No one in their right mind likes paying for auto insurance, in particular when their premiums are through the roof.
Consumers have many auto insurance companies to buy insurance from, and although it’s a good thing to have a choice, having more car insurance companies makes it harder to adequately compare rates.
It’s a good idea to compare prices before your policy renews since insurance rates are adjusted regularly by insurance companies. If you had the best rates last year you may be paying too much now. You’ll find quite a bit of inaccurate information about auto insurance on the internet, so with this article, you’re going to get a lot of great tips on how to find affordable auto insurance.
Make smart decisions and save
An important part of buying insurance is that you know some of the elements that go into determining auto insurance rates. Understanding what influences your rates enables informed choices that can help you get big savings.
Listed below are a few of the “ingredients” auto insurance companies consider when setting your rates.
- Drive a safer car and pay less – Vehicles with high crash test scores tend to have better insurance rates. Safe vehicles have better occupant injury protection and fewer injuries translates into fewer and smaller insurance claims and lower rates for you.
- Please use or commuting – The more miles you rack up on your car each year the higher your rate. Most companies apply a rate determined by how the vehicle is used. Vehicles not used for work or commuting receive lower rates as compared to vehicles used primarily for driving to work. Ask your agent if your auto insurance policy shows how each vehicle is driven, because improper ratings can cost you money.
- Is your vehicle built for speed? – The make and model of the car you drive makes a big difference in the rate you pay. Small economy passenger cars generally have the cheapest insurance rates, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
- Special features that cut premiums – Owning a car with an alarm system can help bring down rates. Theft prevention features such as LoJack tracking devices, vehicle tamper alarm systems or GM’s OnStar system can help prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
- Poor credit can mean higher rates – Having a bad credit rating is a huge factor in determining your rates. Drivers with high credit scores tend to file fewer claims and have better driving records than drivers who have poor credit. Therefore, if your credit score can use some improvement, you could pay less to insure your by improving your rating.
- Liability coverage protects you – Liability coverage is the protection in the event that you are found liable for damages caused by your negligence. Liability insurance provides legal defense which can be incredibly expensive. Liability is cheap when compared with rates for comp and collision, so do not skimp.
- Don’t cancel a policy without a new one in place – Driving your car without having proper coverage is illegal and as a result your rates will increase for letting your coverage have a gap. And not only will your rates increase, but not being able to provide proof of insurance will get you a hefty fine and possibly a revoked license.
Cheap Altoona Auto Insurance Comparisons
All major auto insurance companies such as Progressive, Allstate and GEICO quote coverage price quotes on their websites. Getting quotes is pretty painless as you just enter the coverages you want into a form. When complete, the system automatically retrieves your driving record and credit report and gives you a price quote determined by many factors. Online quotes simplifies rate comparisons, but the time it takes to visit different websites and type in the same information gets old quite quickly. But it’s very important to compare as many rates as possible in order to find the lowest price.
An easier way to find better auto insurance pricing is to use a quote form that obtains quotes from many companies. The form is fast, helps eliminate reptitive entry, and makes online quotes much more efficient. After sending your information, it is quoted and you can select any one of the quotes that you receive.
If one or more price quotes are lower than your current rates, you can simply submit the application and purchase the new policy. This process takes just a few minutes to complete and you will find out if you’re overpaying now.
To quickly find out how much you can save on auto insurance, click here to open in new window and enter your vehicle and coverage information. If you have your current policy handy, we recommend you type in the coverage information as shown on your current policy. This way, you will have an apples-to-apples comparison for similar insurance coverage.
Don’t believe everything you hear
Auto insurance companies such as Progressive, Allstate and GEICO consistently run ads in print and on television. They all seem to say the same thing that you can save if you change to them. How do they all make almost identical claims?
All companies are able to cherry pick for the right customer that earns them a profit. An example of a preferred risk could be between the ages of 40 and 55, has no tickets, and has great credit. A customer getting a price quote who fits that profile will get the preferred rates and as a result will probably save when switching.
Potential customers who don’t measure up to the “perfect” profile will be charged higher rates which usually ends up with business not being written. The ads say “customers who switch” not “people who quote” save that much. This is how insurance companies can claim big savings.
That is why drivers should get a wide range of price quotes. You cannot predict which insurance companies will have the lowest rates.
More discounts equal less premium
Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, buy you may qualify for discounts to reduce the price significantly. Certain discounts will be triggered automatically at the time of purchase, but less common discounts must be specifically requested before they will apply.
- College Student – Kids in college who attend school more than 100 miles from home without a vehicle on campus may qualify for this discount.
- Payment Method – If paying your policy premium upfront rather than paying monthly you could save 5% or more.
- Good Student – This discount can save 20 to 25%. This discount can apply until age 25.
- Sign Early and Save – A few companies offer discounts for signing up before your current expiration date. It can save you around 10%.
- Discount for New Cars – Insuring a new car can save up to 30% since new cars are generally safer.
- Federal Government Employee – Simply working for the federal government may qualify you for a discount with a few auto insurance companies.
Drivers should understand that most discount credits are not given to the entire policy premium. Most only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. Just because you may think you would end up receiving a 100% discount, companies don’t profit that way. But all discounts will cut your premiums.
For a list of insurers with discount auto insurance rates in Altoona, click here.
Neighborhood agents for auto insurance
Certain consumers prefer to talk to a local agent and that is just fine! One of the great benefits of comparing insurance prices online is the fact that you can find better rates and still choose a local agent. Buying from local insurance agencies is important particularly in Altoona.
Upon completion of this quick form, the coverage information gets sent to local insurance agents in Altoona who will give you bids for your insurance coverage. You don’t have to even leave your home as quotes are delivered to your email. How’s that for easy! You can find better rates AND an agent nearby.
To view licensed agents in Altoona, visit this site.
Choosing a company requires more thought than just a cheap price. Agents should be asked these questions:
- Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
- How long has their agency been in business in Altoona?
- Do they have advanced training designations such as CPCU, AAI, AIC, or CIC?
- Do they receive special compensation for putting your coverage with one company over another?
- What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
After receiving reasonable responses for all questions you ask and an affordable coverage quote, you may have just found an insurer that will properly service your auto insurance policy.
Do I need special coverages?
When it comes to buying proper insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is not a best way to insure your cars. Every insured’s situation is different and your policy should reflect that. For example, these questions may help you determine if your situation might need professional guidance.
- What is covered by UM/UIM coverage?
- When does my teenage driver need to be added to my policy?
- Does liability extend to a camper or trailer?
- Does my medical payments coverage pay my health insurance deductible?
- Should I buy additional glass protection?
- Why does it cost so much to insure a teen driver in Altoona?
- Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
- Am I covered if I drive in a foreign country?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you know they apply to you, you might consider talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, fill out this quick form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area.
Additional auto insurance information can be found on the website for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department located here. Visitors are able to read enforcement actions against agents and companies, find out industry alerts, and download brochures.
Cost effective auto insurance is attainable on the web and also from your neighborhood Altoona agents, and you need to comparison shop both in order to have the best chance of saving money. Some companies may not provide you the ability to get quotes online and these small, regional companies work with independent agents.
As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, make sure you don’t sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where consumers will sacrifice full coverage only to regret that the savings was not a smart move. Your focus should be to buy enough coverage at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.