Having to pay for overpriced auto insurance can diminish your savings account and force you to tighten up your finances. Doing a rate analysis is an excellent way to cut your insurance bill.
Companies like Allstate and Progressive persitently shower you with ad campaigns and it is challenging if not impossible to ignore the propoganda and take the time to shop coverage around.
It’s important to get comparison quotes every six months since insurance rates are constantly changing. Just because you had the best deal a year ago there may be better deals available now. Block out anything you think you know about auto insurance because you’re going to learn the tricks you need to know to save money, get proper coverage and the best rates.
You have control over your auto insurance premiums
Lots of things are part of the calculation when pricing auto insurance. Some are obvious such as your driving history, but other factors are not as apparent like your vehicle usage or your commute time. When buying auto insurance it’s important to understand the rating factors that aid in calculating auto insurance rates. If you have some idea of what positively or negatively impacts your premiums, this allows you to make good choices that will entitle you to big savings.
Shown below are some of the major factors used by your company to calculate premiums.
- Poor credit decisions can cost you – Your credit history can be an important factor in determining what you pay for auto insurance. Drivers who have excellent credit scores tend to be less risk to insure than drivers with poor credit scores. If your credit rating can use some improvement, you may save money insuring your vehicle by taking the time to improve your credit score.
- Location can impact price – Choosing to live in a small town is a positive aspect when buying auto insurance. People in densly populated areas have more traffic problems and more time behind the wheel. Fewer drivers and short commutes corresponds to lower accident rates in addition to fewer liability claims.
- Vehicles with better crash test results save money – Safe vehicles cost less to insure. Highly rated vehicles reduce the chance of injuries and any reduction in injury severity translates directly to fewer claims which can mean better rates for you.
- Low physical damage deductibles mean high costs – Protection for physical damage, termed comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, helps pay for damage to your vehicle. Some coverage claims are a broken side mirror, damage from fire, and damage caused by flying debris. The deductibles you choose tell how much the insured will be required to pay before your auto insurance pays a claim. The more the insured is willing to pay, the bigger discount you will receive.
- GPS tracking and theft deterrents lower auto insurance rates – Choosing to buy a car that has a built-in theft deterrent system can earn a premium discount. Systems that thwart theives like OnStar found on GM vehicles, advanced tracking like LoJack, and vehicle immobilization systems all help prevent car theft and help bring rates down.
Comparing auto insurance rates can take time and effort if you don’t know the easiest way. You can spend countless hours talking about coverages with local insurance agents in Visalia, or you could save time and use online quoting to maximize your effort.
Most of the best insurance companies are enrolled in a marketplace that allows shoppers to enter their policy data once, and every company returns a rated price based on that data. This prevents consumers from doing form submissions for each company you want a rate for.
To find out what other companies charge click to open in new window.
One minor caviat to getting quotes like this is that you can’t choose which carriers you want to price. If you prefer to choose from a list of companies to compare rates, we have a listing of auto insurance companies in California. Click here for list of insurance companies in California.
The approach you take is up to you, just try to keep the same coverage limits and deductibles for every quote you compare. If each company quotes higher or lower deductibles it’s not possible to make a fair comparison in Visalia. Slightly different insurance coverages or limits can result in a big premium difference. And when quoting auto insurance, remember that comparing all the rates in your area will enable you to find a lower rate than you’re paying now.
Misconceptions in auto insurance advertisements
Auto insurance providers like State Farm, Allstate and Geico consistently run ads on television and other media. They all try to convey promises that you’ll save big after switching to them. How do they all lower your rates? It’s all in how they say it.
Many companies offer their best rates for the type of customer that will be a good risk. For instance, a desirable risk could possibly be a mature driver, has no claims, and has excellent credit. A customer who fits that profile will probably get the lowest car insurance rates and have a good chance to save when they switch companies.
Consumers who do not fit the “perfect” profile may be required to pay higher prices and the customer not purchasing. If you listen to the ad wording, they say “customers who switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that much money. That is how insurance companies can make those claims.
Different companies use different criteria so you should compare price quotes frequently. It’s just too difficult to predict with any certainty which company will fit your personal profile best.
Cheaper California auto insurance rates with discounts
Companies offering auto insurance don’t always publicize all disounts in an easy-to-find place, so we took the time to find some of the more common as well as the least known credits that you can use to lower your rates.
- Defensive Driver Discount – Taking part in a driver safety course could save 5% or more if your company offers it.
- Discount for Good Grades – Being a good student can earn a discount of 20% or more. Most companies allow this discount up to age 25.
- New Car Discount – Buying insurance coverage on a new vehicle can get you a discount since newer models have better safety ratings.
- Telematics Devices – Drivers who elect to allow data collection to track driving patterns by using a telematics device such as Progressive’s Snapshot and State Farm’s In-Drive could see a rate decrease if they exhibit good driving behavior.
- Low Miles Discount – Fewer annual miles could qualify for cheaper auto insurancerates.
- Discounts for Government Workers – Active or retired federal employment could qualify for a slight premium decrease but check with your company.
- Active Service Discounts – Having a family member in the military could be rewarded with lower premium rates.
- Claim-Free Discount – Good drivers with no accidents pay less in comparison to drivers who are more careless.
Remember that most credits do not apply to all coverage premiums. Some only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as medical payments or collision. Just because it seems like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, companies wouldn’t make money that way.
A list of auto insurance companies and a selection of discounts are outlined below.
- Farmers Insurance offers discounts for distant student, youthful driver, homeowner, electronic funds transfer, and pay in full.
- State Farm discounts include anti-theft, accident-free, driver’s education, passive restraint, good driver, Drive Safe & Save, and defensive driving training.
- Liberty Mutual may include discounts for exclusive group savings, teen driver discount, safety features, new graduate, newly married, newly retired, and multi-policy.
- MetLife policyholders can earn discounts including claim-free, defensive driver, good driver, multi-policy, accident-free, and good student.
- Progressive offers discounts including multi-policy, homeowner, online signing, continuous coverage, and multi-vehicle.
When comparing rates, check with every prospective company which credits you are entitled to. Some discounts may not apply to policies in your state. If you would like to see a list of auto insurance companies with the best discounts in California, follow this link.
Do I need an insurance agent?
A small number of people just prefer to go talk to an agent and often times that is recommended One of the best bonuses of getting online price quotes is that you can find cheap auto insurance quotes and still choose a local agent. Buying from neighborhood agents is important especially in Visalia.
To find an agent, once you fill out this short form, your information is submitted to local insurance agents in Visalia who will return price quotes and help you find cheaper coverage. You won’t need to find an agent on your own since price quotes are sent directly to your email. Get lower rates and a licensed agent to talk to. If you want to compare rates for a specific company, don’t hesitate to jump over to their website and fill out their quote form.
When looking for a reputable agency, there are two different types of agents that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Visalia agents are either independent or captive.
Independent Auto Insurance Agents (or Brokers)
Agents that choose to be independent often have many company appointments and that gives them the ability to insure with many different companies and get the cheapest rates. To move your coverage to a new company, your agent can switch companies which requires no work on your part.
When comparing auto insurance prices, you will definitely want to compare prices from several independent insurance agents in order to compare the most rates.
Featured below are Visalia independent insurance agencies that can give you competitive price quotes.
Stanley R Vollmer Insurance – 303 W Noble Ave – Visalia, CA 93277 – (559) 732-4168
Cost-U-Less Insurance Ctr – 2942 S Mooney Blvd # A – Visalia, CA 93277 – (559) 635-2444
Putnam Agency – 2912 W Main St # B – Visalia, CA 93291 – (559) 733-2513
Captive Insurance Agencies
These type of agents can only provide pricing for a single company like Farmers Insurance and State Farm. These agents are not able to shop your coverage around so always compare other rates. These agents are usually well trained on their products and sales techniques and that enables them to sell even at higher rates.
Listed below is a short list of captive agents in Visalia that are able to give price quotes.
State Farm Insurance – 5127 W Walnut Ave – Visalia, CA 93277 – (559) 625-2318
Allstate Insurance – 1608 E Mineral King Ave – Visalia, CA 93292 – (559) 741-2170
To find agents near you, visit this list of Visalia auto insurance providers.
Finding the right insurance agent is decision based upon more than just the price. These questions are important to ask:
- Which family members are covered?
- Are glass claims handled on-site or do you have to take your vehicle to a repair shop?
- When do they do a full risk review?
- Is there a 24/7 contact number?
- Where are claims handled?
- What insurance company do they write the most business with?
After getting acceptable answers to any questions you may have in addition to an acceptable price estimate, most likely you have located a car insurance agent that is reliable enough to provide auto insurance coverage.
Additional auto insurance information is available on the located here. Consumers can find out industry alerts, view a list of available companies, find out which companies have the most complaints, and download brochures.
The following information may also be useful.
You can find cheaper coverage
As you , you should never buy less coverage just to save a little money. There are many occasions where an insured cut collision coverage only to regret that the savings was not a smart move. Your objective should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best cost while not skimping on critical coverages.
In this article, we presented a lot of ways to save on auto insurance. The key concept to understand is the more companies you get premium rates for, the better likelihood of getting . You may be surprised to find that the best car insurance rates are with a small local company. Regional companies often have lower premium rates on specific markets compared to the large companies like State Farm and Allstate.