West Des Moines Iowa Car Insurance Buying Tips You Aren’t Supposed to Know

I can’t think of a single person who cherishes buying car insurance, particularly when the cost is way too high.

Multiple insurance companies compete for your insurance dollar, and it can be difficult to compare rates and get the best coverage at the lowest rate

If you are paying for car insurance now, you will be able to save some money using this information. Choosing the best insurance company for you in West Des Moines is quite easy. But Iowa consumers must understand how insurance companies market on the web and use this information to your advantage.

Comprehensive Car Insurance Comparison in West Des Moines

Most companies quote insurance quotes online. Obtaining pricing doesn’t take much effort as you just enter your coverage information into the quote form. When complete, their rating system sends out for credit information and your driving record and provides a quote determined by many factors. Being able to quote online makes it a lot easier to compare rates but the time required to go to each company’s website and repetitively type in the same information can get tiresome after awhile. Unfortunately, it is important to compare as many rates as possible if you are searching for a better rate.

A quicker way to lower your rates is to use a quote form to get prices from more than one company. The form is fast, eliminates repetitive work, and makes online price comparison much simpler. As soon as you send your information, it gets priced and you can select any of the returned quotes.

If the quotes result in lower rates, it’s easy to complete the application and buy the policy. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and can result in significant savings.

In order to fill out one form to compare multiple rates now, click here to open in new window and fill out the form. To compare your current rates, we recommend you copy as close as possible to your current policy. This guarantees you will be getting an apples-to-apples comparison based on identical coverages.

Don’t listen to company ads

Car insurance companies such as Progressive, Geico, Allstate and State Farm constantly bombard you with ads on TV and radio. They all seem to make an identical promise that you can save if you switch your policy. How can each company say the same thing? This is how they do it.

All companies can use profiling for the type of customer they prefer to insure. For example, a driver they prefer could possibly be between 25 and 40, has no driving citations, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. A driver who fits that profile gets the lowest rates and is almost guaranteed to cut their rates substantially.

Drivers who don’t meet this ideal profile will have to pay more money and ends up with the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads say “customers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much money. That’s the way companies can truthfully make those claims.

Because of the profiling, drivers should get as many comparisons as possible. Because you never know which car insurance company will have the lowest rates.

Learn How to Lower your Rates

Consumers need to have an understanding of the different types of things that go into determining the price you pay for car insurance. When you know what positively or negatively impacts premium levels empowers consumers to make smart changes that may reward you with big savings.

Listed below are a few of the “ingredients” used by your company to calculate rates.auto insurance image

  • Your stress level may be raising your rates – Did you know your occupation can influence how much you pay for car insurance? Careers like doctors, business owners and accountants have higher rates than average in part from high stress levels and lengthy work days. On the flip side, occupations such as scientists, athletes and homemakers get better rates.
  • Do you qualify for a multi-policy discount? – Some car insurance companies will give a discount to customers who buy several policies from them. It’s known as a multi-policy discount. This can amount to ten or even up to twenty percent in some cases. Even though this discount sounds good, it’s in your best interest to compare other company rates to make sure you are getting the best deal.
  • Low deductibles can be expensive – The deductibles define the amount you are required to spend out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. Insurance for physical damage to your car, otherwise known as comp (or other than collision) and collision, covers damage that occurs to your car. Some examples of claims that would be covered are running into the backend of another car, vandalism, and windstorm damage. The more expense the insured has to pay upfront, the less your car insurance will be.
  • Pleasure use saves money – The more miles you rack up on your car in a year the higher your rate. The majority of insurers charge to insure your cars based on their usage. Autos not used for work or commuting can get a lower rate compared to those used for work or business. Ask your agent if your car insurance policy is rated on how each vehicle is driven, because it can save money.
  • Performance influences rates – The make and model of the car you own makes a substantial difference in your rates. The cheapest insurance rates tend to be for small economy passenger vehicles, but the cost you end up paying is determined by many additional factors.
  • More people means more accidents – Being located in a rural area can save you money when it comes to car insurance. Fewer drivers means a lower chance of having an accident and a lower car theft rate. Drivers who live in large Iowa cities have to deal with traffic congestion and a longer drive to work. More time on the road translates into higher accident risk.

Be sure to get all your discounts

The cost of insuring your cars can be expensive, but you can get discounts to help bring down the price. Certain discounts will be applied at the time you complete a quote, but lesser-known reductions have to be specifically requested prior to receiving the credit.

  • Safety Course Discount – Taking a defensive driving course could possibly earn you a 5% discount depending on where you live.
  • Save with a New Car – Adding a new car to your policy can be considerably cheaper since new cars are generally safer.
  • Passive Restraints – Factory air bags or motorized seat belts can receive discounts up to 30%.
  • 55 and Retired – If you’re over the age of 55, you may qualify for better car insurance rates.
  • Seat Belts Save – Using a seat belt and requiring all passengers to use their safety belts could cut 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
  • Braking Control Discount – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles are safer to drive and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Accident Waiver – Certain companies permit an accident before hitting you with a surcharge so long as you haven’t had any claims prior to the accident.
  • E-sign – A handful of insurance companies will discount your bill up to fifty bucks for buying a policy and signing up on their website.

Drivers should understand that some credits don’t apply to the overall cost of the policy. Most cut the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. So even though it sounds like adding up those discounts means a free policy, you won’t be that lucky. Any qualifying discounts will cut your premiums.

To see a list of insurers with the best car insurance discounts in West Des Moines, click here to view.

You may need specialized coverage

When choosing the best car insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there is no “best” method to buy coverage. Every situation is different so this has to be addressed. For example, these questions might point out if your situation could use an agent’s help.

  • Do I have coverage for damage caused while driving under the influence?
  • Is my vehicle covered for flood damage?
  • What is covered by UM/UIM coverage?
  • What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?
  • If my vehicle is totaled, can I afford another vehicle?
  • Should I sign the liability waiver when renting a car?
  • What companies insure drivers after a DUI or DWI?
  • Does my policy cover my teen driver if they drive my company car?
  • Should I put collision coverage on all my vehicles?
  • Do I benefit by insuring my home with the same company?

If you’re not sure about those questions, then you may want to think about talking to an agent. To find an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form or click here for a list of car insurance companies in your area.

Quote online but still have a local agent

A small number of people would rather talk to a local agent and that is just fine! The best thing about getting online price quotes is you may find the best rates and still have an agent to talk to. Buying from local insurance agencies is definitely important in West Des Moines.

By using this quick form, the quote information is sent to insurance agents in West Des Moines who will give you bids for your business. You won’t need to leave your computer due to the fact that quote results will go directly to your email. How’s that for easy! You can find the lowest rates and work with a local agent.

Compare rates from both independent and captive insurance agencies

When finding a reputable insurance agent or broker, you need to know there are two types of insurance agents from which to choose. Insurance agencies in West Des Moines are either independent (non-captive) or captive.

Independent Agencies or Brokers

These agents are not employed by any specific company but rather can write business with lots of companies and potentially find a lower price. To move your coverage to a new company, the business is moved internally and you don’t have to find a new agent.

When comparing rates, we recommend you contact multiple independent agents for the best price selection.

Below are independent insurance agents in West Des Moines that may be able to provide comparison quotes.

Carl Konz Agency – 6800 Lake Dr # 295 – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 222-0776
Taylor Insurance Svc – 2700 Westown Pkwy # 140 – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 225-8535
C Mac Chambers Insurance – 1466 28th St – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 225-9222
C Mac Chambers Agency – 3737 Woodland Ave # 640 – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 225-1444
James Bellman Agency – 1501 42nd St # 230 – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 224-6404

Agency Captives

Captive agents can only place business with one company like AAA, Allstate and State Farm. They generally cannot shop your coverage around so it’s a take it or leave it situation. Captives are trained well in insurance sales which helps them sell insurance even at higher premiums.

Auto insurance in West Des Moines Iowa

The following are captive agencies in West Des Moines that are able to give comparison quotes.

American Family Insurance – 5500 Westown Pkwy # 180 – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 223-1145
Allstate Insurance – 1355 50th St # 300 – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 223-2345
Shelter Insurance – 1332 Grand Ave – West Des Moines, IA 50265 – (515) 334-0800
State Farm Insurance – 2850 Westown Pkwy – West Des Moines, IA 50266 – (515) 223-9100

For a complete listing of captive agents in West Des Moines, visit this site.

Picking an auto insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just the bottom line cost. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Do they have adequate Errors and Ommissions coverage? This protects you if they make a mistake.
  • Are you getting all the discounts the company offers?
  • What is the agency’s Better Business Bureau rating?
  • Will their companies depreciate repairs to your car based on the mileage?
  • Will your rates increase after a single accident?
  • Do they assist clients in filing claims?
  • Do they have advanced training designations such as CPCU, AAI, AIC, or CIC?
  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?

After getting acceptable answers to your questions and an affordable coverage quote, you have narrowed it down to an auto insurance agent that is a good match to adequately provide car insurance.

Do the work, save more money

As you prepare to switch companies, it’s not a good idea to skimp on coverage in order to save money. In many instances, someone sacrificed collision coverage and found out when filing a claim that the savings was not a smart move. Your strategy should be to purchase plenty of coverage at a price you can afford while not skimping on critical coverages.

Budget-conscious car insurance can be bought from both online companies and also from your neighborhood West Des Moines agents, and you need to comparison shop both so you have a total pricing picture. A few companies may not provide the ability to get a quote online and usually these small, regional companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.

Additional car insurance information is available on the website for the Iowa Insurance Division found here. Visitors are able to report car insurance fraud, find out industry alerts, view a list of available companies, and file complaints about an insurance agent or broker.