Lafayette Car Insurance Buying Tips You Aren’t Supposed to Know

Scraping up a payment for overpriced car insurance can drain your personal savings and put the squeeze on your family’s finances. Comparison shopping is free, only takes a few minutes, and is a good way to make sure you’re not throwing money away. Companies like Progressive, GEICO and Farmers Insurance continually bombard you with advertising and it is difficult to see past the geckos and flying pigs and find the best price available.

Consumers should take time to get comparison quotes at least once a year because rates are variable and change quite frequently. Even if you got the lowest rates last year you may be paying too much now. Don’t believe everything you read about car insurance on the web, but with this article, you’re going to get some great ideas on how to slash your car insurance rates.

If you are insured now or are just looking to switch companies, you can use these tips to reduce the price you pay and still get good coverage. Finding the best rates in Lafayette is not that difficult. Louisiana vehicle owners just need to learn how to compare rates online.

Factors that affect insurance rates

An important part of buying insurance is that you know the factors that help determine car insurance rates. Knowing what determines base rates enables informed choices that could result in much lower annual insurance costs.

The following are a few of the “ingredients” car insurance companies consider when setting premiums.

  • Little extras can really add up – There are a ton of add-on coverages that can waste your money on your car insurance policy. Insurance for personal injury protection, accident forgiveness and membership fees may be costing you every month. They may seem like a good idea initially, but your needs may have changed so eliminate the coverages to reduce your premium.
  • Better credit scores mean better rates – Having a bad credit score is a important factor in determining what you pay for car insurance. People with excellent credit tend to be more responsible as compared to drivers with poor credit. So if your credit score is low, you could save money insuring your by repairing your credit.
  • Where you live – Living in a small town is a positive aspect when talking about car insurance. Urban drivers tend to have more traffic problems and a longer drive to work. Lower population means reduced accidents as well as less vandalism and auto theft.
  • Please use or commuting – The more miles you rack up on your car in a year’s time the higher your rates will be. Almost all companies rate vehicles based on how the vehicle is used. Vehicles left parked in the garage qualify for better rates than vehicles that are driven to work every day. Make sure your car insurance policy is rated on how each vehicle is driven.
  • An active claims history can cost you – Insurance companies in Louisiana award discounts to drivers who file claims infrequently. If you are a frequent claim filer, you can look forward to either higher rates or even cancellation. Car insurance is designed for larger claims.
  • Protect your assets with liability insurance – Liability insurance provides coverage if a court rules you are at fault for damages from an accident. It will provide legal defense up to the limits shown on your policy. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap compared to physical damage coverage, so do not skimp.

Free Lafayette Car Insurance Quotes

Reducing your insurance rates is actually quite simple. You just have to invest a little time comparing rates online with multiple companies. This can be done in several different ways.

  1. The easiest and least time consuming way to get the best comparison quotes would be an industry-wide quote request form like this one (opens in new window). This method saves time by eliminating repetitive form entry for every car insurance company. In just a few minutes this one form will get you price quotes .
  2. A slightly less efficient method to compare rate quotes requires you to visit the website of each company and complete a new quote form. For example, we’ll pretend you want to compare rates from Auto-Owners, Farmers and GEICO. To find out each rate you need to visit each site to input your insurance information, which is why the first method is quicker. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Lafayette, click here.
  3. The least recommended way of comparing rate quotes is driving around to insurance agents’ offices. The internet can eliminate the need for a local agent unless you prefer the personal advice only provided by licensed Lafayette agents. However, consumers can get the lowest quotes online but still have the advice of a local agent.

It’s your choice how you get your quotes, but compare the exact same quote information for every company. If you have different values for each quote it will be very difficult to determine the lowest rate in Lafayette.

Beware of misleading car insurance ads

Louisiana drivers constantly see and hear ads for the lowest price auto insurance by State Farm and Allstate. They all say the same thing that you’ll save big if you switch to their company.

How do they all say the same thing?

All the different companies have a preferred profile for the right customer they prefer to insure. For example, a preferred risk could be over the age of 40, has no prior claims, and has excellent credit. Any driver that hits that “sweet spot” will get the preferred rates and as a result will probably save quite a bit of money when switching.Lafayette Louisiana insurance quotes

Consumers who fall outside these standards must pay higher rates and this can result in business not being written. Company advertisements say “people who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much. That is how insurance companies can confidently advertise the savings.

This illustrates why drivers must get as many comparisons as possible. It’s not possible to predict which insurance companies will fit your personal profile best.

Don’t miss out on these money-saving discounts

Insurance can be prohibitively expensive, but discounts can save money and there are some available that many people don’t even know exist. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied at the time of purchase, but some must be asked for prior to receiving the credit. If you don’t get every credit you deserve, you are paying more than you should be.

  • Anti-lock Brake System – Vehicles with anti-lock braking systems are safer to drive and will save you 10% or more.
  • Early Switch Discount – Select companies give a discount for signing up before your current expiration date. It’s a savings of about 10%.
  • One Accident Forgiven – A handful of insurance companies permit an accident without raising rates as long as you don’t have any claims for a set time period.
  • Distant Student – Kids in college living away from home attending college and do not have a car may qualify for this discount.
  • Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Vehicles with factory air bags or motorized seat belts can get savings of 20% or more.
  • Seat Belts Save – Requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts could cut 10% or more off your PIP or medical payments premium.
  • Good Students Pay Less – A discount for being a good student can get you a discount of up to 25%. The discount lasts up until you turn 25.

As a disclaimer on discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given to all coverage premiums. Most cut the cost of specific coverages such as medical payments or collision. So even though they make it sound like it’s possible to get free car insurance, companies don’t profit that way. Any qualifying discounts will help reduce your overall premium however.

For a list of insurance companies offering car insurance discounts in Louisiana, click this link.

But I want to work with a local agent

Some people just want to sit down with an agent. Good agents can point out coverage gaps and help file insurance claims. The best thing about comparing insurance prices online is that you can obtain lower rates and still choose a local agent. And providing support for local insurance agencies is important particularly in Lafayette.

By using this form (opens in new window), the coverage information is sent to agents in your area who will compete for your insurance coverage. There is no need to visit any agencies since price quotes are sent to the email address you provide. How’s that for easy!

To view a list of agents in Lafayette to contact, view this link.

Selecting an insurance company needs to be determined by more than just the price. These questions are important to ask:

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  • Can they provide you with a list of referrals?
  • Do they regularly work with personal auto policies?
  • Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
  • Do the companies they represent have a solid financial rating?
  • How are claims handled?
  • Does the agency support the community they serve?
  • How long has their agency been open in Lafayette?
  • How much can you save by raising your physical damage deductibles?

Once you have good answers to your questions in addition to an acceptable price estimate, chances are good that you have found a company that meets your needs to properly service your car insurance policy.

Much more information about car insurance in Louisiana can be found on the website for the Louisiana Department of Insurance through this link. Louisiana consumers can find disaster information, view agent and company licensing information, and report car insurance fraud.

One last thing

As you restructure your insurance plan, it’s very important that you do not buy less coverage just to save a little money. There have been many cases where someone sacrificed comprehensive coverage or liability limits only to regret at claim time they didn’t have enough coverage. Your goal should be to buy the best coverage you can find at an affordable rate.

In this article, we covered many ways to get a better price on car insurance. The most important thing to understand is the more companies you get rates for, the better chance you’ll have of finding lower rates. You may be surprised to find that the biggest savings come from some of the lesser-known companies. Regional companies can often provide lower rates in certain areas than their larger competitors like Allstate and Progressive.

Cheaper car insurance can be found from both online companies and with local Lafayette insurance agents, and you should compare price quotes from both in order to have the best chance of saving money. Some companies do not offer the ability to get a quote online and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.