Auto Insurance in Bristol Vermont – 8 Tricks to Cut Costs

Tired of paying out the nose to buy car insurance? You’re in the same situation as many other drivers in Vermont. Drivers have so many insurance companies to buy insurance from, and even though it’s nice to have a choice, it can be more challenging to adequately compare rates.

It’s a good habit to shop coverage around occasionally because insurance rates trend upward over time. Despite the fact that you may have had the lowest price last year there is a good chance you can find better rates now. So just forget all the misinformation about auto insurance because it’s time to teach you how to use online quotes to remove unneeded coverages and save money.

Do you qualify for these eight discounts?

Car insurance companies do not advertise all their discounts in an easy-to-find place, so here is a list both the well known and the more hidden discounts you could be receiving. If they aren’t giving you every credit you deserve, you are throwing money away.

  • Distant Student – Any of your kids who attend school more than 100 miles from home and don’t have a car may be able to be covered for less.
  • Multi-car Discount – Having more than one vehicle on one policy may reduce the rate for each vehicle.
  • Pay Upfront and Save – If paying your policy premium upfront rather than paying monthly you could save 5% or more.
  • Air Bag Discount – Vehicles with factory air bags or automatic seat belts can receive discounts up to 30%.
  • Employee of Federal Government – Simply working for the federal government may qualify you for a discount depending on your company.
  • Good Student Discount – This discount can get you a discount of up to 25%. Earning this discount can benefit you well after school through age 25.
  • Senior Discount – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you may qualify for better auto insurance rates.
  • Low Mileage – Keeping the miles down could be rewarded with discounted rates on garaged vehicles.

It’s important to note that most of the big mark downs will not be given to the entire policy premium. The majority will only reduce specific coverage prices like liability and collision coverage. Just because it seems like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, auto insurance companies aren’t that generous.

Vehicle Insurance Comparison

Finding lower Bristol auto insurance rates is surprisingly easy. Just invest a little time getting comparison quotes online with multiple companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in a couple of different ways.

  1. The easiest and least time consuming way to get quotes for comparison is to use a rate comparison form click to view form in new window. This type of form keeps you from doing multiple quote forms for each company. A single, simple form will get you rate comparisons from multiple companies.
  2. Another way to compare rate quotes requires a trip to each company website to request a price quote. For sake of this example, let’s say you want comparison quotes from Farmers, Liberty Mutual and GMAC. To get each rate you have to take the time to go to each site to input your insurance information, and that’s why the first method is more popular.

    For a list of links to insurance companies in Bristol, click here.

  3. The most time-consuming way of comparing rate quotes is to waste gas driving to and from local insurance agencies. The ability to buy insurance online makes this process obsolete unless you want the personal advice of a local agent. However, consumers can get the lowest quotes online and still use a local agent and you’ll learn how to do that later.

However you get your quotes, compare apples-to-apples coverages and limits on every quote you get. If you enter different deductibles you can’t possibly determine the lowest rate in Bristol.

Situations that might require an agent

When it comes to buying coverage for your personal vehicles, there is no perfect coverage plan. Your needs are not the same as everyone else’s and a cookie cutter policy won’t apply. For example, these questions may help you determine if your situation could use an agent’s help.

  • What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?
  • What if I total my vehicle and owe more than it’s worth?
  • Is my vehicle covered for flood damage?
  • How much liability do I need to cover my assets?
  • Am I covered when pulling a rental trailer?
  • Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
  • Should I have combined single limit or split liability limits?
  • Is a new car covered when I drive it off the dealer lot?
  • When should I not file a claim?
  • Why am I required to buy high-risk coverage?

If you’re not sure about those questions but a few of them apply, you might consider talking to a licensed insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, simply complete this short form or you can go here for a list of companies in your area. It’s fast, free and can provide invaluable advice.

What happened to insurance agents?

A small number of people would rather get advice from a local agent and that is just fine! Educated insurance agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help in the event of a claim. The biggest benefit of getting online price quotes is you may find the best rates but still work with a licensed agent.

To find an agent, once you fill out this form (opens in new window), your information is submitted to insurance agents in Bristol who will compete for your insurance coverage. You won’t need to drive around as quotes are delivered to your email. Now that’s easy!

Choosing an insurer shouldn’t rely on just the price. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
  • Which members of your family are coverage by the policy?
  • Are you getting all the discounts the company offers?
  • Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
  • Is working in the agency their full-time job?
  • Which insurance companies are they affiliated with?

Insurance agents in Bristol come in two varieties

When looking for a local agent, you need to know there are two different agency structures that you can select. Insurance agencies in Bristol are either captive or independent. Both do a good job, but it’s worth mentioning how they are different since it can impact buying decisions.

Captive Insurance Agents

These agents can only place business with one company and examples are American Family, Liberty Mutual and AAA. They usually cannot provide prices from multiple companies so always compare other rates. Captives receive extensive training on the products they sell which can be an advantage.

Independent Insurance Agents

Independent agencies are not locked into one company so they can insure your vehicles with many different companies and potentially find a lower price. To transfer your coverage to a different company, your agent can switch companies and that require little work on your part. When searching for an agent, we recommend you get quotes from at a minimum one independent agency to have the most options to choose from.

Below are Bristol independent agents who can help you get price quote information.

Johnson Insurance – – Bristol, VT 05443 – (802) 453-2373
Rodrique Cousino Insurance – 295 Hardscrabble Rd – Bristol, VT 05443 – (802) 453-2497

To view a full list of licensed insurance agents in Bristol, simply jump to this page.

Upon getting good answers to any questions you have and a good coverage price, you may have just found an auto insurance agent that will properly service your auto insurance policy.

Save $483 a year? Really?

Consumers can’t ignore all the ads for the lowest price auto insurance by companies like Progressive, Allstate and GEICO. They all make the same claim that you can save if you change to them.

How can each company make the same claim? This is how they do it.

All the different companies have a preferred profile for the type of driver that makes them money. For example, a desirable insured could be a mature driver, has no prior claims, and drives less than 7,500 miles a year. A customer getting a price quote who fits that profile will get very good rates and as a result will probably save quite a bit of money when switching.

Drivers who fall outside the requirements will have to pay more money and this can result in business going elsewhere. The ads state “drivers who switch” not “everyone that quotes” save that much money. That’s the way insurance companies can state the savings. Because of the profiling, it is so important to get quotes from several different companies. It’s impossible to know which auto insurance company will provide you with the cheapest rates.

Coverages available on your auto insurance policy

Having a good grasp of auto insurance aids in choosing the best coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The coverage terms in a policy can be confusing and coverage can change by endorsement. Below you’ll find typical coverage types offered by auto insurance companies.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

This provides protection from other drivers when they either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered losses include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Because many people carry very low liability coverage limits (25/50/10 in Vermont), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages should not be overlooked.

Med pay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for expenses like nursing services, doctor visits, prosthetic devices and ambulance fees. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance program or if you are not covered by health insurance. They cover both the driver and occupants and also covers being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP is not an option in every state but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Comprehensive insurance

This coverage pays for damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You need to pay your deductible first then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive coverage pays for claims such as hail damage, rock chips in glass, a broken windshield, theft and damage from flooding. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle is not worth much consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Collision protection

Collision coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage resulting from colliding with a stationary object or other vehicle. You first must pay a deductible and then insurance will cover the remainder.

Bristol Vermont insurance ad

Collision insurance covers things such as rolling your car, hitting a mailbox, colliding with a tree, sustaining damage from a pot hole and driving through your garage door. This coverage can be expensive, so consider dropping it from vehicles that are older. You can also choose a higher deductible to bring the cost down.


Liability insurance will cover damages or injuries you inflict on other’s property or people by causing an accident. This coverage protects you against claims from other people. It does not cover damage sustained by your vehicle in 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 limits of 25/50/25 which means $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and property damage coverage for $25,000.

Liability can pay for things such as repair bills for other people’s vehicles, emergency aid and funeral expenses. How much liability should you purchase? That is up to you, but consider buying as much as you can afford. Vermont requires drivers to carry at least 25,000/50,000/10,000 but you should think about purchasing better liability coverage.

One last thing

You just read a lot of tips how to save on auto insurance. The key concept to understand is the more price quotes you have, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. You may even find the most savings is with some of the smallest insurance companies. These companies may cover specific market segments cheaper than the large multi-state companies such as Progressive or GEICO.

As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, it’s very important that you do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There have been many cases where someone sacrificed collision coverage and found out when filing a claim that their decision to reduce coverage ended up costing them more. Your strategy should be to buy enough coverage at the best price while still protecting your assets.

Additional detailed information is located at the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation website. Visitors are able to get help finding coverage, report car insurance fraud, and view a list of available companies.

The following information may also be useful.