Nobody likes paying for auto insurance, especially knowing their premiums are too high. Because there are so many options when it comes to auto insurance, it is very difficult to locate the lowest cost car insurance company.
The purpose of this post is to help you learn how car insurance quotes work and some tricks to saving. If you currently have a car insurance policy, you will most likely be able to reduce your rates substantially using these tips. Washington drivers only need to know the most efficient way to shop online.
Cut your auto insurance rates with these eight discounts
The cost of insuring your cars can be expensive, but companies offer discounts to reduce the price significantly. Most are applied at quote time, but less common discounts must be inquired about prior to receiving the credit. If they aren’t giving you every credit you qualify for, you’re paying more than you need to.
- Discount for New Cars – Insuring a new car can save up to 30% compared to insuring an older model.
- Multi-car Discount – Having more than one vehicle on one policy can get a discount on all vehicles.
- Low Mileage – Fewer annual miles could qualify for lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.
- Sign Online – A few companies give back up to $50 just for signing your application digitally online.
- Own a Home – Simply owning a home can save you money because maintaining a house demonstrates responsibility.
- Defensive Driving Course – Taking part in a course teaching defensive driving skills could cut 5% off your bill and easily recoup the cost of the course.
- Bundle and Save – When you have multiple policies with the same company you may save at least 10% off all policies.
- Discount for Life Insurance – Select insurance companies reward you with lower rates if you buy life insurance.
Drivers should understand that most of the big mark downs will not be given the the whole policy. Most cut the cost of specific coverages such as collision or personal injury protection. Even though it may seem like you can get free auto insurance, it just doesn’t work that way. But all discounts will reduce the cost of coverage.
To see a list of companies offering auto insurance discounts in Vancouver, click here to view.
How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Cost in Vancouver
Cutting your Vancouver auto insurance rates is surprisingly easy. Just invest a few minutes to get quotes from different insurance companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in just a few minutes using one of these methods.
- The recommended way to get the best comparison quotes is to use a rate comparison form (click to open form in new window). This easy form saves time by eliminating boring form submissions for each company. One simple form will get you rate comparisons from multiple low-cost companies.
- A harder way to get quotes online requires you to visit the website of each company and request a quote. For examples sake, we’ll pretend you want to compare Auto-Owners, Progressive and Allstate. To get rate quotes you would need to go to every website to input your insurance information, which is why most consumers use the first method. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Vancouver, click here.
- The hardest method of getting rate comparisons is driving around to insurance agents’ offices. The ability to buy insurance online can eliminate the need for a local agent unless you want the trained guidance that only a license agent can provide. Drivers can get the lowest quotes online and get advice from an agent in your area and we’ll touch on that later.
However you get your quotes, ensure you are comparing apples-to-apples information on every quote. If you are comparing different limits and deductibles on each one it’s not possible to make a fair comparison in Vancouver.
Tailor your coverage to you
When buying proper insurance coverage, there really is not a cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is unique so your insurance needs to address that. For instance, these questions might help in determining if your insurance needs would benefit from an agent’s advice.
- Does my car insurance cover rental cars?
- Am I getting all the discounts available?
- How do I file an SR-22 for a DUI in Washington?
- Is my business laptop covered if it gets stolen from my vehicle?
- Will my rates increase for filing one claim?
- Are rental cars covered under my policy?
- Is my cargo covered for damage or theft?
- Do I need roadside assistance coverage?
- Do I need higher deductibles?
If you’re not sure about those questions then you might want to talk to a licensed insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It is quick, free and can provide invaluable advice.
Price shop online but buy from a local Vancouver agent
Certain consumers prefer to sit down with an agent. Insurance agents can answer important questions and help you file claims. The best thing about getting online price quotes is the fact that you can find better rates but still work with a licensed agent. And providing support for local agencies is important especially in Vancouver.
After filling out this form (opens in new window), the coverage information is sent to companies in Vancouver who will compete for your insurance coverage. You don’t have to leave your house since price quotes are sent straight to your inbox. Now that’s easy!
Captive and independent Vancouver insurance agencies
When searching for a reputable insurance agent or broker, you need to know there are two different agency structures that you can select. Vancouver agents can either be captive or independent (non-captive). While both can write coverage properly, but it’s important to know how they are different because it can impact the selection process.
Independent insurance agents are not locked into one company but rather can write business with multiple insurance companies and potentially find a lower price. To move your coverage to a new company, your agent can switch companies and that require little work on your part. When searching for an agent, we recommend you contact at least one independent agent for the best price selection.
Below are Vancouver independent agents who can help you get rate quotes.
Terry Cornelius Agency – 312 E Mill Plain Blvd – Vancouver, WA 98660 – (360) 695-4408
Brad Peru Insurance – 5620 NE Gher Rd # D – Vancouver, WA 98662 – (360) 256-5030
Eric Payne Agency – 9409 NE Highway 99 # D – Vancouver, WA 98665 – (360) 566-0491
Bob Brewer Agency – 4418 NE St Johns Rd – Vancouver, WA 98661 – (360) 694-8391
Farmer’s Insurance – 9719 E Mill Plain Blvd – Vancouver, WA 98664 – (360) 213-1500
These agents can only place business with one company and examples are Allstate, AAA, Liberty Mutual and State Farm. They are unable to provide prices from multiple companies so they have to upsell other benefits. Captive agents are usually quite knowledgeable on their company’s products which can be an advantage.
Below are Vancouver captive agents who can help you get rate quotes.
Allstate Insurance – 202 SE 124th Ave # A – Vancouver, WA 98684 – (360) 254-8598
State Farm Insurance – 1307 NE 78th St # B1 – Vancouver, WA 98665 – (360) 574-5222
Farmers Insurance Group – 10411 NE Fourth Plain Rd # 137 – Vancouver, WA 98662 – (360) 256-2914
To view a complete directory of auto insurance agents in Vancouver, visit this link.
Picking an insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just a low price. Here are some questions to ask:
- How are claims handled?
- How long has their agency been open in Vancouver?
- Do they make recommendations based only on price?
- Do they have adequate Errors and Ommissions coverage? This protects you if they make a mistake.
- Is assistance available after office hours?
After getting positive responses to your questions in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you have narrowed it down to a car insurance agent that meets your needs to properly service your auto insurance policy.
Auto insurance coverage information
Learning about specific coverages of your auto insurance policy can help you determine appropriate coverage and proper limits and deductibles. The terms used in a policy can be difficult to understand and coverage can change by endorsement. Listed below are the usual coverages found on most auto insurance policies.
Medical expense coverage
Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP reimburse you for bills like X-ray expenses, pain medications, ambulance fees, EMT expenses and nursing services. They can be used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if you are not covered by health insurance. They cover you and your occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal injury protection coverage is only offered in select states and may carry a deductible
Coverage for collisions
Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with an object or car. You first must pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision insurance covers things like hitting a mailbox, scraping a guard rail, crashing into a building, driving through your garage door and damaging your car on a curb. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so you might think about dropping it from older vehicles. You can also choose a higher deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other motorists when they do not carry enough liability coverage. This coverage pays for medical payments for you and your occupants as well as damage to your vehicle.
Because many people only carry the minimum required liability limits (which is 25/50/10), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. So UM/UIM coverage is very important. Usually the UM/UIM limits are set the same as your liablity limits.
Comprehensive insurance pays for damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You first must pay your deductible then your comprehensive coverage will pay.
Comprehensive coverage pays for things such as a broken windshield, hail damage and damage from getting keyed. The highest amount your auto insurance company will pay is the cash value of the vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.
Auto liability insurance
Liability insurance can cover damages or injuries you inflict on other’s property or people that is your fault. It protects you against other people’s claims, and does not provide coverage for your injuries or vehicle damage.
Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. Your policy might show limits of 100/300/100 that translate to a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, a per accident bodily injury limit of $300,000, and property damage coverage for $100,000. Alternatively, you may have a combined limit which limits claims to one amount and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.
Liability can pay for things such as attorney fees, structural damage, emergency aid, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and court costs. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is your choice, but you should buy higher limits if possible. Washington state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/10,000 but drivers should carry better liability coverage.
A little work can save a LOT of money
Low-cost auto insurance can be found online and also from your neighborhood Vancouver agents, and you need to comparison shop both to get a complete price analysis. There are still a few companies who may not provide you the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these smaller companies sell through independent agents.
We just showed you some good ideas how you can shop for auto insurance online. The most important thing to understand is the more providers you compare, the better likelihood of reducing your rate. You may be surprised to find that the most savings is with a lesser-known regional company. These smaller insurers can often insure niche markets at a lower cost than their larger competitors like State Farm or Progressive.
More information is available on the website for the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner through this link. Washington drivers can file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, find out industry alerts, read consumer alerts, and learn about insurance regulations.