Are you tired of being strong-armed to keep your car insured? You are in the same boat as many other South Dakota consumers. You have multiple car insurance companies to insure vehicles with, and although it’s a good thing to have multiple companies, so many choices can make it hard to find the best rates for your vehicles.
You should make it a habit to get comparison quotes quite often since prices go up and down regularly. Even if you got the lowest rate a year ago you can probably find a lower rate today. Block out anything you think you know about car insurance because I’m going to teach you the best way to save on car insurance.
How to lower your car insurance prices
Smart consumers have a good feel for the different types of things that go into determining your premiums. If you have some idea of what controls the rates you pay, this enables informed choices that may result in better car insurance rates. Many different elements are used when you get your auto insurance bill. Some are obvious such as your driving record, but other criteria are more transparent like where you live or your vehicle rating.
The list below includes a partial list of the pieces companies use to determine your premiums.
- Raising deductibles lowers prices – The deductibles tell how much the insured will be required to pay if you file a covered claim. Physical damage protection, commonly called comprehensive (or other-than-collision) and collision coverage, is used to repair damage to your car. Some examples of covered claims could be a windshield broken by a bird, collision with a deer, or theft of your vehicle. The more money you are required to pay out-of-pocket, the lower your rates will be.
- Do you know you’re credit history? – Having a bad credit score is a big factor in calculating your car insurance rates. Drivers who have very good credit scores tend to be more responsible and file fewer claims than those with lower credit scores. If your credit is not that good, you could save money insuring your vehicle by taking the time to improve your credit score.
- Additional coverages that may be costing you – Insurance companies have many extra add-on coverages that you can get tricked into buying if you aren’t careful. Insurance for coverage for rental cars, accidental death, and extra equipment coverage may be costing you every month. They may sound like good ideas when buying your policy, but now you might not need them so remove them from your policy.
- Men drivers tend to cost more – Over the last 30 years, statistics show that females tend to be a little less risky than males. The data does not necessarily mean that men are worse drivers. Females and males tend to get into auto accidents in similar percentages, but the men have accidents that have higher claims. In addition to higher claims, males also get more serious tickets like driving under the influence (DUI). Teenage male drivers tend to get in the most accidents and therefore pay the highest rates.
- Companies want multiple policies – Most major car insurance companies provide discounts to customers that buy multiple policies such as combining an auto and homeowners policy. The discount can add up to anywhere from five to ten percent in most cases. Even with this discount, drivers will still want to compare other company rates to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible. You may still be able to find a better deal by splitting coverages up.
- Tickets cost more than a fine – A bad driving record has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Drivers with clean records pay less for auto insurance compared to bad drivers. Just one speeding ticket may increase your cost forty percent or more. Drivers who have serious violations like DWI, reckless driving or hit and run convictions may be required to submit a SR-22 form with their state DMV in order to prevent their license from being revoked.
To find cheap prices, there are a couple of ways to get quotes from companies that offer car insurance in South Dakota. The recommended way to comparison shop consists of shopping online. This can be accomplished using a couple different methods.
- The most recommended method to get quotes for comparison is to use a rate comparison form like this one (opens in new window). This quick form keeps you from doing repetitive form entry for each company you want a rate for. A single form will return price quotes direct from many companies.
- Another way to compare rate quotes requires a trip to the website for each individual company and request a quote. For example, let’s assume you want to compare prices for Progressive, Esurance and American Family. In order to compare rates, you need to navigate to each company’s site to enter your coverage information, which is not fast way to get rate quotes. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Crooks, click here.
- The old school method to find and compare rates is physically going to insurance agencies in your area. Quoting online has reduced the need for local agents unless you have a complicated situation and need the guidance that only an agent can give. Although you can find lower rates online and still use a local agent.
However you get your quotes, make sure you use the same deductibles and coverage limits with each company. If the quotes have higher or lower deductibles it’s not possible to decipher which rate is best in Crooks. Even a minor difference in coverages can result in a big premium difference. Just keep in mind that comparing more company’s prices helps improve the odds of finding more affordable rates.
Car insurance discounts are available to cut your rates
Some providers don’t necessarily list every possible discount very well, so we researched a few of the more common as well as some of the hidden credits available to you.
- Onboard Data Collection – Insureds that choose to allow driving data submission to analyze driving manner by installing a telematics device like In-Drive from State Farm and Progressive’s Snapshot may see discounts if they have good driving habits.
- Theft Deterent Discount – Cars, trucks, and SUVs optioned with advanced anti-theft systems are stolen with less frequency and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
- No Claims – Good drivers with no accidents are rewarded with significantly better rates on in comparison to policyholders that have many claims.
- Life Insurance – Select insurance companies reward you with a discount if you purchase life insurance.
- Club Memberships – Affiliation with a professional or civic organization may earn a discount on car insurance.
- Low Miles Discount – Low mileage vehicles may enable drivers to earn discounted rates on garaged vehicles.
- Safe Driver Discounts – Insureds who avoid accidents can save as much as half off their rates as compared to drivers with claims.
- Smart Student Discounts – A discount for being a good student may save as much as 25% on a . Earning this discount can benefit you up to age 25.
A little note about advertised discounts, many deductions do not apply to the entire cost. Some only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. So despite the fact that it appears it’s possible to get free car insurance, company stockholders wouldn’t be very happy.
Popular car insurance companies and some of the discounts are included below.
- State Farm has savings for defensive driving training, student away at school, multiple policy, good driver, and safe vehicle.
- GEICO may include discounts for multi-vehicle, five-year accident-free, membership and employees, anti-theft, and daytime running lights.
- SAFECO offers discounts including anti-lock brakes, bundle discounts, accident prevention training, teen safe driver, and drive less.
- Farmers Insurance policyholders can earn discounts including bundle discounts, pay in full, multi-car, youthful driver, and alternative fuel.
- AAA offers discounts for good student, good driver, multi-policy, multi-car, pay-in-full, education and occupation, and anti-theft.
- USAA may have discounts that include family discount, good student, multi-vehicle, loyalty savings, new vehicle, and defensive driver.
Before you buy a policy, ask every prospective company which discounts you may be entitled to. Savings might not be available to policyholders in Crooks. To view insurers with discount rates in South Dakota, click here.
Neighborhood insurance agents
Some people just want to have an agent’s advice and that is not a bad decision A nice benefit of getting online price quotes is the fact that drivers can get cheap car insurance quotes and still have an agent to talk to. Buying insurance from local agencies is important especially in Crooks.
To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this quick form, the quote information is immediately sent to local insurance agents who will return price quotes for your car insurance coverage. It simplifies rate comparisons since you won’t have to contact an agency as quotes are delivered to you directly. You’ll get the best rates AND an agent nearby. If for some reason you want to get a comparison quote from a specific insurance company, don’t hesitate to navigate to their website and fill out their quote form.
If you’re trying to find a local agent, it’s helpful to know the different types of agencies and how they differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Crooks agents can be described as either captive or independent.
Independent Insurance Agents
Agents of this type often have affiliation with several companies so they can quote policies with an assortment of companies and potentially find a lower price. If your premiums go up, they simply move your policy to a different company and you can keep the same agent. When comparing rate quotes, you should always include independent agents to have the most options to choose from.
Listed below are independent insurance agencies in Crooks that may be able to give price quote information.
White Insurance – 409 N West Ave – Crooks, SD 57020 – (605) 543-5722
Captive Car Insurance Agents
These type of agents can only provide one company’s prices like Farmers Insurance, Allstate, or State Farm. These agents are not able to compare other company’s rates so they are skilled at selling on more than just price. Captive agents are trained well on their company’s products and that enables them to sell even at higher rates.
Finding the right auto insurance agent should depend on more than just the premium amount. These questions are important to ask:
- Are they full-time agents?
- Are they involved in claim handling?
- If independent agents, which companies do they recommend?
- Is there a local claims center in Crooks?
- Can they help ensure a fair claim settlement?
More information can be found on the South Dakota Division of Insurance website located here. South Dakota consumers can learn about specific coverages, read consumer alerts, find disaster information, and find a variety of consumer forms.
The best insurance company isn’t always the cheapest
Throughout this article, we presented many tips how you can shop for car insurance online. The key concept to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the better chance you’ll have of finding . You may be surprised to find that the most savings is with a smaller regional carrier. These smaller insurers may have significantly lower premium rates on certain market segments as compared to the big name companies such as Allstate and Progressive.
More affordable car insurance is attainable online and from local insurance agents, so you need to with both to have the best rate selection. Some insurance companies may not have online rate quotes and most of the time these regional carriers prefer to sell through independent agents.
As you , it’s not a good idea to sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where someone dropped full coverage to discover at claim time that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. The proper strategy is to purchase a proper amount of coverage at the lowest possible cost and still be able to protect your assets.