I can’t think of anyone who cherishes buying auto insurance, in particular when their premiums are through the roof. Because you have many choices of insurance companies, it can be diffult for consumers to locate the best insurance company.
Consumers need to compare rates at least once a year because rates trend upward over time. Even if you got the lowest price a few years ago the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. Starting right now, forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because we’re going to show you how to quote online to save money, get proper coverage and the best rates.
Finding affordable coverage in Post Falls is easy if you know what you’re doing. If you have a current auto insurance policy or are just looking to switch companies, you can follow these tips to shop for the lowest rates and still get good coverage. Idaho vehicle owners just need to know the most efficient way to find the lowest price online.
Discounts are basically free money
Car insurance companies don’t always publicize every discount in a way that’s easy to find, so we took the time to find some of the more common and the more hidden savings tricks you should be using. If you aren’t receiving every discount available, you are paying more than you should be.
- Discount for Good Grades – Getting good grades can earn a discount of 20% or more. This discount can apply well after school through age 25.
- Student in College – Any of your kids who attend school more than 100 miles from home and don’t have a car may be able to be covered for less.
- Safe Drivers – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can pay as much as 50% less than drivers with accidents.
- Fewer Miles Equal More Savings – Low mileage vehicles can earn better rates on cars that stay parked.
- Drivers Ed for Students – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to take driver’s ed class in high school.
- 55 and Retired – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you may be able to get reduced rates.
- Federal Government Employee – Being employed by or retired from a federal job can save as much as 8% depending on your company.
- Club Memberships – Affiliation with a professional or civic organization could trigger savings on your policy.
- Defensive Driver – Taking part in a course in driver safety could cut 5% off your bill if you qualify.
- Accident Waiver – A handful of insurance companies will allow you to have one accident before hitting you with a surcharge so long as you haven’t had any claims for a set time period.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most credits do not apply the the whole policy. Most only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like physical damage coverage or medical payments. Even though it may seem like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, you’re out of luck.
Auto insurance myths debunked
Idaho consumers can’t ignore all the ads for the lowest price auto insurance from companies such as State Farm and Allstate. They all have a common claim that you can save if you change your policy.
How does each company make almost identical claims?
All companies can use profiling for the type of driver that earns them a profit. For instance, a driver they prefer could be between 30 and 50, has no driving citations, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. Any new insured who fits that profile will get the preferred rates and therefore will save when switching.
Drivers who are not a match for the “perfect” profile will have to pay more money which leads to the customer not buying. The ads state “drivers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much. That’s the way insurance companies can make those claims. Because of the profiling, drivers should quote coverage with many companies. It’s not possible to predict which insurance companies will provide you with the cheapest rates.
Which insurance is the “right” coverage?
When buying the best auto insurance coverage, there isn’t really a one size fits all plan. Everyone’s situation is unique and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. Here are some questions about coverages that can aid in determining if you would benefit from an agent’s advice.
- How much liability coverage do I need in Idaho?
- Is my dog or cat covered if injured in an accident?
- Do I have any recourse if my insurance company denies a claim?
- Am I covered when renting a car or should I buy coverage from the car rental agency?
- Is my business laptop covered if it gets stolen from my vehicle?
- Do I have coverage when using my vehicle for my home business?
If you’re not sure about those questions but you know they apply to you, you may need to chat with a licensed agent. If you don’t have a local agent, complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier It’s fast, free and can help protect your family.
Having a good grasp of auto insurance can be of help when determining the best coverages and the correct deductibles and limits. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. These are typical coverage types offered by auto insurance companies.
Collision coverage protection
This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another car or object. You first must pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision can pay for things such as rolling your car, scraping a guard rail, hitting a mailbox and crashing into a building. This coverage can be expensive, so you might think about dropping it from older vehicles. It’s also possible to choose a higher deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
Comprehensive auto insurance
This coverage pays for damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first must pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage pays for claims such as falling objects, hitting a deer and hail damage. The maximum payout your auto insurance company will pay is the cash value of the vehicle, so if the vehicle is not worth much it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Coverage for medical expenses
Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP provide coverage for expenses for X-ray expenses, hospital visits, pain medications, nursing services and surgery. The coverages can be utilized in addition to your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to all vehicle occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. PIP is not an option in every state but can be used in place of medical payments coverage
Coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers
This coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other motorists when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. This coverage pays for injuries to you and your family as well as your vehicle’s damage.
Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (Idaho limits are 20/50/15), their limits can quickly be used up. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage should not be overlooked.
Liability coverage protects you from injuries or damage you cause to people or other property in an accident. It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. Your policy might show policy limits of 25/50/25 that translate to a limit of $25,000 per injured person, $50,000 for the entire accident, and a limit of $25,000 paid for damaged property.
Liability insurance covers claims such as pain and suffering, emergency aid and medical expenses. How much liability should you purchase? That is a personal decision, but you should buy as large an amount as possible. Idaho state minimum liability requirements are 20,000/50,000/15,000 but drivers should carry more coverage.
Additional reading for auto insurance information
Additional detailed information is available at the Idaho Department of Insurance website. Idaho drivers can find a variety of consumer forms, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and read industry bulletins.
The cheapest auto insurance is possible online and with local Post Falls insurance agents, so compare prices from both so you have a total pricing picture. A few companies do not offer the ability to get a quote online and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.
While you’re price shopping online, it’s not a good idea to skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There are a lot of situations where an accident victim reduced physical damage coverage only to regret at claim time they didn’t have enough coverage. Your goal should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at an affordable rate.
In this article, we presented many ways to compare auto insurance prices online. It’s most important to understand that the more providers you compare, the better your chances of lowering your rates. Consumers could even find that the best prices are with a small local company. Smaller companies often have lower prices on specific markets as compared to the big name companies such as Allstate and Progressive.