Easy Tips to Cut Costs on Pittsfield, MA Auto Insurance

Purchasing the cheapest Pittsfield auto insurance on the internet can seem to be challenging for people who are new to comparison shopping online. When there are so many choices, how can you effectively compare every company to locate the best pricing?

It’s smart to get comparison quotes occasionally since insurance rates are variable and change quite frequently. Just because you found the lowest price a year ago there may be better deals available now. So just forget all the misinformation about auto insurance because you’re going to learn the quickest way to save money, get proper coverage and the best rates.

These discounts can slash auto insurance rates

Car insurance companies don’t necessarily list all their discounts very clearly, so we took the time to find both well-publicized and the harder-to-find ways to save on auto insurance. If you’re not getting every credit you qualify for, you are paying more than you should be.

  • Accident Forgiveness – A few companies will allow you to have one accident before your rates go up if you are claim-free for a particular time prior to the accident.
  • Discount for Life Insurance – Companies who offer life insurance give lower rates if you buy a life insurance policy as well.
  • Safe Driver Discount – Drivers who don’t get into accidents can get discounts for up to 45% lower rates than drivers with accident claims.
  • Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Drivers who require all occupants to use their safety belts can save 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
  • Drivers Ed for Students – Require your teen driver to enroll in driver’s education if it’s offered in school.
  • Anti-theft Discount – Anti-theft and alarm systems prevent vehicle theft and earn discounts up to 10%.
  • New Car Discount – Insuring a new car can be considerably cheaper since new cars are generally safer.
  • 55 and Retired – If you’re over the age of 55, you can possibly qualify for better auto insurance rates.
  • Good Student – A discount for being a good student can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. The discount lasts until age 25.
  • Resident Student – Kids in college who are attending college and do not have access to a covered vehicle may be able to be covered for less.

Drivers should understand that most discounts do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. The majority will only reduce the cost of specific coverages such as physical damage coverage or medical payments. So even though they make it sound like adding up those discounts means a free policy, companies don’t profit that way.

How to Buy Pittsfield Auto Insurance Online

Getting better auto insurance pricing can be surprisingly simple. The only thing you need to do is take a few minutes comparing price quotes from different insurance companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in several different ways.

Probably the best way to get the best comparison quotes is to use a rate comparison form click here to open form in new window. This method prevents you from having to do separate quotes for each company. A single form compares rates direct from many companies. Recommended for those who want to invest the least amount of time.

A different way to compare rate quotes requires a trip to each company’s website and fill out their own quote form. For example, we’ll assume you want comparison quotes from Farmers, Safeco and GEICO. You would have to visit each site and enter your information, which is why the first method is quicker.

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

The least recommended method of comparing rate quotes is to spend time driving to and from local Pittsfield insurance agencies. Shopping for auto insurance online makes this process obsolete unless you have a need for the trained guidance only provided by licensed Pittsfield agents. However, consumers can compare online quotes but still have the advice of a local agent and we’ll cover that in a bit.

Which method you use is up to you, but double check that you are using apples-to-apples coverage information for every company. If the quotes have mixed coverages it will be very difficult to find the best deal in Pittsfield.

Good Decisions Result in Lower Rates

Smart consumers have a good feel for some of the elements that go into determining the price you pay for auto insurance. When you know what positively or negatively influences your rates allows you to make educated decisions that will entitle you to better auto insurance rates.

Listed below are some of the factors companies use to determine prices.

  • Too many auto insurance claims drive up costs – If you file claims often, you can expect higher rates. Insurance companies in Massachusetts generally give better rates to people who file claims infrequently. Insurance coverage is intended for the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
  • Do you work long hours in a high stress job? – Jobs such as judges, architects and stock brokers tend to pay the highest rates attributed to high stress levels and long work days. On the other hand, jobs such as actors, students and the unemployed have the lowest average rates.
  • Safe vehicles cost less to insure – Cars with high safety ratings tend to have better insurance rates. These vehicles reduce injuries and lower injury rates translates into savings for insurance companies and thus lower rates.
  • Do you need those extra coverages? – There are quite a few extra coverages that you can get tricked into buying if you aren’t careful. Coverages for vanishing deductibles, accidental death and motor club memberships may be costing you every month. These coverages may sound good when talking to your agent, but if you don’t need them eliminate them to save money.
  • Proper usage rating affects rates – The more miles you rack up on your car each year the more you will pay for auto insurance. Almost all companies rate vehicles based on how the vehicle is used. Autos that are left in the garage get more affordable rates as compared to vehicles used primarily for driving to work. Verify your auto insurance policy shows how each vehicle is driven.
  • Cautious drivers pay less – Even a single moving violation may increase your cost by as much as thirty percent. Drivers with clean records receive lower rates than their less careful counterparts. Drivers who get dangerous violations like hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may be required to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility with the DMV in their state in order to prevent a license revocation.
  • How many coverages with the same company – Many insurers give discounts to policyholders who carry more than one policy such as combining an auto and homeowners policy. Discounts can be five, ten or even twenty percent. Even if you’re getting this discount it’s still a good idea to compare other company rates to verify if the discount is saving money. You may still find a better deal by insuring with multiple companies.
  • Sex matters – Statistics demonstrate women are more cautious behind the wheel. However, don’t assume that men are worse drivers. They both have accidents at a similar rate, but the men cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. Men also statistically receive more costly citations such as reckless driving.

How to know if you need help

When buying adequate coverage, there really is not a “best” method to buy coverage. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs.

For instance, these questions can aid in determining if your situation might need professional guidance.save money in Massachusetts

  • Should I buy additional glass protection?
  • Do I need PIP coverage since I have good health insurance?
  • What should my uninsured motorist coverage limits be in Massachusetts?
  • Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
  • Do I really need UM/UIM coverage?
  • Is there coverage for injuries to my pets?

If you can’t answer these questions but a few of them apply, you might consider talking to a licensed agent. If you don’t have a local agent, complete this form. It only takes a few minutes and can provide invaluable advice.

Do I need a local agent?

Certain consumers just want to visit with an insurance agent and that is OK! Good agents are trained to spot inefficiencies and help you file claims. The biggest benefit of comparing insurance prices online is you may find the best rates and still choose a local agent.

By using this form (opens in new window), your coverage information is submitted to agents in your area who will give you bids for your business. You won’t need to leave your computer due to the fact that quote results will go to the email address you provide. How’s that for easy!

Selecting a company requires more thought than just the premium amount. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:

  • Is working in the agency their full-time job?
  • Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
  • If you have an accident, are you able to get your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice?
  • Are you getting all the discounts the company offers?
  • Is vehicle damage repaired with OEM or aftermarket parts?
  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
  • How long have they worked with personal auto insurance coverage?
  • Do they specialize in personal lines coverage?

Choose an insurance agent wisely

When researching local Pittsfield agents, there are two types of insurance agents that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agencies in Pittsfield are categorized either independent (non-captive) or captive. Both types can properly insure your vehicles, but it’s important to know the difference between them since it may influence the type of agent you choose

Captive Insurance Agents

Captive insurance agents can only place business with one company such as Allstate, State Farm and Farmers Insurance. Captives cannot provide prices from multiple companies so always compare other rates. Captive agents are trained well on the products they sell which helps them compete with independent agents. Consumers frequently purchase coverage from captives mainly due to the prominence of the brand and the convenience of having all coverages with one company.

Independent Agents (or Brokers)

Independent insurance agents are not locked into one company but instead can place your coverage with many different companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. If your agent finds better pricing, the business is moved internally and you don’t have to find a new agent.

When searching for an agent, it’s recommended you include at a minimum one independent agency to have the most options to choose from. They also have the ability to place coverage with smaller regional carriers which may provide better rates.

The following are independent insurance agencies in Pittsfield that can give you comparison quotes.

  • Pierce-Hill Insurance Inc – 391 North St – Pittsfield, MA 01201 – (413) 443-6481
  • Guardian Insurance Co-America – 66 West St – Pittsfield, MA 01201 – (413) 443-6441

To view a full list of auto insurance agents in Pittsfield, please go to this site.

After getting acceptable answers to these questions and a good coverage price, you have narrowed it down to an auto insurance agent that meets your needs to properly insure your vehicles.

Do drivers who switch really save $401 a year?

Massachusetts consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for the lowest price auto insurance by companies like GEICO, State Farm and Progressive. All the ads make an identical promise of big savings if you move to them.

But how can every company make almost identical claims?

Pittsfield MA insurance quotes

Different companies are able to cherry pick for the type of customer that is profitable for them. For example, a driver they prefer could possibly be between the ages of 40 and 55, has no prior claims, and chooses high deductibles. A customer getting a price quote that hits that “sweet spot” gets the lowest rates and most likely will save when they switch companies.

Drivers who do not match this ideal profile will be quoted higher rates which usually ends up with the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads say “customers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save money. That’s the way insurance companies can claim big savings. This emphasizes why it’s extremely important to compare as many rates as you can. You cannot predict which company will have the lowest rates.

Best coverage at the best price

Consumers switch companies for many reasons like denial of a claim, delays in responding to claim requests, policy non-renewal or questionable increases in premium. It doesn’t matter what your reason, switching companies can be less work than you think.

You just learned a lot of ways to reduce auto insurance prices online. The most important thing to understand is the more providers you compare, the better your comparison will be. Consumers may even find the lowest premiums are with an unexpected company.

As you prepare to switch companies, do not reduce needed coverages to save money. Too many times, someone sacrificed liability coverage limits only to discover later that saving that couple of dollars actually costed them tens of thousands. The ultimate goal is to buy a smart amount of coverage at an affordable rate while still protecting your assets.

More Massachusetts auto insurance information

More tips and info about auto insurance is available at the Massachusetts Division of Insurance website. Massachusetts consumers can read industry bulletins, file complaints about a company, and find out industry alerts.