Overwhelmed by the crazy number of car insurance companies in Manitowoc? You’re not the only one! People have so many companies to choose from that it can be a real challenge to find better rates.
You should make it a habit to shop coverage around at least once a year because insurance rates go up and down regularly. Despite the fact that you may have had the best rates two years ago you will most likely find a better rate today. Ignore everything you know about car insurance because you’re about to find out the fastest and easiest way to find better coverage at a better price.
Factors that affect insurance rates
An important part of buying insurance is that you know some of the elements that go into determining the price you pay for car insurance. Understanding what impacts premium levels empowers consumers to make smart changes that could result in much lower annual insurance costs.
Listed below are a few of the “ingredients” used by your company to calculate premiums.
- Men are more aggressive – The statistics show that women are safer drivers than men. That doesn’t necessarily mean that women are BETTER drivers than men. Both sexes have accidents at about the same rate, but men cause more damage. Men also have more aggressive citations such as DWI and reckless driving. Young males tend to get in the most accidents and thus pay the highest rates.
- Optional equipment can affect rates – Owning a car with anti-theft technology or alarm system can save you a little every year. Theft prevention devices like LoJack tracking devices, vehicle tamper alarm systems or GM’s OnStar system can help prevent car theft.
- Your car insurance rates can be influenced by your job – Did you know your car insurance rates can be affected by your occupation? Careers like lawyers, business owners and accountants tend to pay higher rates than average because of job stress and lots of time spent at work. On the flip side, occupations such as pilots, athletes and performers have the lowest average rates.
- Always keep insurance in force – Driving without insurance is against the law and you will pay a penalty because you let your coverage have a gap. And not only will insurance be more expensive, failure to provide proof of insurance will get you a license revocation or jail time.You may have to prove you have insurance by filing a SR-22 with the Wisconsin motor vehicle department to get your license reinstated.
- Safer cars are cheaper to insure – Vehicles with high crash test scores get lower rates. These vehicles reduce injuries and lower injury rates means lower claim amounts and more competitive rates for policyholders.
Vehicle Insurance Comparison
There are several ways of comparing rate quotes from car insurance companies in your area. The recommended way to compare insurance prices involves getting comparison quotes online. This can be done in several different ways.
- The best way to find low rates is to use a rate comparison form like this one (opens in new window). This type of form keeps you from doing repetitive form submissions for each company you want a rate for. One form submission will get you price quotes from multiple low-cost companies. This is by far the quickest method.
- A slightly less efficient method to shop for car insurance online requires you to visit the website for every company you want to comare and request a quote. For sake of this example, let’s say you want comparison quotes from Auto-Owners, GEICO and GMAC. You would have to take the time to go to each site to enter your coverage information, and that’s why the first method is more popular.
To view a list of companies in Manitowoc, click here.
It’s your choice how you get your quotes, but ensure you are comparing identical coverages with every price quote. If each company quotes higher or lower deductibles it will be very difficult to determine the best price in Manitowoc. Slightly different insurance coverages can result in a big premium difference. And when quoting car insurance, remember that comparing more company’s prices will increase your chances of finding better pricing.
Save $386 a year? Really?
Allstate, GEICO and Progressive constantly bombard you with ads on TV and radio. All the companies make an identical promise of big savings if you switch to them. But how can every company claim to save you money?
Different companies have a preferred profile for the type of customer that makes them money. For example, a driver they prefer might be over the age of 50, has no tickets, and has a short commute. A customer who matches those parameters will get the preferred rates and is almost guaranteed to cut their rates substantially.
Potential insureds who are not a match for the “perfect” profile must pay a more expensive rate which usually ends up with the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads say “people who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much money. That’s why companies can truthfully make those claims. This illustrates why drivers should get a wide range of price quotes. Because you never know which car insurance company will fit your personal profile best.
Discounts are available to cut your rates
Auto insurance companies don’t list all available discounts in a way that’s easy to find, so we break down both well-publicized and also the lesser-known car insurance savings.
- Student in College – Children who are attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle may qualify for this discount.
- Drive Less and Save – Fewer annual miles can earn better rates on cars that stay parked.
- Multi-car Discount – Buying coverage for more than one vehicle on the same car insurance policy could earn a price break for each car.
- Homeowners Pay Less – Owning a house in Manitowoc can help you save on car insurance because maintaining a house is proof that your finances are in order.
- Driver’s Ed – Cut your cost by having your teen driver take driver’s ed class in school.
- Defensive Driving Course – Successfully completing a defensive driving course could save 5% or more if you qualify.
- Payment Discounts – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save 5% or more.
- Anti-theft System – Vehicles with anti-theft systems prevent vehicle theft and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Club Memberships – Being a member of a qualifying organization is a good way to get lower rates when shopping for car insurance.
- No Accidents – Good drivers with no accidents can save substantially when compared to bad drivers.
Drivers should understand that most discounts do not apply to the entire policy premium. Most only cut individual premiums such as collision or personal injury protection. Just because you may think you could get a free car insurance policy, car insurance companies aren’t that generous.
To see a list of companies who offer car insurance discounts in Wisconsin, click here to view.
Everyone needs different coverages
When choosing proper insurance coverage for your vehicles, there really is not a cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is unique.
These are some specific questions may help you determine if your situation may require specific advice.
- Is my vehicle covered by my employer’s policy when using it for work?
- Do I pay less if my vehicle is kept in my garage?
- Can I still get insurance after a DUI?
- Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?
- Am I covered if I crash into my own garage door?
- Are split liability limits better than a combined single limit?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions but you think they might apply to your situation then you might want to talk to an agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form.
Additional detailed information is located at the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance website. Wisconsin consumers can report car insurance fraud, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, read industry bulletins, and find disaster information.
Summing up your car insurance search
We just covered a lot of information how to save on car insurance. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. Consumers could even find that the lowest premiums are with some of the smallest insurance companies.
Drivers change insurance companies for any number of reasons including lack of trust in their agent, delays in paying claims, questionable increases in premium or even unfair underwriting practices. It doesn’t matter why you want to switch choosing a new company can be easy and end up saving you some money.
The cheapest car insurance can be found online as well as from independent agents in Manitowoc, and you should be comparing both to have the best chance of lowering rates. Some car insurance companies don’t offer online price quotes and these small insurance companies work with independent agents.