9 Shopping Tips Guaranteed to Save on Car Insurance Costs in Fort Smith

If you are a novice to online car insurance shopping, you may be overwhelmed because of the huge number of online car insurance companies and websites selling insurance in Fort Smith.

How to Compare Car Insurance Quotes in Fort Smith, AR

When shopping for car insurance there are multiple ways of comparing rate quotes and find the best price. The best way to find the cheapest insurance rates is to use the internet to compare rates. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in several different ways.

  1. One of the best ways to get the best comparison quotes is to use a rate comparison form like this one (opens in new window). This method keeps you from doing boring form submissions for every car insurance company. One form submission will get you price quotes from several companies. This is by far the quickest method.
  2. A less efficient way to obtain and compare quotes online consists of visiting each company website and fill out their own quote form. For example, let’s say you want to compare rates from Progressive, Esurance and State Farm. To get rate quotes you would need to visit each site and enter your policy data, which is why the first method is quicker.

    For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Fort Smith, click here.

It’s up to you how you get prices quotes, just make sure you use exactly the same coverages and limits for each price quote. If you compare different deductibles it’s impossible to determine the best price in Fort Smith. Having just a slight variation in coverages can mean a large discrepancy in price. And when price shopping your coverage, quoting more helps locate the best price.

Do drivers who switch really save $417 a year?

Car insurance companies such as GEICO, State Farm and Progressive consistently run ads on TV and radio. They all seem to make an identical promise that you can save if you change your policy. How can each company make the same claim? It’s all in the numbers.

All the different companies can use profiling for the driver that makes them money. For instance, a preferred risk could possibly be a mature driver, insures multiple vehicles, and drives less than 7,500 miles a year. A customer who meets those qualifications will qualify for the lowest rates and therefore will save quite a bit of money when switching.

Potential customers who don’t meet the “perfect” profile will be quoted a higher premium which leads to business going elsewhere. The ads say “customers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much. This is how insurance companies can confidently claim big savings. This emphasizes why drivers must quote coverage with many companies. It’s impossible to know which insurance companies will have the lowest rates.

Lots of discounts mean lots of savings

Companies don’t always publicize all available discounts in a way that’s easy to find, so we took the time to find both the well known and also the lesser-known discounts you could be receiving.

  • Auto/Life Discount – Companies who offer life insurance give better rates if you take out a life insurance policy as well.
  • Resident Student – Children who are attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle can be insured at a reduced rate.
  • Multiple Cars – Buying insurance for all your vehicles on the same car insurance policy qualifies for this discount.
  • Government Employees – Active or retired federal employment can save as much as 8% with select insurance companies.
  • Anti-theft Discount – Vehicles with anti-theft systems are stolen less frequently and earn discounts up to 10%.
  • Safety Course Discount – Taking a course in driver safety can save you 5% or more depending on where you live.
  • Bundle and Save – If you insure your home and vehicles with the same insurance company you may save up to 20% off your total premium.
  • Passive Restraint Discount – Cars that have air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems can get savings of up to 25% or more.
  • Driver’s Ed – Make teen driver coverage more affordable by requiring them to take driver’s ed class in high school.

As a disclaimer on discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given the the whole policy. Some only reduce individual premiums such as comprehensive or collision. So when the math indicates adding up those discounts means a free policy, you’re out of luck.

Car insurance coverages

Knowing the specifics of your car insurance policy aids in choosing appropriate coverage at the best deductibles and correct limits. The coverage terms in a policy can be difficult to understand and nobody wants to actually read their policy.

Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance

Your UM/UIM coverage provides protection from other motorists when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. This coverage pays for injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and damage to your vehicle.save money in Fort Smith Arkansas

Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits (25/50/25), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is very important.

Insurance for medical payments

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage kick in for bills for EMT expenses, funeral costs, nursing services and pain medications. They are used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to both the driver and occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP coverage is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision)

This coverage will pay to fix damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You first must pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive can pay for things like a tree branch falling on your vehicle, damage from a tornado or hurricane, a broken windshield and hail damage. The maximum payout you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

Collision insurance

This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be paid by your insurance company.

Collision coverage pays for claims like driving through your garage door, colliding with another moving vehicle, rolling your car and crashing into a ditch. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so consider removing coverage from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Another option is to bump up the deductible to save money on collision insurance.

Coverage for liability

This protects you from damages or injuries you inflict on other’s property or people. Liability coverage has three limits: bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. Your policy might show liability limits of 100/300/100 that translate to a limit of $100,000 per injured person, $300,000 for the entire accident, and a total limit of $100,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

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Liability insurance covers things such as repair costs for stationary objects, funeral expenses, bail bonds and court costs. How much liability should you purchase? That is a personal decision, but you should buy as large an amount as possible. Arkansas state minimum liability requirements are 25,000/50,000/25,000 but drivers should carry better liability coverage.

Cheaper insurance is a realistic goal

When you buy insurance online, do not buy lower coverage limits just to save a few bucks. There are too many instances where someone dropped liability coverage limits only to regret that the small savings ended up costing them much more. The proper strategy is to find the BEST coverage at the best price while still protecting your assets.

We just showed you many ways to get a better price on car insurance. It’s most important to understand that the more rate quotes you have, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. You may be surprised to find that the most savings is with a small local company.

Low-cost car insurance can be found online in addition to many Fort Smith insurance agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both to have the best rate selection. A few companies do not provide you the ability to get quotes online and most of the time these smaller companies sell through independent agents.

More detailed Arkansas car insurance information is available at the Arkansas Insurance Department website. Arkansas drivers can download brochures, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, view a list of available companies, and file complaints about a company.

Additional helpful sites include this site for car insurance rates in Arkansas and this list of agents in Fort Smith, AR.