If you’ve never shopped for car insurance online, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of car insurance companies selling insurance in Malden.
It is always a good idea to shop coverage around quite often since insurance rates are rarely the same from one policy term to another. Just because you had the best price a couple years back the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. There is a lot of wrong information about car insurance online, so I’m going to show you some good information on how to reduce your car insurance bill.
Rate influencing factors
It’s important that you understand some of the elements that help determine car insurance rates. Understanding what determines base rates enables informed choices that can help you get big savings.
The following are some of the factors car insurance companies consider when setting your rates.
- Cautious drivers pay less – Good drivers receive lower rates than bad drivers. Only having one moving violation can increase rates twenty percent or more. If you have serious violations such as DWI, reckless driving or hit and run convictions may find they need to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility to the state department of motor vehicles in order to continue driving.
- Men fork out a little more – Statistics have proven women tend to be less risk to insure than men. However, don’t assume that men are WORSE drivers than women. Both sexes tend to get into accidents in similar percentages, but the men cause more damage and cost insurance companies more money. Men also statistically get cited for more serious violations like reckless driving and DUI.
- Don’t cancel a policy without a new one in place – Driving with no insurance can get your license suspended and you will pay a penalty because you let your insurance lapse. And not only will insurance be more expensive, getting caught without coverage can result in a license revocation or jail time.
- Protect your assets with liability insurance – The liability section of your policy is the protection when a court rules you are at fault for personal injury or accident damage. It provides legal defense coverage which can cost thousands of dollars. Liability insurance is quite affordable compared to insuring for physical damage coverage, so do not skimp.
- Where you live can impact rates – Residing in small towns and rural areas has it’s advantages when insuring your vehicles. Drivers who live in large cities regularly have congested traffic and longer commutes to work. Lower population means fewer accidents and a lower car theft rate.
- More performance means more cost – The make and model of the car you drive makes a huge difference in the rate you pay. Lower performance four cylinder passenger cars usually have the lowest rates, but other factors influence the final cost greatly.
- Your occupation can affect rates – Did you know that where you work can have an impact on rates? Jobs such as lawyers, architects and dentists tend to have the highest average rates in part from high stress and lots of time spent at work. Other occupations like scientists, historians and performers receive lower rates.
- More miles equals more premium – The more miles you rack up on your car in a year’s time the more you’ll pay to insure your vehicle. Most insurance companies rate vehicles based upon how you use the vehicle. Cars and trucks not used for work or commuting can get a lower rate as compared to vehicles used primarily for driving to work. Ask your agent if your car insurance policy shows how each vehicle is driven, because it can save money.
Discounts can save BIG
Companies don’t always publicize all their discounts very well, so we break down both well-publicized and also the lesser-known car insurance savings.
- E-sign – Some insurance companies may give you up to $50 simply for signing over the internet.
- Payment Discounts – If you pay your bill all at once instead of paying each month you can actually save on your bill.
- Discount for Life Insurance – Some companies give lower rates if you buy a life insurance policy as well.
- Bundle and Save – When you have multiple policies with the same insurance company you may save at least 10% off all policies.
- Federal Employees – Simply working for the federal government could cut as much as 10% off with a few car insurance companies.
- Safe Driver Discount – Insureds without accidents may save up to 50% more than drivers with accidents.
- Braking Control Discount – Vehicles with anti-lock braking systems can reduce accidents and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
- Student Driver Training – Cut your cost by having your teen driver successfully complete driver’s ed class in high school.
- Safety Course Discount – Taking a course in driver safety could possibly earn you a 5% discount and easily recoup the cost of the course.
- No Charge for an Accident – A handful of insurance companies will allow you to have one accident without raising rates as long as you don’t have any claims for a set time period.
As a disclaimer on discounts, many deductions do not apply to your bottom line cost. A few only apply to individual premiums such as comp or med pay. Just because it seems like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, you’re out of luck.
Beware of misleading car insurance ads
Companies like State Farm and Allstate regularly use television and radio advertisements. All the ads make an identical promise about savings if you move your policy. How do they all say the same thing? It’s all in the numbers.
Insurance companies have a preferred profile for the right customer that is profitable for them. For instance, a desirable insured could be a mature driver, owns a home, and has excellent credit. Any new insured who fits that profile is entitled to the best price and therefore will save a lot of money.
Potential customers who don’t qualify for the “perfect” profile will be charged higher rates which usually ends up with business not being written. Company advertisements say “customers that switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much. This is how insurance companies can confidently advertise the way they do. That is why you should compare as many rates as you can. It’s just too difficult to predict which insurance companies will give you the biggest savings.
Will just any policy work for me?
When it comes to buying coverage for your personal vehicles, there really is not a “best” method to buy coverage. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs.
For example, these questions could help you determine whether your personal situation might need an agent’s assistance.
- How high should my medical payments coverage be?
- Who is covered when they drive my vehicle?
- Does my policy cover me when driving someone else’s vehicle?
- Is my teen driver covered when they drive my company car?
- What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?
- If my vehicle is totaled, can I afford another vehicle?
- Am I covered by my spouse’s policy after a separation?
- Is a new car covered when I drive it off the dealer lot?
- What are the financial responsibility laws in Massachusetts?
- Do I need roadside assistance coverage?
If it’s difficult to answer those questions but a few of them apply, you might consider talking to an insurance agent. If you don’t have a local agent, complete this form.
Additional car insurance links
Additional detailed information can be found at the Massachusetts Division of Insurance website. Consumers can find out which companies have the most complaints, get help finding coverage, and learn about specific coverages.
Keep this in mind
You just learned a lot of tips how to shop for car insurance online. The most important thing to understand is the more times you quote, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. Consumers may even find the most savings is with a company that doesn’t do a lot of advertising.
When shopping online for car insurance, never skimp on critical coverages to save a buck or two. There are many occasions where consumers will sacrifice uninsured motorist or liability limits only to find out that the few dollars in savings costed them thousands. Your goal should be to buy the best coverage you can find at an affordable rate while still protecting your assets.
The cheapest car insurance is attainable both online in addition to many Malden insurance agents, and you need to price shop both so you have a total pricing picture. Some companies do not provide the ability to get a quote online and most of the time these small insurance companies sell through independent agents.