Expensive auto insurance can dwindle your savings account and force you to prioritize other expenses. Shopping your coverage around is free, only takes a few minutes, and is a good way to lower your monthly bill.
There are many insurance companies to insure vehicles with, and even though it’s nice to have a selection, it can be more challenging to compare rates and cut insurance costs.
You need to get comparison quotes once or twice a year because rates are constantly changing. Just because you had the lowest rates last year other companies may now be cheaper. So block out anything you think you know about auto insurance because you’re about to learn the tricks you need to know to remove unneeded coverages and save money.
All major auto insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate and GEICO give prices on the web. The process is quite simple as you just type in your coverage preferences into a form. When complete, the system will obtain reports for credit and driving violations and generates pricing information based on many factors. This makes it a lot easier to compare rates but having to visit each company’s website and repetitively complete many quote forms is repetitive and time-consuming. But it is imperative to perform this step if you want to find a lower rate.
Rate comparisons made easy
A more efficient way to get multiple rate quotes uses one simple form that obtains quotes from a lot of companies. This type of form saves time, helps eliminate reptitive entry, and makes comparison shopping much simpler. After your information is entered, it is quoted with multiple companies and you can pick any or none of the resulting price quotes.
If one or more price quotes are lower than your current rates, it’s easy to complete the application and purchase the new policy. It takes 15 minutes at the most and may result in a nice savings.
To find out if lower rates are available, click here to open in a new tab and begin entering your coverage information. If you have your current policy handy, we recommend you type in the limits and deductibles just like they are on your policy. Using the same limits helps guarantee you will get a price comparison using the same coverage and limits.
Car insurance can cost a lot, but you can get discounts that you may not know about. Most are applied at the time of purchase, but a few need to be specially asked for in order for you to get them.
As a disclaimer on discounts, most discounts do not apply to your bottom line cost. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. So when the math indicates you would end up receiving a 100% discount, companies wouldn’t make money that way. Any amount of discount will help reduce your premiums.
For a list of insurers with discount auto insurance rates in Oregon, follow this link.
Some consumers would prefer to buy from a licensed agent and there is nothing wrong with that. One of the great benefits of comparing rates online is the fact that you can find better rates but still work with a licensed agent. Buying from local businesses is definitely important in Albany.
For easy comparison, once you complete this form (opens in new window), your insurance data is immediately sent to participating agents in Albany who will give you bids to get your business. There is no need to drive around as quotes are delivered to the email address you provide. You’ll get the best rates without the usual hassles of price shopping.
If you wish to select a specific agent in Albany, please view this page.
Picking a company needs to be determined by more than just a cheap price. Some important questions to ask are:
Once you have satisfactory answers to any questions you have and an acceptable price quote, you may have just found an insurance company that can properly insure your vehicles. Just keep in mind consumers can cancel your policy for any reason so don’t think that you are obligated to the auto insurance policy with no way out.
When choosing adequate coverage, there really is not a cookie cutter policy. Everyone’s situation is a little different so your insurance should reflect that For instance, these questions can aid in determining whether you might need an agent’s assistance.
If you’re not sure about those questions but you know they apply to you, you might consider talking to an agent. To find an agent in your area, fill out this quick form or click here for a list of auto insurance companies in your area.
More information is available on the website for the Oregon Insurance Division. Click here for link. Visitors are able to report car insurance fraud, find a variety of consumer forms, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and read consumer alerts.
The following information may also be useful.
Having a good grasp of your policy aids in choosing which coverages you need and proper limits and deductibles. Policy terminology can be impossible to understand and even agents have difficulty translating policy wording. Listed below are typical coverage types found on the average auto insurance policy.
Collision coverages – This will pay to fix damage to your vehicle from colliding with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You first must pay a deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision coverage protects against claims such as crashing into a building, damaging your car on a curb and hitting a mailbox. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to choose a higher deductible to bring the cost down.
Liability – Liability coverage provides protection from injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property by causing an accident. Split limit liability has three limits of coverage: per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. You commonly see policy limits of 100/300/100 which means $100,000 bodily injury coverage, a limit of $300,000 in injury protection per accident, and a limit of $100,000 paid for damaged property. Some companies may use a combined single limit or CSL which combines the three limits into one amount without having the split limit caps.
Liability can pay for claims such as structural damage, funeral expenses, court costs and bail bonds. How much liability coverage do you need? That is up to you, but consider buying as much as you can afford. Oregon requires drivers to carry at least 25,000/50,000/20,000 but you should think about purchasing more liability than the minimum.
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist insurance – This protects you and your vehicle’s occupants from other motorists when they are uninsured or don’t have enough coverage. Covered claims include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants and damage to your vehicle.
Since a lot of drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (25/50/20 in Oregon), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is important protection for you and your family. Frequently the UM/UIM limits are similar to your liability insurance amounts.
Insurance for medical payments – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for bills for nursing services, pain medications and chiropractic care. They are used in conjunction with a health insurance plan or if you are not covered by health insurance. Coverage applies to not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants and also covers being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
Comprehensive coverage (or Other than Collision) – Comprehensive insurance coverage pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You need to pay your deductible first then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive can pay for things such as falling objects, a broken windshield and damage from getting keyed. The maximum payout you’ll receive from a claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.
Discount auto insurance can be found on the web as well as from independent agents in Albany, so compare prices from both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance companies don’t offer online price quotes and these small, regional companies work with independent agents.
When trying to cut insurance costs, do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In many instances, consumers will sacrifice liability coverage limits only to regret at claim time that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. Your aim should be to buy a smart amount of coverage for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.