Strategies for Saving Money on Winona Auto Insurance Rates

Nobody looks forward to buying auto insurance, especially when their premiums are too high.

Consumers have many car insurance companies to insure vehicles with, and although it’s a good thing to have a selection, too many choices makes it more difficult to find the lowest rates.

It’s important to check auto insurance prices occasionally since rates trend upward over time. Despite the fact that you may have had the best rates six months ago you can probably find a lower rate today. So just forget anything you know (or think you know) about auto insurance because you’re going to get a crash course in the tricks you need to know to find better rates and still maintain coverage.

The purpose of this post is to help you learn the most effective way to quote insurance and some tips to save money. If you have car insurance now, you will most likely be able to reduce your rates substantially using these methods. But Minnesota consumers must understand the way insurance companies determine prices because it can help you find the best coverage.

Factors that affect insurance rates

It’s important that you understand some of the elements that go into determining the price you pay for auto insurance. Having a good understanding of what influences your rates allows you to make educated decisions that may reward you with better auto insurance rates.

Listed below are a partial list of the pieces companies use to determine rates.

  • Protect your assets with liability insurance – Your policy’s liability coverage is the protection if you are found to be at fault for personal injury or accident damage. It provides legal defense coverage up to the limits shown on your policy. Carrying liability coverage is mandatory and cheap as compared to coverage for physical damage, so do not cut corners here.
  • Poor driving leads to higher costs – A bad driving record has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Drivers who don’t get tickets get better rates compared to drivers with tickets. Even one speeding ticket can bump up the cost forty percent or more. If you have flagrant violations such as DUI or reckless driving may find they need to file a proof of financial responsibility form (SR-22) to the state department of motor vehicles in order to keep their license.
  • Your auto insurance rates can be influenced by your job – Occupations such as lawyers, architects and financial analysts tend to pay higher average rates in part from job stress and lots of time spent at work. Conversely, jobs such as farmers, engineers and retirees have the lowest average rates.
  • Having a spouse can save you money – Being married helps lower the price on auto insurance. Marriage usually means you are more responsible it has been statistically shown that being married results in fewer claims.
  • With age comes lower rates – Teenage drivers in Minnesota are known to be more careless in a vehicle so auto insurance rates are higher. Mature drivers are viewed as being more responsible, tend to cause fewer accidents and are safer drivers.
  • Small claims can cost you – If you frequently file small claims, you can expect higher rates. Auto insurance companies in Minnesota award cheaper rates to people who are claim-free. Insurance coverage is intended for the bigger claims that can’t be paid out-of-pocket.
  • Your location is important – Being located in a small town can save you money when buying auto insurance. Drivers who live in large cities have traffic congestion and much longer commute distances. Fewer people means a lower chance of having an accident and also fewer theft and vandalism claims.

Automobile Insurance Quotes in Winona, MN

Most major insurance companies provide coverage price quotes online. The process is fairly straightforward as you just enter your required coverages into a form. Once you submit the form, their rating system obtains your driving and credit reports and quotes a price based on these and other factors. This helps simplify price comparisons, but having to visit different websites and type in the same information can be a bit repetitive. But it’s absolutely necessary to do this in order to find a lower rate.

A more efficient way to compare auto insurance pricing uses one form to obtain quotes from more than one company. This type of form saves time, eliminates repetitive work, and makes online price comparison much simpler. After your information is entered, your coverage is rated and you can choose any or none of the quotes returned.

If you find a better price you can simply submit the application and buy the new coverage. The whole process takes 15 minutes at the most and you will know how your current rates stack up.

To find out what other companies charge, click here to open in a new tab and fill out the form. If you currently have coverage, we recommend you type in the limits and deductibles exactly as they are listed on your policy. This guarantees you’re receiving a price comparison using the same coverage and limits.

Save $404 a year. For real?

Auto insurance companies such as State Farm, GEICO and Progressive consistently run ads on TV and radio. They all seem to say the same thing of big savings if you change your policy. How do they all make almost identical claims? It’s all in the numbers.

Different companies are able to cherry pick for the right customer that earns them a profit. For example, a preferred risk might be a mature driver, is a homeowner, and drives newer vehicles. Any driver that hits that “sweet spot” gets the lowest rates and as a result will probably save quite a bit of money when switching.

Potential customers who don’t measure up to the requirements will have to pay a higher premium which usually ends up with the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads say “customers that switch” not “everybody who quotes” save money. This is how insurance companies can make those claims.

Because of the profiling, drivers should quote coverage with many companies. It’s just too difficult to predict which company will give you the biggest savings.

Discounts are basically free money

Properly insuring your vehicles can get expensive, but companies offer discounts to reduce the price significantly. A few discounts will automatically apply at the time of purchase, but a few need to be requested specifically before you will receive the discount.

  • Low Mileage – Low mileage vehicles could be rewarded with a substantially lower rate.
  • Braking Control Discount – Cars that have steering control and anti-lock brakes can reduce accidents and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • Accident Waiver – Certain companies will allow you to have one accident without raising rates if you are claim-free prior to the accident.
  • Life Insurance – Companies who offer life insurance give a break if you buy life insurance.
  • Student in College – Kids in college who live away from home and do not have a car can be insured at a reduced rate.
  • Auto/Home Discount – When you have multiple policies with one insurance company you may save 10% to 20% off each policy.

As a disclaimer on discounts, most credits do not apply to all coverage premiums. Most only reduce individual premiums such as comp or med pay. So when it seems like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, it doesn’t quite work that way. But any discount will help reduce your premiums.

Compare online but buy from a local Winona agent

Certain consumers prefer to visit with an insurance agent and that is just fine! The biggest benefit of getting online price quotes is you may find the best rates but still work with a licensed agent. Buying from small agencies is important especially in Winona.

To help locate an agent, after submitting this simple form, the coverage information is sent to local insurance agents in Winona who will return price quotes for your coverage. You won’t need to leave your computer since price quotes are sent to your email. How cool is that?! You can find better rates and an insurance agent to talk to.

Types of insurance agents

When finding an insurance agent, you need to know there are two types of insurance agents that differ in how they can insure your vehicles. Agencies in Winona are classified as either independent or captive.

Independent Agents

Independent agents are not required to write business for one company so they can insure your vehicles with lots of companies enabling the ability to shop coverage around. To transfer your coverage to a different company, your agent can switch companies and you won’t have to switch agencies. When shopping rates, it’s recommended you include price quotes from at least one independent agent to get the best comparison.

The following are independent agents in Winona that can give you competitive price quotes.

Ringler Agency Inc – 909 W 5th St – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 452-2100
Fuglestad Insurance – 425 W Sanborn St – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 454-4608
American National Insurance Co – 577 Huff St # 1 – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 452-1464
Steve Young Agency Inc – 1502 W Service Dr – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 454-1185
Winona Agency – 174 Center St – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 452-3366

Captive Insurance Agents

This type of agents work for only one company like Allstate, AAA, Liberty Mutual and State Farm. They generally cannot provide prices from multiple companies so always compare other rates. Captive agencies are well schooled on the products they sell which can be an advantage.

Below are captive agencies in Winona who can help you get comparison quotes.

State Farm Insurance – 1733 W Service Dr – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 452-5553
Allstate Insurance – 103 W Broadway St # 2 – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 452-7720
Farmers Insurance Group – 50 W 2nd St # 113 – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 452-5916
American Family Insurance – 858 W 5th St – Winona, MN 55987 – (507) 454-4638

To view a complete directory of Winona captive agents, visit this link.

Deciding on an insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just a low price. Agents should be asked these questions:

  • Do they review policy coverages at every renewal?
  • How many years of experience in personal lines insurance coverages do they have?
  • Do they specialize in personal lines coverage?
  • Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?
  • Do they carry Errors and Omissions coverage?
  • Do they have advanced training designations such as CPCU, AAI, AIC, or CIC?
  • Are they able to influence company decisions when a claim is filed?
  • How much can you save by raising your physical damage deductibles?

Upon receiving positive feedback to any questions you have and an affordable coverage quote, chances are good that you have found an auto insurance agent that is a good match to adequately provide auto insurance.

Car insurance is unique, just like you

When it comes to buying the right insurance coverage, there really is not a best way to insure your cars. Every situation is different and your policy should reflect that. For instance, these questions can aid in determining whether or not you might need an agent’s assistance.

  • Are there companies who specialize in insuring high-risk drivers?
  • How do I file an SR-22 for a DUI in Minnesota?
  • Should I drop comprehensive coverage on older vehicles?
  • Should I put collision coverage on all my vehicles?
  • Do I need added coverage for expensive stereo equipment?
  • Why is insurance for a teen driver so high in Winona?
  • Can I rate high risk drivers on liability-only vehicles?
  • What happens if I owe more than my vehicle is worth?

If you can’t answer these questions but you know they apply to you then you might want to talk to an insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, fill out this quick form or go to this page to view a list of companies.

Much more information about auto insurance in Minnesota is located on the website for the Minnesota Department of Commerce through this link. Consumers can get help finding coverage, view a list of available companies, and find disaster information.

Additional helpful sites include’s auto insurance page and

Better coverage you can count on

While you’re price shopping online, you should never sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. In too many instances, an insured cut uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time they didn’t purchase enough coverage. Your aim should be to buy a smart amount of coverage for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.

In this article, we covered some good ideas how you can reduce auto insurance prices online. The key concept to understand is the more you quote, the better your comparison will be. Drivers may discover the biggest savings come from a lesser-known regional company. Smaller companies can often insure niche markets at a lower cost as compared to the big name companies such as State Farm or Progressive.