When your goal is finding the best policy at an attractive price, it pays to compare several of the highest rated companies side by side. When figuring out which companies to highlight, we looked at several auto insurance related studies, including J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. From those studies, we handpicked several companies that received high ratings across the board.
This is pretty ridiculous considering the fact that: 1st, I had regularly asked my former insurance company for reviews and discounts; 2nd, I recently got a speeding ticket in a school zone (which I am a bit ashamed to say) just before I switched; and 3rd, that $1,100 savings was before I got an additional discount for bundling my home insurance on my policy (which is a lot lower now too).
Coverage limits play a huge role in how much your auto insurance premiums cost, but so will your deductible. Since you’ll be required to pay your deductible in full to access your insurance benefits after an accident, it’s important to make sure your deductible is affordable enough you can cover it with your savings. The right auto policy for your needs will have the right combination of healthy coverage limits with an annual deductible you can actually afford.
When shopping for affordable car insurance quotes, come in with a good idea of your vehicle's value via Kelley Blue Book and NADA. If you determine your vehicle is worth more than $4,000 but you need to save money, consider raising your deductible. Because your car insurance deductible and premium are inversely related, you can lower your bill by raising your deductible. Looking at the chart below, you can see how your premium is affected by adjusting your deductible.
When you get an insurance quote, an agent might add extraneous coverage. Unlike your home, your vehicle will rapidly depreciate in value, meaning the coverage you once had might not be necessary after a few years. For example, collision and comprehensive coverage are designed to protect your vehicle from damage. But if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, the value of insurance payout you would receive may not justify the cost of your insurance premium.
Insurance for a collectible automobile works much like traditional automobile insurance. The policy typically has a term of 12 months and includes coverage for liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorists. State-mandated liability coverages extend to collectible cars as well as regular private-passenger vehicles. In terms of optional coverage, apart from the standard ones such as collision and comprehensive, there are also some options unique to classic cars. Examples of options offered by most classic car insurers are:
Another consideration when choosing between a large and small auto insurance company is availability, coverage options and discounts. While you’re likely to have a better experience with a small insurance company, it may not have the availability, benefits and discounts that large insurance companies do. For example, the major insurance companies in the U.S. often have representatives that are available 24/7. Additionally, small insurance companies don’t typically offer the long list of discounts and coverage options that national insurers, like Allstate and State Farm, offer. If around the clock availability or having discounts and coverage options are important to you, consider a large insurance company.
GEICO, well known for its animated gecko, has served as an underwriter to more than 16 million auto policies, which insure more than 24 million vehicles. The company’s size allows it to employ more than 36,000 people across nine regional offices, three service centers and three claims centers. GEICO’s original customer base consisted of U.S. government employees and military personnel. Today, the insurance company’s customer base has expanded to include people in the private sector.
Cheap auto insurance doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. You just need to know where to look and what to look for in an auto policy. Savvy auto insurance customers can benefit from the regular price adjustments and the introduction of new discounts by an auto insurance carrier, if they shop. So, are you getting the best value at the best price?
While you might want to finish shopping for car insurance as quickly as possible, it’s important to do your due diligence and find the right company. At the end of the day, car insurance is designed to protect and benefit you. If you were to be injured or have your car totaled in an accident, your insurer’s customer service and claims satisfaction would be vital.
Custom Parts/Equipment: This coverage is not used by everyone. But if you have after-market installations that are permanently attached to the vehicle you may want to consider this to cover your additions. The most important thing to know about this is that if you do have after-market installations, notify your insurance company or they may not be covered if you are in an accident.
During our research, we interacted with several independent agents who refused to give us a single detail about higher-priced plans. Despite our persistence, we were repeatedly asked, “Why would you want to consider something that costs more?” and we did not get the information we wanted. On the flip side, if your rates go up after committing to a policy, independent agents are best-suited to help you negotiate a lower price.
While State Farm's shopping experience is well-reviewed, customers did not feel as strongly about it's claims handling process. The company scored about the same as the other four large companies, but was still mediocre. A large national company may be expected to not be very efficient because of the various departments involved in handling individual claims. If you want the assurances guaranteed to you by a large, "legacy" carrier, then State Farm is the best to go with.
Oh, there are a whole bunch. The big ones include good driver discounts (for going long enough without a moving violation); affiliation discounts (for belonging to a group, like AAA or AARP, that partners with the insurer); low-mileage discounts (for, you know, low mileage) and car safety feature discounts (for installing stuff like emergency break assistance or collision avoidance systems). You can find a full list of common car insurance riders and discounts here.
That’s also hard to say. Beyond how much coverage you’re looking to buy, the cost of car insurance is affected by driving record, place of residence, type of car, how much you drive and your personal details (age, gender, marital status, etc.) But just so you have a frame of reference for what types of prices to expect, the average annual cost for car insurance was about $900 back in 2014.
Because most forms of insurance are regulated at the state level, state legislation influences car insurance premiums. For instance, in Michigan, a no-fault state, state law requires an unlimited amount of Personal Injury Protection coverage, a requirement that increases the cost of car insurance. Although each state legislates insurance differently, auto insurance prices may vary on a zip code-by-zip code basis. Below is an analysis of the cheapest and most expensive states for car insurance (from The Zebra's State of Insurance study).
Large insurance companies analyze a huge amount of customers’ personal data (like social media posts, credit scores, and even your web shopping habits). Then, they churn the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around or just renew your existing policy each year. By doing so, they can increase your premium just enough to raise their profit margins without attracting your attention and prompting you to shop for a new policy.
Step 4: Narrow the field. As you examine each quote, go back online and read customer reviews of the company. If ratings matter to you, check rating companies like J.D. Power and A.M. Best. They can give you a good idea of what other customers have gone through when dealing with filing claims and customer service. Once you have looked over everything, narrow down your decisions. Eliminate one or more of your quotes.
If you have a clean driving record — no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other recent citations — you'll probably enjoy relatively cheap car insurance rates. Conversely, a bad driving record will cause your costs to skyrocket: car insurance premiums typically increase by 31% after a DUI, 26% after an at-fault accident, and 15% after a speeding ticket in Tennessee. The post-citation penalties assessed by car insurance companies in Tennessee are slightly more forgiving than nationwide averages. If you have a clean driving history, be sure to inquire about your insurance company's safe driver discount.
Liberty Mutual actually tied Erie insurance for this category, but since we already called Erie the best overall company, we'll describe how Liberty Mutual is well known for a strong shopping experience. Customers of Liberty Mutual report in the study they were particularly satisfied with the flexibility of policies offered by Liberty Mutual, as well as their relationship with Liberty Mutual agents. If Erie is not located in your state, Liberty Mutual can be a good alternative if you can get a competitive rate.
Car insurance protects you from financial liability in incidents involving your vehicle. It has two major benefits. First, it can help save you from costs involved with bodily injury (medical costs). Second, it covers property damage to both you and your property, and other people involved in the accident if you’re at fault. Car insurance is required in most states and it is illegal to operate a car without it.
Classic Car Insurance: defined by many companies as being 19 to 24 years old, restored, in good working condition, and greater than the average value of other autos of the same make and model year; some insurers consider a car of this description that is only greater than 10 years old to be “classic.” The Classic Car Club of America regards classic vehicles to be those manufactured between 1925 and 1948.
The biggest benefit to captive agents is that many aren’t primarily motivated by commission. That means they have less of a reason to “sell you” and more of a reason to spend quality time educating you. That being the case, going with a captive agent makes sense if you’re already committed to a particular company. These agents will know their company’s policies and coverages from top to bottom.
Commercial auto insurance provides liability and physical damage coverage for vehicles used by your business. This includes cars, vans, commercial trucks, and other types of vehicles. Commercial auto policies offer different levels of coverage than personal policies. This is because business vehicles tend to need higher limits to help protect the business in case of accidents. With affordable rates, outstanding customer service, and experience you can count on, GEICO can help you with your commercial auto insurance needs.
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