comparison shop both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers do not provide the ability to get a quote online and most of the time these regional insurance providers sell through independent agents.
You just read quite a bit of information on how to compare auto insurance prices online. The key concept to understand is the more times you quote, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. You may even discover the lowest priced auto insurance comes from a smaller regional carrier. Smaller companies may have significantly lower rates on certain market segments than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm, Geico and Nationwide.
While you’re price shopping online, don’t be tempted to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There are many occasions where an insured cut physical damage coverage only to regret that their decision to reduce coverage ended up costing them more. Your focus should be to find the BEST coverage at the best price.