Best 8 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance in Watertown

Comparing Watertown auto insurance rates online can seem like an uphill battle if you are a beginner to quoting online. Don’t let that stop you because using the internet to shop for auto insurance is actually quite easy.

Cut your premium with these eight discounts

Companies offering auto insurance do not list all their discounts in a way that’s easy to find, so the following is a list of both the well known as well as the least known discounts you could be receiving. If you aren’t receiving every discount possible, you’re just leaving money on the table.

  • E-sign – Certain companies give back up to $50 for buying a policy and signing up on their website.
  • Use Seat Belts – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts can save 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
  • Resident Student – Any of your kids who attend school more than 100 miles from home and do not have a car can receive lower rates.
  • No Accidents – Drivers with accident-free driving histories can save substantially compared to drivers who are more careless.
  • Anti-lock Brakes – Anti-lock brake equipped vehicles can reduce accidents and will save you 10% or more.
  • Payment Method – If you pay your entire premium ahead of time instead of making monthly payments you can actually save on your bill.
  • Save over 55 – Mature drivers may receive a discount up to 10%.
  • Clubs and Organizations – Belonging to a civic or occupational organization could qualify you for a break on your policy.

Consumers should know that many deductions do not apply to all coverage premiums. Some only apply to specific coverage prices like comp or med pay. So when the math indicates it’s possible to get free car insurance, you’re out of luck.

To see a list of insurers with the best auto insurance discounts in Watertown, click here.

What is the best insurance coverage?

When buying coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is no single plan that fits everyone. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs.

For example, these questions might point out if you would benefit from professional advice.

  • Why is insurance for a teen driver so high in Watertown?
  • Is my business laptop covered if it gets stolen from my vehicle?
  • Should I put collision coverage on all my vehicles?
  • Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
  • Can I get a multi-policy discount for packaging my home and auto coverage?
  • Does my vehicle qualify for pleasure use?
  • When should I not file a claim?
  • Is rental equipment covered for theft or damage?
  • Am I covered if I crash into my own garage door?
  • Can I afford to pay high deductible claims out of pocket?

If you can’t answer these questions, you might consider talking to a licensed agent. If you don’t have a local agent, take a second and complete this form. It’s fast, free and you can get the answers you need.

What about using a local agent?

Certain consumers just want to buy from a local agent and that is a personal choice. Educated insurance agents can point out coverage gaps and give you someone to call. One of the best bonuses of comparing insurance prices online is the fact that you can find lower rates and still choose a local agent.

Upon completion of this quick form, the quote information is instantly submitted to participating agents in Watertown who will give you bids for your insurance coverage. You won’t need to visit any agencies as quotes are delivered directly to your email.

Deciding on an provider should depend on more than just the premium amount. Some important questions to ask are:

  • Is their price quote a firm figure or are their hidden costs?
  • Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
  • How long has their agency been in business in Watertown?
  • How many years of experience in personal lines insurance coverages do they have?
  • Will you be dealing directly with the agent or with a Custom Service Representative (CSR)?
  • What are the financial ratings for the companies they represent?

How to choose the best car insurance agent in Watertown

When looking for a reputable insurance agent or broker, you need to know there are two types of agencies that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agents are categorized either independent or captive. Both properly insure your vehicles, but it’s worth learning the difference between them since it may influence your agent selection.

Agency Captives

Captive agents work for only one company like State Farm, AAA and Liberty Mutual. These agents are unable to give you multiple price quotes so they have to upsell other benefits. Captive agencies are well schooled on their company’s products which helps them compete with independent agents. Some consumers prefer to choose to use a captive agent mainly due to the brand legacy and the convenience of having a single billing for all their coverages.

Listed below is a list of captive insurance agents in Watertown that can give you rate quotes.

  • American Family Insurance – 211 S Highway 20 – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 886-7182
  • State Farm Insurance – 314 4th St NE – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 882-4578
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 808 S Maple – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 882-2535
Independent Insurance Agents

Independent agencies are not required to write business for one company so they have the ability to put coverage with multiple insurance companies and potentially find a lower price. If your agent finds better pricing, the business is moved internally and you don’t have to find a new agent.

When comparing rates, we recommend you include price quotes from at least one independent agent for maximum quote selection.Most can insure with lesser-known insurance companies which can be an advantage.

Below is a short list of independent agencies in Watertown that can give you rate quotes.

  • Great Western Insurance – 35 1st Ave NE – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 886-4361
  • Belsaas Agency – 322 1st Ave NE – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 882-3451
  • Ken Sinner Agency – 600 5th St SE – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 882-1252
  • Dacoth Insurance – 1310 9th Ave SE – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 882-2144
  • Belsaas Agency – 116 16th St NE – Watertown, SD 57201 – (605) 882-3451

For a full directory of Watertown insurance agents, visit this link.

Upon getting reasonable responses and a low price estimate, chances are good that you have found an insurance agent that meets your needs to adequately provide auto insurance. But keep in mind policyholders can terminate your policy whenever you wish so don’t feel that you’re stuck with your new company with no way to switch.

Buyer beware of auto insurance advertising tricks

Consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for the lowest price auto insurance by companies like Allstate and Progressive. They all seem to say the same thing that you can save after switching to them.

How do they all make the same claim? This is how they do it.

Different companies can use profiling for the driver that makes them money. For example, a profitable customer might be between 30 and 50, is a homeowner, and drives less than 7,500 miles a year. A customer getting a price quote that hits that “sweet spot” receives the best rates and therefore will save when switching.

Potential customers who fall outside the requirements will be charged more money and this can result in business going elsewhere. Company advertisements say “people who switch” not “people who quote” save that much. This is how insurance companies can confidently advertise the savings. That is why you should compare as many rates as you can. It is impossible to predict which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.

Coverage specifics

Having a good grasp of auto insurance helps when choosing which coverages you need at the best deductibles and correct limits. The coverage terms in a policy can be confusing and nobody wants to actually read their policy.

Collision – This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.

Collision coverage protects against claims such as damaging your car on a curb, driving through your garage door and sideswiping another vehicle. Collision coverage makes up a good portion of your premium, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are older. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

UM/UIM Coverage – This protects you and your vehicle from other drivers when they either have no liability insurance or not enough. Covered claims include hospital bills for your injuries and also any damage incurred to your vehicle.

Due to the fact that many South Dakota drivers have only the minimum liability required by law (25/50/25 in South Dakota), it doesn’t take a major accident to exceed their coverage limits. This is the reason having UM/UIM coverage is very important.

Medical costs insurance – Med pay and PIP coverage pay for bills for hospital visits, funeral costs, prosthetic devices and EMT expenses. They are utilized in addition to your health insurance policy or if you lack health insurance entirely. Coverage applies to all vehicle occupants and also covers if you are hit as a while walking down the street. Personal Injury Protection is only offered in select states but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage

Comprehensive or Other Than Collision – Comprehensive insurance coverage pays for damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You need to pay your deductible first then your comprehensive coverage will pay.

Comprehensive coverage pays for things such as a tree branch falling on your vehicle, rock chips in glass and hitting a bird. The highest amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if your deductible is as high as the vehicle’s value consider removing comprehensive coverage.

Watertown South Dakota insurance ad

Auto liability insurance – This coverage protects you from damage or injury you incur to a person or their property in an accident. It consists of three limits, bodily injury for each person, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. As an example, you may have values of 100/300/100 that means you have a $100,000 limit per person for injuries, $300,000 for the entire accident, and $100,000 of coverage for damaged propery.

Liability insurance covers claims like repair costs for stationary objects, medical services, repair bills for other people’s vehicles and emergency aid. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is your choice, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase higher limits if possible. South Dakota requires minimum liability limits of 25,000/50,000/25,000 but you should consider buying more liability than the minimum.

More tips and info about auto insurance is available at the South Dakota Division of Insurance website. South Dakota drivers can report car insurance fraud, find disaster information, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and read consumer alerts.

Also read more on Auto Insurance 101 and this resource to find Watertown, SD insurance agents.

Quote often and quote early

Cheaper auto insurance can be bought online and also from your neighborhood Watertown agents, so you should be comparing quotes from both to have the best selection. Some insurance companies may not provide online price quotes and many times these small, regional companies only sell through independent insurance agents.

Consumers change insurance companies for a variety of reasons including delays in paying claims, extreme rates for teen drivers, unfair underwriting practices or even not issuing a premium refund. Whatever your reason, finding a new company is easier than you think.

When buying insurance coverage, it’s very important that you do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. Too many times, drivers have reduced physical damage coverage only to discover later that their decision to reduce coverage ended up costing them more. Your focus should be to buy the best coverage you can find at a price you can afford while still protecting your assets.