Scraping up a payment for overpriced auto insurance can overdraw your personal savings, especially in this economy. Shopping your coverage around is free, only takes a few minutes, and is a good way to make sure you’re not throwing money away.
Big-name insurance companies like Progressive, State Farm and GEICO increase brand awareness with catchy ads and it can be hard to ignore the flying pigs and cute green geckos and take the time to shop coverage around.
Consumers need to check auto insurance prices yearly since insurance rates are adjusted regularly by insurance companies. Just because you had the lowest rates a couple years back you will most likely find a better rate today. Ignore everything you know about auto insurance because you’re about to find out one of the best ways to get good coverage at a lower rate.
If you currently have a car insurance policy, you will be able to lower your premiums substantially using this strategy. Choosing the best insurance company for you in Westfield is easy if you know what you’re doing. But New Jersey vehicle owners should learn the way insurance companies sell online and apply this information to your search.
Discounts are available to cut your rates
Car insurance is not cheap, but there are discounts available that can drop the cost substantially. Most are applied when you complete an application, but a few must be specially asked for prior to receiving the credit.
- Safe Driver Discount – Insureds without accidents can pay as much as 50% less than drivers with accident claims.
- No Accidents – Good drivers with no accidents pay much less when compared to bad drivers.
- Bundle and Save – If you have multiple policies with one company you may earn approximately 10% to 15%.
- Discount for Swiching Early – Select companies give a discount for switching policies before your current policy expires. The savings is around 10%.
- 55 and Retired – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you may be able to get a small decrease in premiums.
- Homeowners Savings – Owning a home in Westfield can save you money because owning a home requires personal responsibility.
- Service Members Pay Less – Being on active duty in the military could mean lower rates.
It’s important to understand that many deductions do not apply the the whole policy. Some only apply to individual premiums such as liability and collision coverage. So even though they make it sound like you can get free auto insurance, companies don’t profit that way. Any amount of discount will bring down the cost of coverage.
Why some people pay less for insurance in Westfield
An important part of buying insurance is that you know the rating factors that come into play when calculating your auto insurance rates. When you know what positively or negatively determines base rates empowers consumers to make smart changes that could result in lower auto insurance prices.
The list below includes some of the items used by your company to calculate premiums.
- High deductibles save money – Coverage for physical damage, termed comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, protects your car from damage. Some examples of claims that would be covered are a windshield shattered by a rock, vandalism, and windstorm damage. Your deductibles are the amount of money you are willing to pay out-of-pocket if you file a covered claim. The more money the insured has to pay upfront, the less your company will charge you for insurance.
- The type of vehicle makes a difference – The performance level of the vehicle you drive makes a huge difference in your rates. Small economy passenger models usually have the lowest rates, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
- Do you work long hours in a high stress job? – Did you know your job can affect your rates? Occupations like doctors, social workers and dentists are shown to have the highest average rates in part from job stress and long work days. Other jobs such as scientists, historians and homemakers pay the least.
- Your credit rating is important – Credit rating is a huge factor in your rate calculation. Drivers who have high credit scores tend to be better drivers and file fewer claims as compared to drivers with lower credit ratings. If your credit score can use some improvement, you could potentially save money when insuring your by spending a little time repairing your credit.
- Liability coverage protects you – Liability insurance will protect you in the event that you are found liable for damages from an accident. It will provide legal defense which can be incredibly expensive. Liability is cheap compared to physical damage coverage, so buy as much as you can afford.
- More than one policy can earn a discount – Some auto insurance companies will give a discount to insureds who carry more than one policy, otherwise known as a multi-policy discount. Even if you’re getting this discount it’s in your best interest to compare rates to ensure the best deal. Drivers may still find better rates by insuring with multiple companies.
- Are you male or female? – Statistics have proven women are more cautious behind the wheel. However, don’t assume that men are WORSE drivers than women. Men and women cause accidents at about the same rate, but the male of the species cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. Men also tend to get cited for more serious violations such as reckless driving.
- Bad driving skills means higher rates – Just one ticket can increase rates twenty percent or more. Good drivers get better rates than people who have multiple driving citations. Drivers who have severe citations such as DWI, reckless driving or hit and run convictions may need to submit a SR-22 form with the DMV in their state in order to drive a vehicle legally.
Everyone needs different coverages
When choosing adequate coverage, there really is not a perfect coverage plan. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. Here are some questions about coverages that may help highlight if your insurance needs might need an agent’s assistance.
- Do I need special endorsements for business use of my vehicle?
- What are New Jersey no-fault laws?
- Am I covered when driving a rental car?
- Do I have any recourse if my insurance company denies a claim?
- Should I buy only the required New Jersey minimum liability coverage?
- How many claims can I have before being cancelled?
- Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?
- Does my policy cover me when driving someone else’s vehicle?
- Do I have coverage when using my vehicle for my home business?
- Will I lose any money if I cancel my policy before it expires?
If you can’t answer these questions but you know they apply to you, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, complete this form or go to this page to view a list of companies.
Misconceptions in auto insurance advertisements
Auto insurance companies such as Allstate and Progressive continually stream ads on television and other media. They all seem to make the same claim that you’ll save big after switching your coverage to them. How do they all make the same claim? It’s all in the numbers.
Different companies are able to cherry pick for the type of driver that is profitable for them. A good example of a desirable insured could be between 25 and 40, has no tickets, and has great credit. A customer who matches those parameters will get very good rates and is almost guaranteed to cut their rates substantially.
Potential customers who don’t qualify for this ideal profile must pay a more expensive rate which leads to business going elsewhere. The ad wording is “customers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much money. This is how insurance companies can confidently advertise the savings.
This illustrates why drivers must get as many quotes as possible. It’s impossible to know which auto insurance company will have the lowest rates.
New Jersey insurance information
Much more information about auto insurance in New Jersey can be read on the website for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance found here. New Jersey consumers can find a variety of consumer forms, download brochures, find disaster information, and read state legal mandates and laws.
Keep this in mind
Affordable auto insurance is definitely available online in addition to many Westfield insurance agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both in order to have the best chance of saving money. There are still a few companies who do not provide you the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these regional insurance providers sell through independent agents.
You just learned a lot of information how to get a better price on auto insurance. The most important thing to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. You may even discover the lowest premiums are with some of the lesser-known companies. These companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm or Progressive.