10 Discounts Pittsburgh Shoppers Forget when Buying Auto Insurance

Feel like you’re a prisoner to an overpriced auto insurance policy? Trust us when we tell you you’re not alone. Companies like State Farm and GEICO continually hit you with fancy advertisements and consumers find it hard to ignore the flashy ads and find the best price available.

If you are insured now or are looking for a new policy, you will benefit by learning to cut your premiums while maximizing coverage. Choosing the best insurance company for you in Pittsburgh is easy if you know what you’re doing. Pennsylvania consumers just need to learn the tricks to compare company rates online.

Don’t miss these ten discounts

Car insurance companies don’t always publicize all their discounts very well, so here is a list both the well known and the harder-to-find auto insurance savings. If you don’t get every credit possible, you are throwing money away.

  • Homeowners Savings – Being a homeowner may trigger a auto insurance policy discount because maintaining a house demonstrates responsibility.
  • Good Students Pay Less – This discount can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. This discount can apply until age 25.
  • Use Seat Belts – Using a seat belt and requiring all passengers to use a seat belt can save 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
  • Distant Student – Kids in college who attend school more than 100 miles from home and do not have access to a covered vehicle may qualify for this discount.
  • Discount for Life Insurance – Companies who offer life insurance give a break if you buy a life insurance policy as well.
  • Drivers Ed for Students – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to take driver’s ed class if it’s offered in school.
  • Memberships – Belonging to a civic or occupational organization is a good way to get lower rates on your policy.
  • New Car Discount – Adding a new car to your policy can cost up to 25% less because new vehicles have to meet stringent safety requirements.
  • Federal Employees – Employees or retirees of the government may qualify you for a discount with select insurance companies.
  • Payment Method – By paying your policy upfront rather than paying monthly you may reduce your total bill.

A little note about advertised discounts, some of the credits will not apply to the overall cost of the policy. A few only apply to individual premiums such as collision or personal injury protection. So when the math indicates all the discounts add up to a free policy, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous.

To see a list of companies with the best auto insurance discounts in Pittsburgh, click here to view.

Your coverage should be tailored to you

When it comes to buying adequate coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is not a “best” method to buy coverage. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s so your insurance needs to address that. For example, these questions could help you determine whether you could use an agent’s help.

  • Are there companies who specialize in insuring high-risk drivers?
  • Does my policy cover my teen driver if they drive my company car?
  • Do I have coverage when using my vehicle for my home business?
  • Am I covered when delivering products for my home-based business?
  • Do I really need UM/UIM coverage?
  • Do I qualify for additional discounts?
  • Are all vehicle passengers covered by medical payments coverage?
  • Can I rate high risk drivers on liability-only vehicles?
  • What happens if I owe more than my vehicle is worth?
  • Does my policy cover me when driving someone else’s vehicle?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but a few of them apply then you might want to talk to an insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, fill out this quick form or go to this page to view a list of companies. It is quick, free and can help protect your family.

But I prefer to buy car insurance from an agent

Some people would prefer to talk to a local agent and that is a personal choice. Agents can answer important questions and help in the event of a claim. One of the best bonuses of comparing rates online is the fact that you can find lower rates and still have an agent to talk to.

Upon completion of this simple form, your insurance data is instantly submitted to participating agents in Pittsburgh who will give you bids for your insurance coverage. You don’t have to leave your house as quotes are delivered to your email.

Picking an provider requires more thought than just the premium amount. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Do they make recommendations based only on price?
  • How many years of experience in personal lines insurance coverages do they have?
  • Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
  • What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?
  • What insurance company do they write the most business with?
  • How much can you save by raising your physical damage deductibles?
  • Do they specialize in personal lines coverage?

Do you need an independent or captive insurance agency?

If you’re trying to find a local agent, you must know there are a couple types of agencies from which to choose. Pittsburgh agents can either be captive or independent. Either one can insure your vehicles, but it’s important to know the difference between them because it can influence the type of agent you choose

Captive Insurance Agents

Captive agents are contracted to one company and examples are AAA, Allstate and State Farm. These agents are not able to place coverage with different providers so always compare other rates. They receive extensive training on the products they sell and that can be a competitive advantage.

Listed below are captive agencies in Pittsburgh that are able to give rate quotes.

Liberty Mutual Insurance – 4 N Shore Ctr – Pittsburgh, PA 15212 – (412) 321-9211
Allstate Insurance – 20 Donati Rd – Pittsburgh, PA 15241 – (412) 831-1000
State Farm Insurance – 301 S Hills Vlg # 208 – Pittsburgh, PA 15241 – (412) 835-2225
Pennsylvania car insurance

Independent Agents

Independent agencies are not required to write business for one company but rather can write business with lots of companies depending on which coverage is best. To move your coverage to a new company, the agent simply finds a different carrier and you won’t have to switch agencies.

When comparison shopping, it’s a good idea to contact at least one independent agent for maximum quote selection.

The following is a list of independent agencies in Pittsburgh that can give you price quote information.

Robert W Comfort Agency – 90 Clairton Blvd – Pittsburgh, PA 15236 – (412) 653-4353
Homer M Martin Agency Inc – 9380 Mcknight Rd # 104 – Pittsburgh, PA 15237 – (724) 935-5300
Garland Agency – 6401 Penn Ave – Pittsburgh, PA 15206 – (412) 678-8868
Barnett Insurance – 1910 Cochran Rd # 330 – Pittsburgh, PA 15220 – (412) 343-3313
Donald R Graves Insurance Svc – 9 Dorchester Dr – Pittsburgh, PA 15241 – (412) 854-2691

For a full directory of auto insurance agents in Pittsburgh, please view this page.

Upon receiving acceptable answers and an acceptable price quote, you have narrowed it down to an auto insurance agent that meets your needs to properly service your auto insurance policy. But keep in mind once you purchase a policy you can terminate your policy for any reason so don’t assume that you’re stuck with a policy with no way to switch.

The fine print in auto insurance ads

Consumers in Pennsylvania get pounded daily by advertisements for cheaper car insurance from companies such as Allstate and Progressive. All the companies make an identical promise that you can save if you change your policy.

How does each company claim to save you money?

All companies are able to cherry pick for the right customer they prefer to insure. A good example of a driver they prefer could possibly be between 30 and 50, owns a home, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. Any new insured who matches those parameters will get very good rates and is almost guaranteed to save quite a bit of money when switching.

Consumers who don’t qualify for these standards will be charged more money which usually ends up with business going elsewhere. The ad wording is “people who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save money. That is how insurance companies can confidently state the savings. That is why you should get a wide range of price quotes. Because you never know which company will fit your personal profile best.

Pennsylvania insurance information

Additional detailed information can be found at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website. Visitors are able to get help finding coverage, learn about insurance regulations, read state legal mandates and laws, and file complaints about an insurance agent or broker.

Auto insurance coverage specifics

Understanding the coverages of your auto insurance policy can be of help when determining the best coverages at the best deductibles and correct limits. Policy terminology can be difficult to understand and coverage can change by endorsement. Listed below are the normal coverages found on most auto insurance policies.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage – This provides protection from other motorists when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered losses include medical payments for you and your occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits (15/30/5 in Pennsylvania), their limits can quickly be used up. So UM/UIM coverage is important protection for you and your family.

lower rates in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Collision coverages – This coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by collision with a stationary object or other vehicle. You have to pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision can pay for things like crashing into a ditch, driving through your garage door, rolling your car and colliding with another moving vehicle. Collision is rather expensive coverage, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are older. It’s also possible to raise the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Auto liability – This will cover injuries or damage you cause to people or other property that is your fault. Coverage consists of three different limits, per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. Your policy might show liability limits of 25/50/25 that means you have $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and a total limit of $25,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

Liability can pay for claims such as medical expenses, emergency aid, loss of income, structural damage and repair costs for stationary objects. How much liability coverage do you need? That is up to you, but you should buy as much as you can afford. Pennsylvania requires minimum liability limits of 15,000/30,000/5,000 but you should consider buying more coverage.

Comprehensive coverages – Comprehensive insurance coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage from a wide range of events other than collision. You need to pay your deductible first then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive coverage pays for claims like damage from flooding, theft, damage from getting keyed, hail damage and rock chips in glass. The highest amount your auto insurance company will pay is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Coverage for medical payments – Coverage for medical payments and/or PIP pay for immediate expenses for things like prosthetic devices, nursing services, ambulance fees, surgery and chiropractic care. The coverages can be used to cover expenses not covered by your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover you and your occupants as well as getting struck while a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not universally available but can be used in place of medical payments coverage

Best coverage at the best price

As you restructure your insurance plan, make sure you don’t sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In too many instances, consumers will sacrifice liability coverage limits and learned later they didn’t purchase enough coverage. Your aim should be to purchase plenty of coverage at an affordable rate while still protecting your assets.

Throughout this article, we presented some good ideas how to lower your auto insurance rates. The key thing to remember is the more companies you get rates for, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may even find the biggest savings come from some of the lesser-known companies. These companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates as compared to the big name companies such as Allstate, GEICO and Progressive.