Expensive auto insurance can drain your savings account and put a big crunch on your finances. Shopping your coverage around is free, only takes a few minutes, and is a good way to lower your monthly bill.
Consumers have many insurance companies to pick from, and although it’s a good thing to be able to choose, it makes it harder to compare rates and cut insurance costs.
You need to take a look at other company’s rates quite often since insurance rates are adjusted regularly by insurance companies. Even if you got the lowest rates last year there is a good chance you can find better rates now. So just block out anything you think you know about auto insurance because you’re going to learn the quickest way to save money, get proper coverage and the best rates.
Understand what determines the rate you pay
Consumers need to have an understanding of the rating factors that play a part in calculating your auto insurance rates. Understanding what determines base rates helps enable you to make changes that may reward you with better auto insurance rates.
- Bump up deductibles to save – Physical damage coverage, commonly called comprehensive (or other-than-collision) and collision coverage, protects your car from damage. Examples of covered claims could be a windshield shattered by a rock, damage caused by hail, and burglary. Physical damage deductibles are the amount of money you are required to spend out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. The more money you’re willing to pay, the bigger discount you will receive.
- Poor driving leads to higher costs – A bad driving record has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Careful drivers tend to pay less for car insurance than bad drivers. Just one moving violation can boost insurance rates by twenty percent. If you have serious violations like reckless driving, hit and run or driving under the influence may find they need to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility with their state motor vehicle department in order to continue driving.
- Small claims can cost you – If you are a frequent claim filer, you can pretty much guarantee either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Car insurance companies in Virginia provide cheaper rates to policyholders who do not file claims often. Auto insurance is meant to be used in the event of the large, substantial claims.
- Drive less and save money – The more miles you rack up on your car every year the higher your rates will be. The majority of insurers charge to insure your cars based on how the vehicle is used. Cars and trucks left parked in the garage qualify for better rates compared to those used for work or business. Make sure your auto insurance policy is showing how each vehicle is driven.
- Allowing your policy to lapse raises rates – Allowing your coverage to lapse will be a guaranteed way to increase your auto insurance rates. 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.Then you may be required to submit proof of financial responsibility or a SR-22 with the Virginia motor vehicle department.
- Little extras can really add up – There are many extra bells and whistles that you can get tricked into buying when buying auto insurance. Things like roadside assistance, accidental death and membership fees may be wasting your money. These coverages may sound good when talking to your agent, but your needs may have changed so remove them from your policy.
- Consolidate policies to earn discounts – The majority of insurers will award you with lower prices to policyholders who carry more than one policy in the form of a multi-policy discount. Even though this discount sounds good, you may still want to shop around to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible. Consumers may find better rates by buying insurance from more than one company.
How to Compare Auto Insurance Costs in Poquoson
Most companies allow you to get insurance quotes directly from their websites. Getting quotes is fairly simple as you simply type in your required coverages as detailed in the form. When complete, the company’s rating system automatically orders credit information and your driving record and returns a price. Quoting online simplifies rate comparisons, but the time required to go to each company’s website and repetitively complete many quote forms is not the best way to spend an afternoon. But it’s very important to perform this step in order to get a better rate.
There is a better way!
The preferred way to lower your auto insurance bill uses one form to obtain quotes from several companies at one time. It’s a real time-saver, requires less work, and makes comparison shopping much more enjoyable and efficient. After sending your information, it gets priced and you are able to buy any or none of the quotes that you receive.
If you find a better price you can simply submit the application and buy the new coverage. It takes less than 15 minutes and you’ll know if lower rates are available.
To compare rates now, click here and submit your coverage information. If you have a policy now, it’s recommended you duplicate the limits and deductibles identical to your current policy. Doing this guarantees you will have a fair comparison using the exact same coverages.
Don’t overlook these discounts
Properly insuring your vehicles can get expensive, but you may find discounts that can drop the cost substantially. Some trigger automatically at the time of quoting, but some may not be applied and must be inquired about before being credited.
- Paperless Signup – A few companies may give you up to $50 just for signing your application digitally online.
- Driver Safety – Completing a course teaching defensive driving skills could save 5% or more if your company offers it.
- Student Driver Training – Cut your cost by having your teen driver successfully complete driver’s ed class if it’s offered in school.
- Anti-theft Discount – Cars that have factory anti-theft systems help deter theft and earn discounts up to 10%.
- Government Employees – Being employed by or retired from a federal job could cut as much as 10% off with certain companies.
- Accident Forgiveness – A few companies will allow you to have one accident before hitting you with a surcharge if your claims history is clear for a set time period.
- Homeowners Savings – Being a homeowner can help you save on auto insurance because owning a home shows financial diligence.
- Payment Discounts – By paying your policy upfront instead of paying each month you can actually save on your bill.
A little note about advertised discounts, most credits do not apply to your bottom line cost. Some only apply to individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. Just because it seems like you could get a free auto insurance policy, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous. Any amount of discount will bring down your premiums.
To see a list of insurance companies who offer auto insurance discounts in Virginia, click here to view.
Is my situation unique?
When it comes to choosing proper insurance coverage for your vehicles, there really is not a cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is unique so your insurance needs to address that. These are some specific questions can help discover whether you may require specific advice.
- What if I don’t agree with a claim settlement offer?
- Can I afford to buy a different vehicle if my vehicle is totaled?
- Does my insurance cover a custom paint job?
- Is my vehicle covered for flood damage?
- Are my friends covered when driving my vehicle?
- Do I have coverage if my license is suspended?
- What can I do if my company denied a claim?
- Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?
- At what point should I drop full coverage?
Additional auto insurance information can be found on the website for the Virginia Bureau of Insurance through this link. Visitors are able to find disaster information, file complaints about a company, and learn about specific coverages.
Smart consumers save more
In this article, we presented a lot of information how to shop for auto insurance online. The most important thing to understand is the more times you quote, the better your chances of lowering your rates. Consumers could even find that the biggest savings come from a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising. These companies may have significantly lower rates on certain market segments than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm, GEICO and Nationwide.
Cheap auto insurance is available online and also from your neighborhood Poquoson agents, so you should compare both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance providers may not provide online quoting and these small insurance companies work with independent agents.
While you’re price shopping online, don’t be tempted to buy less coverage just to save a little money. There are many occasions where an accident victim reduced comprehensive coverage or liability limits and learned later that the savings was not a smart move. The ultimate goal is to get the best coverage possible at an affordable rate while still protecting your assets.