Know Where To Look And Who To Ask
No matter what type of car you drive or how long you’ve had your drivers license, you need reliable car insurance. Today it seems like there are too many options when it comes to purchasing insurance. It gets confusing. And it’s not just car insurance. Insurance as a whole is a trillion dollar industry filled with ideas on savings, bundling and how to pay your premiums.
How do you know if you are getting a great deal on car insurance? Where do you begin your search? What insurance carriers have the best cheap car insurance? These are great questions to ask. But first you need to know a little bit about the car insurance industry and how it can work for you. If you want to shop around by yourself online, please go for it. But you might need to ask some questions. This is when an insurance broker can come in handy.
If you are working with a great insurance company then your policy should fit what you and your family need. You should be able to do this without overspending. The insurance companies have gotten very good at evaluating which factors will affect your premiums. Such as: where you live and how far you drive every year. When will your car insurance be the cheapest? Will your deductible go up after an accident? Where can you find car insurance and other types of insurance to bundle together?
Most insurance companies don’t just sell car insurance. In fact in it much more profitable for insurance companies to sell multiple products. It’s like a one-stop shop for someone like you. Whether you are shopping online or with a broker, most insurance companies you come across will offer things like homeowners insurance, motorcycle insurance and even life insurance. If you need any of these, do yourself a favor and stay with just one insurance company. Bundling these items together will save you money.
There are a few insurance companies who are the top contenders. We have used these to assess where the best place for you to shop is. Many people also tend to shop through an insurance broker or an online quoting system. This allows you to scan multiple companies in one click. Let’s face it, we are all pressed for time. Why waste time on searching for cheap car insurance? You can easily find what you are looking for in a matter of minutes.
Even if you are a high-risk driver, there will be an insurance quote out there that checks all the boxes. There are too many choices and too much competition to leave you in the dust. Every state requires some form of car insurance. And depending on what the amount is will decide how much insurance you need to buy. Do you own your car outright? Are you paying a high interest rate on a large motored automobile?
That v-10 engine might cost you more than your old 4 cylinder Corolla. Think about it this way: there are a set of factors that decide how much you will pay for car insurance. This spectrum of factors and payments is directly related to you and your driving record. Do you want car insurance discounts? There are many ways to lower your insurance premium. But insurance companies still have to follow a protocol and most have the same ways of deciding how much you will spend.
How Do I Find Insurance After An Accident Or Violation?
Here is what you need to know- every violation or accident comes with a consequence. But this consequence does not last forever. If you are in an accident and it is your fault, that is a “tick” on your driving record. For every “tick” you pay a little more. This is collateral for the insurance company. If you are affected by an accident and are not at fault, your rates should always stay the same. And this makes sense right? For every action there is a reaction. Isn’t that physics? Yes. You have a spectrum of “ideals” remember.
If you have an accident, you become a higher risk to the insurance company and where you are placed on that spectrum moves. Now, you can do many things to help yourself out. You can apply for discounts. You can appeal tickets. But the main thing to take away from all of this is that there are rules to this game. You just have to know how to play by those rules.
The first thing to know is what your state requires. What is the minimum amount of insurance? This is a good place to start. When you are in an accident, and if you cause more than $2,000 worth of damage and it is your fault your rates will go up even further. But we did a little homework and realized that there are a couple insurance companies who are more affordable even after an accident. The problem is knowing this before hand. You never know when you might get into a tight spot out on the road. But more times that not Nationwide was very affordable and forgiving after their clients were in an at-fault accident.
Here is a list of the top insurance companies in the United States:
- GEICO- They have some of the best customer service and offer it 24/7. They are a large company and this makes it easy to give great rates on car insurance as well as bundling opportunities.
- Allstate-This company actually offers accident forgiveness. In a poll, their customers were more happy with them than not.
- State Farm- State Farm is the largest insurance company in the United States and will really have your back. Their rates aren’t the lowest but their quality is one of the best.
- E-surance- This online network is great for families who are busy. They have a great reputation and reasonable rates.
- Arbella- This small company is hassle free and down to business. Most of their clients come word of mouth.
- American Family Auto Insurance- This is a small company that is only available in a limited number of states. They have very high reviews so check them out.
- Liberty Mutual – This is one of the older insurance companies in America. They have a great reputation and won’t keep you waiting. They thrive on the one on one experience.
- Progressive- Similar to Geico, Progressive has a huge online influence and great advertising. They have a 24 hour claim service and are fast to cut you a check when you have been in an accident.
- AAA- This insurance company is known for getting great discounts and their roadside assistance program. They have very high quality insurance but are not the cheapest in the business.
- Farmers- While known for their great homeowners policy, car insurance can be bought through Farmers as well. They have a small business attitude with a big business pocket book.
How Will A DUI Affect My Rates?
This is a very common question because as most people might think, rates go up when you have trouble with the law. When you get a DUI or DWI the state thinks of it as a violation and you are no longer allowed to have your license. With a revoked license there are a few extra hoops you will have to jump through. You must still retain your car insurance policy. But you also need to have an additional form which is call SR22 insurance. SR22 Insurance is a vehicle liability document required by the Department of Motor Vehicles for “high-risk” drivers. It is a document issued by your insurance company showing proof that you are carrying the minimum amount of auto insurance required in your state. SR literally stands for “safety responsibility”.
Along with this piece of paper, you will need your broker or insurance company to file it with the DMV. There are fees that go along with this. But they aren’t much and you will leave with spending less than $50 in most states. There are a couple of states that do not require an SR22 policy. For the most part, this documentation states that you are required to keep paying for your car insurance as well as not drive for at least three years. Most states take getting a DUI very seriously. Sometimes people have more than one DUI. The penalties for this get more and more extreme.
Here is how you could be affected:
If your license was suspended for a DUI/DWI then you will also need to comply with a few
more DMV requirements. On the first conviction your driving privilege will be suspended for 6 months and you will be required to complete a DUI program.
If your BAC is 0.20% or higher and the court refers you to an enhanced DUI treatment program, your DL will be suspended for 10 months. You could also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. An IID prevents you from starting your vehicle if you have any alcohol on your breath. If anyone is injured as a result of your DUI, the suspension period is 1 year. No matter what insurance company you have, you will see a price increase. You can make up for this by taking a drivers safety course. Ask your broker how you can counterbalance the added cost from a DUI.
One of the best insurance companies to keep in mind is Liberty Mutual whose rates do not increase quite as much as other insurers when you are stuck with a revoked license. The average rates increased only a few hundred dollars a year in most cases with this companies. With almost every other company, rates doubled.
Take this into consideration:
Take into consideration that reckless driving, parking violations, hit and runs and other offenses can be treated the same as a DUI offense. In most states these other violations will invoke the same repercussions as a DUI. You will lose your license for a period of time and in most cases there are heavy fines. Insurance companies treat these with about the same kind of consideration so keep that in mind. There are some insurance companies that will charge less depending on the actions facing you. But for the most part you will be labeled a “high-risk” driver.
Adding Teen Driver
One way that insurance companies can raise your rates is if you have a teen driver. Statistically, driver under the age of 25 have higher insurance rates because they are more likely to get into an accident. Males who are teen drivers will pay out the most for their auto insurance. Here are some ways your teens can keep the cost of your insurance low:
Drive responsibly – Speeding tickets, accidents, and other traffic violations will affect your rates. Drive a safe vehicle – Driving a car with standard safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags will reduce your risk of accident and injury and, therefore, your cost. Establish good credit – Insurance companies want to insure people who are responsible both on and off the road. Pay your bills on time and your efforts will be reflected in your rates. Don’t have a credit history? Maybe it’s time to start building good credit. Discounts – Ask about them! Every company is different but some offer discounts for being a good student, low mileage driving, and even for volunteering.
These discounts could count if you have a teen driver:
- Education discounts
- Occupation discounts- Depending on what kind of job you have and how far you need to commute for that job could make a difference in your policy choice and price.
- Excess vehicle discounts
- Mileage discounts- Keeping low miles on your vehicle should keep your premiums lower.
- Discounts for safety courses taken- taking a safety course can help your premiums go down because it proves that you are a safe driver.
- Good driver discounts- having a driving record which shows safe driving and responsible skills will only help you when shopping for insurance.
- Multi-car discounts- Not only having multiple cars can help, but the types of cars your family drives could save you.
- Multi-policy discounts- You may want to consider getting homeowners insurance, motorcycle insurance, car insurance, SR22 insurance and much more from the same insurance company.
Who To Shop With
You need to know best ways to shop. And whatever insurance carrier you land on whether it is State Farm, GEICO or a smaller, independent company, know that you have done your homework. For starters, you can always do an online generated search. There are multiple companies out there who make a living off of finding you insurance.
Cheap Insurance is one of those companies that has years of experience. The online quote comparisons are a great way to shop around. From cheap auto insurance to renters insurance you can find the price you are comfortable with. More than anything, you should talk with a broker. A broker is different from an agent. The broker works for you and is there to get you a great deal.
They want to close with you and want your needs to be met. That means finding you what you want. Brokers don’t work for insurance carriers and most of the time are independent contractors. Don’t mess around with guessing. Know what to expect with a broker. That is where you start your search for the cheap car insurance you need.