Techniques for Effectively Comparing Big Timber Montana Auto Insurance Rates

Consumers not familiar with price shopping insurance online will discover purchasing cheap Big Timber auto insurance quite challenging.

It’s smart to shop coverage around once or twice a year due to the fact that insurance rates tend to go up over time. Even if you think you had the best deal a few years ago the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. Starting now, ignore everything you know about auto insurance because we’re going to show you one of the best ways to find better rates and still maintain coverage.

How to Compare Big Timber Auto Insurance Rates

All the larger auto insurance companies provide price estimates online. Getting online quotes is quite simple as you just enter your coverage preferences into a form. Behind the scenes, their system automatically retrieves your credit score and driving record and quotes a price based on many factors.

Online price quotes makes it a lot easier to compare rates but the time required to go to many different websites and enter the same data into a form is not the best way to spend an afternoon. But it’s very important to do this if you want to find the best price possible.

A less time-consuming method to locate the lowest prices uses one form that gets price quotes from several companies at one time. It’s a real time-saver, requires much less work on your part, and makes price shopping online much more efficient. After your information is entered, it gets priced and you can choose any or none of the returned quotes.

If the quotes result in lower rates, it’s easy to complete the application and buy the new coverage. It can be completed in less than 10 minutes and you will know how your current rates stack up.

In order to find out if lower rates are available, click here to open in a new tab and enter your information. If you currently have coverage, we recommend you replicate deductibles and limits exactly as shown on your declarations page. This makes sure you will be getting comparison quotes for exact coverage.

These discounts can lower your rates

The price of auto insurance can be rather high, but you can get discounts to help offset the cost. A few discounts will automatically apply at the time you complete a quote, but less common discounts must be specifically requested before you will receive the discount.

  • Federal Employees – Simply working for the federal government can earn a discount up to 10% with certain companies.
  • Discount for Swiching Early – A few companies offer discounts for switching to them prior to your current policy expiring. The savings is around 10%.
  • Anti-theft System – Vehicles with anti-theft systems prevent vehicle theft and earn discounts up to 10%.
  • Homeowners Pay Less – Being a homeowner can save you money because maintaining a house is proof that your finances are in order.
  • Club Memberships – Affiliation with certain professional organizations is a good way to get lower rates on your policy.
  • Multiple Policy Discount – If you insure your home and vehicles with one company you may save 10% to 20% off each policy.
  • New Vehicle Savings – Insuring a new car can be considerably cheaper due to better safety requirements for new cars.
  • Driver Safety – Successfully completing a course in driver safety can save you 5% or more if your company offers it.

As a disclaimer on discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given to the overall cost of the policy. Most only apply to the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. So when it seems like all those discounts means the company will pay you, you’re out of luck. Any qualifying discounts will help reduce the amount you have to pay.

To choose companies with the best auto insurance discounts in Montana, click here to view.

Why your price might be higher

Consumers need to have an understanding of some of the elements that help determine the rates you pay for auto insurance. Having a good understanding of what controls the rates you pay helps enable you to make changes that could result in lower auto insurance prices.

The following are a partial list of the pieces that factor into premiums.

  • Where do you drive? – Driving more miles in a year’s time the higher your rate. Almost all companies charge to insure your cars based on their usage. Cars and trucks that are left in the garage receive lower rates as compared to vehicles used primarily for driving to work. Verify your auto insurance coverage properly reflects the proper vehicle usage, because improper ratings can cost you money.
  • Frequent auto insurance claims increase rates – Car insurance companies in Montana award cheaper rates to insureds who file claims infrequently. If you frequently file small claims, you can pretty much guarantee higher rates. Your insurance policy is intended to be relied upon for the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
  • Special features that cut premiums – Choosing a vehicle with anti-theft technology or alarm system can help lower your rates. Theft prevention devices such as LoJack tracking devices, vehicle tamper alarm systems or GM’s OnStar system can thwart your vehicle from being stolen.
  • Your location is important – Being located in small towns and rural areas is a positive aspect when talking about auto insurance. City drivers tend to have more traffic problems and a longer drive to work. Fewer drivers means reduced accidents and also fewer theft and vandalism claims.
  • Sex matters – Statistics show women tend to be less risk to insure than men. However, don’t assume that men are worse drivers. Men and women cause accidents in similar numbers, but men cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. Men also get cited for more serious violations such as DWI and reckless driving.
  • No coverage gaps is important – Driving with no insurance is against the law and you will pay a penalty because you let your insurance expire. And not only will insurance be more expensive, getting caught without coverage may earn you a license revocation or jail time.
  • Don’t buy coverages you don’t need – There are a lot of extra coverages that you can buy if you aren’t careful. Things like vanishing deductibles, towing coverage and motor club memberships are examples of these. These coverages may sound good when you first buy your policy, but if you don’t need them remove them from your policy.

Online quotes with a local Big Timber insurance agent

Some consumers would rather buy from a licensed agent and there is nothing wrong with that. The best thing about comparing rates online is you may find the best rates but still work with a licensed agent. Buying from local businesses is important especially in Big Timber.

After filling out this quick form, your information is immediately sent to local insurance agents in Big Timber who will compete for your coverage. There is no reason to even leave your home because quoted prices will be sent to your email. Now that’s easy! You can find better rates and a licensed agent to work with.

Is a captive or independent car insurance agent right for you?

When finding an insurance agent, there are a couple of different agency structures that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Insurance agencies in Big Timber are categorized either independent or captive.

Independent Agents (or Brokers)

Independent agencies are not required to write business for one company but instead can place your coverage with many different companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. To move your coverage to a new company, an independent agent can move your coverage without you having to go to a different agency.

When comparison shopping, we recommend you include price quotes from at least one independent agent to ensure the widest selection of prices. They also have the ability to place coverage with smaller regional carriers which can save you money.

Shown below is a list of independent insurance agencies in Big Timber that are able to give price quote information.

  • Dime Insurance Agency – 109 Mcleod – Big Timber, MT 59011 – (406) 932-4666
  • Dime Insurance Agency – 109 Mcleod – Big Timber, MT 59011 – (406) 932-4666
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 201 Mcleod St – Big Timber, MT 59011 – (406) 932-5473
Agency Captives

Captive insurance agents have only one company to place business with and examples are Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Allstate and AAA. These agents are unable to shop your coverage around so they have to upsell other benefits. Captives are usually quite knowledgeable on their company’s products which can be an advantage. Some consumers prefer to buy from captive agents mostly because of high brand loyalty and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.

Below is a list of captive agencies in Big Timber that are able to give comparison quotes.

  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 201 Mcleod St – Big Timber, MT 59011 – (406) 932-5473

To view a full list of captive insurance agencies in Big Timber, visit this site.

Deciding on an auto insurance agent needs to be determined by more than just the price. Some important questions to ask are:

  • Do they receive special compensation for putting your coverage with one company over another?
  • How much can you save by raising your physical damage deductibles?
  • Will your rates increase after a single accident?
  • How long has their agency been in business in Big Timber?
  • What insurance companies do they work with?
  • Who are their largest clients?
  • Do they review policy coverages at every renewal?

After receiving satisfactory answers to all your questions and a low price estimate, chances are good that you have found an auto insurance agent that meets your needs to service your policy.

Don’t assume everyone needs the same coverage

When it comes to buying the right insurance coverage, there is no perfect coverage plan. Everyone’s situation is unique.

Here are some questions about coverages that may help highlight whether you would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • I don’t drive much so do I pay less?
  • What is high-risk coverage and where do I buy it?
  • Is my vehicle covered by my employer’s policy when using it for work?
  • Are split liability limits better than a combined single limit?
  • Do I really need UM/UIM coverage?
  • Is Montana a no-fault state?
  • How much underlying liability do I need for an umbrella policy?
  • Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?
  • Am I covered when driving a rental car?

If you can’t answer these questions then you might want to talk to a licensed agent. If you don’t have a local agent, take a second and complete this form.

Additional information is located on the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance website located here. Consumers can find a variety of consumer forms, read consumer alerts, read industry bulletins, and read enforcement actions against agents and companies.

Other useful links include and this list of insurance agents in Big Timber.

Better coverage you can count on

When shopping online for auto insurance, it’s very important that you do not buy poor coverage just to save money. Too many times, someone sacrificed collision coverage only to regret at claim time that the savings was not a smart move. Your strategy should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at an affordable rate.

Cheap auto insurance can be found from both online companies as well as from independent agents in Big Timber, so you should compare both to have the best rate selection. Some auto insurance companies don’t offer you the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these smaller companies sell through independent agents.

People change insurance companies for a variety of reasons including extreme rates for teen drivers, lack of trust in their agent, delays in paying claims and even questionable increases in premium. It doesn’t matter what your reason, choosing a new insurance company can be easy and end up saving you some money.