Are you tired of scraping the payment together each month for car insurance? You are in the same boat as millions of other consumers. Consumers have many auto insurance companies to buy insurance from, and although it’s nice to have multiple companies, it can be more challenging to find the best rates for your vehicles.
Smart consumers take time to do rate comparisons at least once a year because insurance rates are variable and change quite frequently. Despite the fact that you may have had the lowest price last year you can probably find a lower rate today. So ignore everything you know about car insurance because you’re about to learn the proper way to lower your annual insurance bill.
The purpose of this post is to introduce you to the most effective way to quote insurance and some tricks to saving. If you currently have car insurance, you stand a good chance to be able to lower your premiums substantially using this information. Maryland drivers just need to understand how to compare rates on the web.
Companies offer discounts so take them!
Car insurance is not cheap, but there could be available discounts to help offset the cost. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied at the time you complete a quote, but some may not be applied and must be manually applied in order for you to get them. If they aren’t giving you every credit available, you’re just leaving money on the table.
- Lower Rates for Military – Having a family member in the military may qualify for rate reductions.
- No Claims – Claim-free drivers can save substantially compared to drivers who are more careless.
- Memberships – Belonging to certain professional organizations may earn a discount when buying car insurance.
- Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Cars that have air bags can receive discounts up to 30%.
- Paperwork-free – A few companies will give a small break for buying a policy and signing up on their website.
- Drive Less and Save – Low mileage vehicles can earn lower rates on the low mileage vehicles.
- Good Student – Performing well in school can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. This discount can apply up to age 25.
- Life Insurance Discount – Larger companies have better rates if you take out life insurance.
- Accident Waiver – A handful of insurance companies permit an accident before raising your premiums if you are claim-free for a certain period of time.
Keep in mind that many deductions do not apply the the whole policy. A few only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like liability and collision coverage. So despite the fact that it appears all those discounts means the company will pay you, it just doesn’t work that way. But any discount will reduce your overall premium however.
To choose providers with discount car insurance rates in Westminster, click here.
Your local neighborhood insurance agent
A small number of people just want to talk to a local agent and there is nothing wrong with that. Educated insurance agents can help determine the best coverages and help you file claims. One of the best bonuses of comparing insurance prices online is you can get lower rates but also keep your business local. And providing support for small agencies is definitely important in Westminster.
After filling out this short form, your coverage information is sent to local insurance agents who will give you bids to get your business. You won’t need to drive around as quotes are delivered directly to your email. How cool is that?!
The different types of insurance agents
When looking for local Westminster agents, there are a couple of types of agencies from which to choose. Westminster agents are categorized either independent (non-captive) or captive. While both can do a good job, but it’s good to learn the difference between them because it can influence buying decisions.
Independent Agencies or Brokers
Independent agents are not required to write business for one company so they can insure your vehicles amongst many companies depending on which coverage is best. If your agent finds better pricing, the business is moved internally and you won’t have to switch agencies.
When shopping rates, you should always include price quotes from at a minimum one independent agency for maximum quote selection.
Below are Westminster independent insurance agents that may be able to provide competitive price quotes.
Ecker’s Agency Inc – 143 E Main St – Westminster, MD 21157 – (410) 848-8350
R P Glover Insurance – 532 Baltimore Blvd # 405 – Westminster, MD 21157 – (410) 876-2172
Kirschensteiner Insurance Inc – 1723 Gablehammer Rd – Westminster, MD 21157 – (410) 876-6311
This type of agents can only write with one company such as AAA, Allstate and State Farm. They generally cannot compare other company’s rates so they are skilled at selling on more than just price. Captives are well schooled on their products and sales techniques and that can be a competitive advantage.
Below are captive insurance agencies in Westminster who can help you get price quote information.
State Farm Insurance – 196 Pennsylvania Ave – Westminster, MD 21157 – (410) 871-1735
Allstate Insurance – 250 Englar Rd # 9 – Westminster, MD 21157 – (410) 857-8200
To view a full list of Westminster captive insurance agents, go to this page.
Choosing a car insurance agent needs to be determined by more than just the bottom line cost. Agents should be asked these questions:
- Do the companies they represent have a solid financial rating?
- How are they compensated?
- Do they regularly work with personal auto policies?
- Will your rates increase after a single accident?
- Are there any discounts that you might be missing?
- Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?
Upon getting positive feedback for all questions you ask and locked in a price quote, you’ve probably found an insurance agency that meets your needs to insure your vehicles.
Is there deception in advertising?
Consumers constantly see and hear ads that promise big savings from the likes of 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm. All the companies say the same thing about savings if you change your coverage to them.
But how can every company make the same claim? This is how they do it.
Insurance companies have a certain “appetite” for the type of customer that makes them money. A good example of a profitable customer might be profiled as between 25 and 40, is a homeowner, and has great credit. A propective insured who meets those qualifications receives the best rates and therefore will save when they switch companies.
Potential insureds who don’t measure up to this ideal profile will be quoted higher premiums and ends up with business not being written. The ads say “people who switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that much. That’s why companies can make those claims.
This emphasizes why drivers must get as many comparisons as possible. Because you never know which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.
Additional car insurance links
Additional information is located on the website for the Maryland Insurance Administration through this link. Maryland consumers can read consumer alerts, find disaster information, and file complaints about a company.
More related Westminster car insurance information:
- Free Guide to Spending Less for Westminster Car Insurance Online
- Ultimate Strategies for Cheaper Westminster, CO Auto Insurance
- Westminster, CO Insurance Agencies Five Minutes to Find the Best
Specific coverage details
Learning about specific coverages of car insurance can help you determine the best coverages for your vehicles. Policy terminology can be confusing and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Below you’ll find the usual coverages found on most car insurance policies.
Liability insurance – Liability coverage can cover damage that occurs to other people or property that is your fault. It protects YOU against other people’s claims, and doesn’t cover damage to your own property or vehicle.
Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage. You commonly see policy limits of 50/100/50 that translate to $50,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries, a per accident bodily injury limit of $100,000, and a limit of $50,000 paid for damaged property. Some companies may use a combined limit which provides one coverage limit and claims can be made without the split limit restrictions.
Liability insurance covers things like funeral expenses, bail bonds and legal defense fees. How much liability coverage do you need? That is a decision to put some thought into, but consider buying as high a limit as you can afford. Maryland state minimum liability requirements are 30,000/60,000/15,000 but drivers should carry higher limits.
Collision coverage – Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from colliding with another car or object. You have to pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.
Collision insurance covers things such as rolling your car, driving through your garage door and hitting a mailbox. This coverage can be expensive, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also raise the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance – This provides protection 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.
Since many Maryland drivers carry very low liability coverage limits (30/60/15 in Maryland), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. So UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. Frequently these limits are set the same as your liablity limits.
Insurance for medical payments – Med pay and PIP coverage provide coverage for immediate expenses for things like EMT expenses, prosthetic devices, dental work, chiropractic care and surgery. They are often used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover you and your occupants and will also cover if you are hit as a while walking down the street. PIP is not universally available and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay
Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision) – This covers damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first have to pay a deductible and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers claims like fire damage, hitting a bird, a tree branch falling on your vehicle and damage from getting keyed. The most your car insurance company will pay is the actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s not worth carrying full coverage.
Smart consumers save more
As you restructure your insurance plan, do not skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. In many cases, drivers have reduced liability limits or collision coverage only to regret that their decision to reduce coverage ended up costing them more. The aim is to get the best coverage possible at the best price while still protecting your assets.
The cheapest car insurance can be purchased from both online companies and also from your neighborhood Westminster agents, and you need to price shop both to have the best chance of lowering rates. Some companies may not provide you the ability to get quotes online and these small insurance companies work with independent agents.