Sick and tired of being strong-armed to insure your vehicles every month? You’re in the same situation as millions of other consumers. Online insurance companies like Geico and Progressive continually hit you with ad campaigns and it is challenging if not impossible to ignore the promise of big savings and do the work needed to find the best deal.
You need to price shop coverage occasionally because prices go up and down regularly. Just because you had the lowest price six months ago there is a good chance you can find better rates now. There is a lot of bad information regarding auto insurance online but with this article, you’re going to get some proven techniques to find cheap auto insurance.
If you have a policy now or need a new policy, you can follow these tips to get lower rates and possibly find even better coverage. Finding affordable coverage in Ames is quite easy. Iowa vehicle owners just need to learn the best way to compare prices over the internet.
Make smart decisions and save
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the different types of things that go into determining auto insurance rates. Knowing what determines base rates enables informed choices that will entitle you to better auto insurance rates.
- Frequent auto insurance claims increase rates – Companies in Iowa provide discounts to drivers who do not rely on their insurance for small claims. If you frequently file small claims, you can definitely plan on either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Auto insurance is designed for the large, substantial claims.
- Rural vs Urban Areas – Choosing to live in less populated areas is a positive aspect when talking about auto insurance. Fewer people means a lower chance of having an accident as well as less vandalism and auto theft. Drivers in populated Iowa areas have more traffic problems and much longer commute distances. More time commuting means more change of being in an accident.
- Do you have a high stress job? – Did you know your job can affect your rates? Occupations such as lawyers, social workers and financial analysts are shown to have higher average rates due to job stress and lots of time spent at work. Conversely, occupations such as pilots, engineers and performers pay the least.
- Always keep insurance in force – Having an insurance coverage lapse will be a fast way to increase your auto insurance rates. And not only will your rates increase, but not being able to provide proof of insurance may earn you a revoked license or a big fine.
- Performance level impacts rates – The performance level of the vehicle you drive makes a big difference in how high your rates are. Small economy passenger models generally have the cheapest insurance rates, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
- Protect your assets with liability insurance – Your policy’s liability coverage is the coverage that protects you when you are found to be at fault for causing damage or personal injury in an accident. Liability provides legal defense coverage which can be incredibly expensive. Liability insurance is quite affordable as compared to coverage for physical damage, so do not skimp.
- Do you qualify for a multi-policy discount? – Most insurers give discounts to policyholders who buy several policies from them in the form of a multi-policy discount. Even though this discount sounds good, you may still want to comparison shop to verify if the discount is saving money.
- Theft deterrents lower rates – Owning a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can get you a discount on your auto insurance. Anti-theft features such as LoJack tracking devices, vehicle tamper alarm systems or GM’s OnStar system can help prevent your vehicle from being stolen.
Are you getting all your discounts?
Companies that sell car insurance don’t always advertise every available discount in an easy-to-find place, so we researched both the well known and the more hidden savings tricks you should be using. If they aren’t giving you every credit possible, you are throwing money away.
- Save over 55 – Mature drivers may be able to get a discount up to 10%.
- Organization Discounts – Belonging to a qualifying organization is a good way to get lower rates when shopping for auto insurance.
- Payment Discounts – By paying your policy upfront instead of making monthly payments you may reduce your total bill.
- Student Driver Training – Require your teen driver to complete a driver education course if it’s offered in school.
- Discount for New Cars – Adding a new car to your policy can cost up to 25% less because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
- Homeowners Discount – Being a homeowner can help you save on auto insurance because of the fact that having a home shows financial diligence.
- College Student – Children who attend school more than 100 miles from home and do not have access to a covered vehicle may qualify for this discount.
It’s important to understand that most discounts do not apply to your bottom line cost. Some only apply to individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. Even though it may seem like all those discounts means the company will pay you, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous.
To see a list of insurers who offer auto insurance discounts in Ames, click here.
When might I need an agent?
When choosing the right insurance coverage for your vehicles, there isn’t really a “best” method to buy coverage. Everyone’s needs are different and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. These are some specific questions might point out if you would benefit from professional advice.
- Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
- Who is covered when they drive my vehicle?
- Is my teen driver covered when they drive my company car?
- When do I need to add a new car to my policy?
- Do I qualify for additional discounts?
- Do I have coverage when using my vehicle for my home business?
- How high should my uninsured/underinsured coverage be in Iowa?
- Do I have any recourse if my insurance company denies a claim?
- What vehicles should carry emergency assistance coverage?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but one or more may apply to you then you might want to talk to an agent. If you don’t have a local agent, take a second and complete this form or click here for a list of auto insurance companies in your area. It only takes a few minutes and may give you better protection.
Online resources for education
Additional detailed information is available at the Iowa Insurance Division website. Iowa consumers can view agent and company licensing information, find out which companies have the most complaints, and learn about specific coverages.
Other useful links include NAIC.org’s Understanding your Policy and this page of insurance agents in Ames.
Shop smart and save
You just learned some good ideas how to reduce auto insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more rate comparisons you have, the higher the chance of saving money. You may be surprised to find that the most savings is with a smaller regional carrier. Some small companies can often provide lower rates in certain areas as compared to the big name companies such as Allstate or State Farm.
Affordable auto insurance is attainable from both online companies and also from your neighborhood Ames agents, so you should compare both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers may not provide online price quotes and these regional insurance providers work with independent agents.