Have you had enough of being strong-armed to pay your car insurance bill each month? You’re in the same situation as many other Montana consumers. Companies like Allstate, Progressive and GEICO all claim big savings, bombarding you with ads and consumers find it hard to ignore the flashy ads and find the best price available.
Discounts can save BIG
The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but companies offer discounts to help offset the cost. A few discounts will automatically apply when you complete an application, but some may not be applied and must be specifically requested prior to getting the savings. If you aren’t receiving every discount you deserve, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Claim Free – Good drivers with no accidents can earn big discounts compared to bad drivers.
- Federal Government Employee – Employees or retirees of the government can save as much as 8% with certain companies.
- Accident Forgiveness – A few companies permit an accident before hitting you with a surcharge so long as you haven’t had any claims prior to the accident.
- Low Mileage Discounts – Keeping the miles down can earn lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.
- Good Student – A discount for being a good student can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. The good student discount can last until age 25.
- Defensive Driver – Taking part in a course teaching defensive driving skills can save you 5% or more if you qualify.
- Pay Now and Pay Less – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of making monthly payments you could save up to 5%.
- Multiple Vehicles – Buying insurance for multiple vehicles on one policy can get a discount on all vehicles.
- Paperless Signup – Some insurance companies give back up to $50 just for signing your application on their website.
- Discounts for Safe Drivers – Drivers who avoid accidents can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than less cautious drivers.
A little note about advertised discounts, many deductions do not apply to all coverage premiums. The majority will only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as collision or personal injury protection. So when it seems like you can get free auto insurance, companies don’t profit that way. Any amount of discount will reduce your overall premium however.
For a list of insurers with the best auto insurance discounts in Harlowton, click this link.
How insurance companies determine rates
Consumers need to have an understanding of the rating factors that come into play when calculating your auto insurance rates. Knowing what impacts premium levels allows you to make educated decisions that could result in much lower annual insurance costs.
- Increase deductibles and save – Coverage for physical damage, commonly called comprehensive (or other-than-collision) and collision coverage, protects your car from damage. Some instances where coverage would apply would be a windshield shattered by a rock, vandalism, or theft. Physical damage deductibles are the amount of money you are required to spend if you file a covered claim. The more expense you are required to pay out-of-pocket, the bigger discount you will receive.
- Your age impacts your rates – Youthful drivers in Montana are statistically proven to be careless and easily distracted when behind the wheel so they pay higher auto insurance rates. Older insureds are more cautious drivers, tend to cause fewer accidents and are safer drivers.
- How many coverages with the same company – Many insurers will give a discount to insureds who buy several policies from them. It’s known as a multi-policy discount. Discounts can be five, ten or even twenty percent. If you currently are using one company, it’s in your best interest to comparison shop to confirm you are receiving the best rates possible. You may still find a better deal by buying auto insurance from a different company.
- Drive a safer car and pay less – Vehicles with high crash test scores tend to have better insurance rates. The safest vehicles have better occupant injury protection and lower injury rates means lower claim amounts and thus lower rates.
- Marriage pays dividends – Getting married helps lower the price on your policy. Having a spouse translates into being more mature than a single person and it’s statistically proven that being married results in fewer claims.
- Your car’s features help determine rates – Choosing a vehicle with an alarm system can save you a little every year. Anti-theft features like tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar can thwart your vehicle from being stolen.
- Do men or women drive better? – Statistics have proven that men are more aggressive behind the wheel. That doesn’t necessarily mean that men are WORSE drivers than women. They both tend to get into accidents at about the same rate, but the males cause more damage. They also receive more costly citations such as reckless driving. Teenage male drivers are most likely to cause an accident and therefore are the most expensive to insure.
- Traffic violations increase rates – Whether or not you get tickets has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Drivers who don’t get tickets get better rates than people who have multiple driving citations. Even a single citation can bump up the cost forty percent or more. Drivers with severe tickets like DUI or reckless driving are required to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility to the state department of motor vehicles in order to drive a vehicle legally.
Different people need different coverages
When buying the best auto insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is not a perfect coverage plan. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs so this has to be addressed. For example, these questions could help you determine whether your personal situation would benefit from professional advice.
- If my vehicle is totaled, can I afford another vehicle?
- Do I have coverage when making deliveries for my home business?
- When should my teen driver be added to my policy?
- Does coverage extend to a rental car in a foreign country?
- Can I afford low physical damage deductibles?
- What is high-risk coverage and where do I buy it?
- What happens if I owe more than my vehicle is worth?
- Do I need roadside assistance coverage?
- When should I remove comp and collision on my vehicle?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions but a few of them apply, you may need to chat with a licensed agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier It’s fast, doesn’t cost anything and can help protect your family.
Quote online but work with a neighborhood agent
Some people prefer to buy from a local agent and there is nothing wrong with that. Agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and give you someone to call. The biggest benefit of getting online price quotes is you may find the best rates but still work with a licensed agent. And supporting local agencies is important particularly in Harlowton.
Once you complete this form (opens in new window), your coverage information is emailed to agents in your area who will compete for your coverage. You won’t need to even leave your home because quoted prices will be sent straight to your inbox. How cool is that?!
The following is a list of car insurance companies in Harlowton willing to provide price quotes.
Farm Bureau Insurance – 106 D Ave NW, Harlowton, MT 59036 – (406) 632-4211
Farm Bureau Insurance – 106 D Ave NW, Harlowton, MT 59036 – (406) 632-4211
Picking an provider needs to be determined by more than just a low price. Ask your prospective agent these questions:
- Are they full-time agents?
- What insurance companies do they recommend if they are an independent agent?
- Do they carry Errors and Omissions coverage?
- How much will you save each year by using a higher deductible?
- How often do they review policy coverages?
- Can they provide you with a list of referrals?
- How long has their agency been open in Harlowton?
After receiving positive responses to any questions you have and an acceptable price quote, you have narrowed it down to an provider that is a good match to properly insure your vehicles.
The fine print in auto insurance ads
Montana consumers can’t ignore all the ads for the lowest price auto insurance from the likes of Progressive, Allstate and GEICO. All the companies have a common claim about savings after switching your coverage to them.
How can each company make almost identical claims? It’s all in the numbers.
All companies are able to cherry pick for the right customer that is profitable for them. For instance, a driver they prefer could be between the ages of 30 and 50, has no prior claims, and drives less than 7,500 miles a year. A customer getting a price quote who matches those parameters gets the lowest rates and most likely will save when switching.
Drivers who don’t qualify for these standards must pay more money which leads to business going elsewhere. The ad wording is “customers who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save money. That’s the way companies can truthfully make the claims of big savings.
This illustrates why drivers should get a wide range of price quotes. It is impossible to predict which company will have the lowest rates.
Montana insurance information
Additional auto insurance information is available on the website for the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance through this link. Montana consumers can learn about specific coverages, view agent and company licensing information, read industry bulletins, and read consumer alerts.
More quotes mean more savings
In this article, we presented some good ideas how to shop for auto insurance online. It’s most important to understand that the more quotes you get, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. You may even discover the lowest priced auto insurance comes from a smaller regional carrier. These smaller insurers can often insure niche markets at a lower cost compared to the large companies like Allstate or State Farm.
When shopping online for auto insurance, never buy poor coverage just to save money. In many cases, an insured cut comprehensive coverage or liability limits to discover at claim time that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. The ultimate goal is to purchase a proper amount of coverage at a price you can afford while still protecting your assets.
Cheaper auto insurance can be found online in addition to many Harlowton insurance agents, so compare prices from both to have the best chance of lowering rates. A few companies do not provide the ability to get a quote online and these small insurance companies work with independent agents.