If you’ve never shopped for car insurance online, you may be overwhelmed by the hoards of online car insurance companies and websites offering insurance in Grand Rapids.
Lower your Grand Rapids Car Insurance Rates
Smart consumers have a good feel for the rating factors that go into determining your car insurance rates. Understanding what impacts premium levels empowers consumers to make smart changes that will entitle you to lower car insurance prices.
- Adjust deductibles and save – The deductibles define the amount you are willing to pay out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. Physical damage insurance, otherwise known as comp (or other than collision) and collision, protects your car from damage. Examples of covered claims would be running into the backend of another car, damage from fire, or theft. The more you’re willing to pay, the less your car insurance will be.
- Equipment add-ons that lower car insurance rates – Purchasing a vehicle with an alarm system can save you a little every year. Theft prevention devices like GM’s OnStar, tamper alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers all aid in stopping your car from being stolen.
- Safer cars cost less to insure – Vehicles with good safety scores get lower rates. Safe vehicles result in less severe injuries and better occupant protection means lower claim amounts and lower rates for you.
- Your age impacts your rates – Mature drivers are more responsible, file fewer claims and are safer drivers. Young drivers tend to be more careless in a vehicle therefore car insurance rates are much higher.
- Pleasure use saves money – The more you drive in a year the more you will pay for car insurance. Most companies price each vehicle’s coverage based on how the vehicle is used. Autos not used for work or commuting can get a lower rate than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Ask your agent if your car insurance policy is rated on the correct driver usage, because it can save money.
- Never allow your policy to lapse – Not having insurance is a misdemeanor and your next policy will cost more because you let your coverage lapse. Not only will rates go up, getting caught without coverage will get you a hefty fine and possibly a revoked license.You may need to provide proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 filing with the Michigan department of motor vehicles.
- Big city or small town – Residing in less populated areas can save you money when buying car insurance. Drivers in populated areas regularly have traffic congestion and much longer commute distances. Fewer people means a lower chance of having an accident as well as less vandalism and auto theft.
Quick Grand Rapids Car Insurance Quotes
The are a couple different ways to compare rate quotes from local in Grand Rapids, MIcar insurance companies. The easiest way to compare insurance prices is simply to get online rate quotes. This can be accomplished using a couple different methods.
- The best way to get quotes is a comparison rater form like this one (opens in new window). This type of form saves time by eliminating a different quote to each individual car insurance company. Filling out one form will return price quotes from several companies. This is perfect if you don’t have a lot of time.
- A less efficient way to compare prices consists of going to the website of each company to complete their respective quote request forms. For instance, let’s say you want to compare Farmers, Liberty Mutual and Progressive. To find out each rate you need to spend time on each company’s site and enter your information, which is why the first method is more popular.
For a handy list of car insurance company links in Grand Rapids, click here.
It’s up to you which method you use, but double check that you are using the exact same coverage limits for every quote you compare. If you enter different values for each quote then you won’t be able to determine the best price in Grand Rapids. Slightly different coverages can result in a big premium difference. And when quoting car insurance, remember that having more price comparisons helps locate the best price.
Can you really save that much by switching?
Companies like State Farm, Geico and Progressive constantly bombard you with television and radio advertisements. All the ads have a common claim of big savings if you switch to them. How does each company make almost identical claims?
All companies can use profiling for the type of driver that makes them money. An example of a profitable customer might be profiled as between the ages of 30 and 50, insures multiple vehicles, and has excellent credit. Any new insured who fits that profile gets the lowest rates and as a result will probably save a lot of money.
Potential customers who don’t measure up to the “perfect” profile will be quoted higher premiums which leads to business going elsewhere. The ads say “drivers who switch” not “people who quote” save that much money. This is how companies can truthfully advertise the way they do. This emphasizes why drivers should compare many company’s rates. It’s impossible to know which car insurance company will provide you with the cheapest rates.
Cut your premium with discounts
Companies that sell car insurance don’t list every discount very clearly, so here is a list some of the more common and also the lesser-known savings tricks you should be using.
- Auto/Life Discount – Companies who offer life insurance give lower rates if you buy life insurance from them.
- Save with a New Car – Adding a new car to your policy is cheaper compared to insuring an older model.
- Seat Belts Save – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts could save 15% off your medical payments premium.
- Drive Less and Save – Fewer annual miles can qualify you for a substantially lower rate.
- Accident Waiver – Certain companies permit an accident before hitting you with a surcharge if you are claim-free for a certain period of time.
- Government Employees – Being employed by or retired from a federal job can earn a discount up to 10% depending on your company.
- Pay Upfront and Save – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time rather than paying monthly you could save 5% or more.
- Homeowners Savings – Owning a home in Grand Rapids may earn you a small savings because of the fact that having a home requires personal responsibility.
- Theft Prevention System – Cars that have factory anti-theft systems help deter theft and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
A little note about advertised discounts, some credits don’t apply the the whole policy. Some only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like comprehensive or collision. Even though it may seem like it’s possible to get free car insurance, companies wouldn’t make money that way.
To see a list of insurers who offer car insurance discounts in Grand Rapids, click this link.
Even more information can be read at the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation website. Michigan drivers can get help finding coverage, view a list of available companies, read industry bulletins, and find out industry alerts.
One last thing
When trying to cut insurance costs, you should never buy poor coverage just to save money. There are a lot of situations where an insured dropped liability coverage limits to discover at claim time that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your aim should be to buy enough coverage for the lowest price.
We just covered many ways to lower your car insurance rates. The most important thing to understand is the more you quote, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may be surprised to find that the best price on car insurance is with some of the lesser-known companies.
Cheaper car insurance can be bought from both online companies in addition to many Grand Rapids insurance agents, and you need to price shop both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. Some insurance companies do not provide online quoting and these smaller companies work with independent agents.